Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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

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) encountered and earnestly demanded 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!") was intensely un-nerved and ferociously snarled: "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, set in the Ukranian ghetto village of Anatevka - and the opening words of poor Jewish-Russian peasant milkman in a small Ukranian village in pre-Revolutionary Russia - the life-affirming Tevye (Topol) as he delivered milk: ("A fiddler on the roof. Sounds crazy, no? But here, in our little village of Anatevka you might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof. Trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck. It isn't easy. You may ask why do we stay up there if it's so dangerous? Well, we stay because Anatevka is our home. And how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word! Tradition!...Because of our traditions, we've kept our balance for many, many years. Here in Anatevka, we have traditions for everything. How to sleep. How to eat. How to work. How to wear clothes. For instance, we always keep our heads covered, and always wear a little prayer shawl. This shows our constant devotion to God. You may ask, how did this tradition get started? I'll tell you. I don't know. But it's a tradition. And because of our traditions, every one of us knows who he is and what God expects him to do")
  • the ending of the joyous and lively song/dance "Tradition" about the conflict between traditional values and modern industrial changes: ("Traditions, traditions. Without our traditions our lives would be as shaky as... as a fiddler on the roof!")
  • Tevye's song: "If I Were a Rich Man" - his dreams of wealth: ("If I were a rich man. Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum All day long I'd biddy biddy bum. If I were a wealthy man...")
  • the scene of the Jewish wedding of Tevye's eldest daughter Tzeitel (Rosalind Harris) and her childhood friend, poor tailor Motel Kamzoil (Leonard Frey), and the wistful song of Tevye and his wife Golde (Norma Crane) during the ceremony: "Sunrise, Sunset:" ("Is this the little girl I carried? Is this the little boy at play? I don't remember growing older. When did they? When did she get to be a beauty? When did he grow to be so tall? Wasn't it yesterday when they were small? Sunrise, sunset. Sunrise, sunset. Swiftly flow the days. Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers. Blossoming even as we gaze")

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 responded: ("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

5th Ave Girl (1939)

In Gregory La Cava's and RKO's witty, fast-paced, satirical Depression-Era screwball romantic comedy about the foibles of the idle rich and class warfare (and a reversed Cinderella tale), similar to the plot-line of his earlier film My Man Godfrey (1936), and also two other films: screenwriter Preston Sturges' Easy Living (1937) with Jean Arthur, and Midnight (1939) with Claudette Colbert:

  • the premise: rich, patriarchal capitalist-tycoon Mr. Timothy Borden, Sr. (Walter Connolly), the owner of Amalgamated Pump, learned (on his birthday) that his company was on the verge of bankruptcy; and then his secretary (Josephine Whittell) offered him a present - a very loud tie with a design that brought the quip: "Well, that's one bright spot in a gloomy day"
  • Borden returned to his unwelcoming, empty Fifth Avenue mansion where he found that his vain and cheating wife Martha (Verree Teasdale) was out with a gigolo, and his spoiled polo-playing son Tim (Tim Holt), and his lovesick daughter Katherine (Kathryn Adams) with the Bolshevik-leaning, slogan-spouting chauffeur Mike (James Ellison) were away and had forgotten his birthday; he took a walk to Central Park - feeling lonely, unhappy, depressed, unwanted, and neglected, where his life would soon change
  • the crucial pick-up scene beginning with Borden's chance encounter and conversation on a public park bench with cynical, level-headed, spunky and sassy Mary Grey (Ginger Rogers); she revealed that the apple she was eating was her dinner; when he asked if she was on a diet, she replied: "Yes, but against my wishes"; with a few more questions, he realized that she was poor, homeless, unemployed and hungry, and was willing to sleep in the park if she had to; when he was astonished that she didn't seem to be worried, she told him that the rich were all alike: "You sound like one of those Fifth Avenue cadavers.... Those people that live over there... oh they're always squawking. You'd think the country was going to the dogs....I used to stand at the Plaza at night and watch 'em go home. They look like a lot of wax dummies that have eaten an overdose of sour pickles"
  • his invitation to dine with him in the fancy Flamingo Club to celebrate his birthday; at first, she declined: "I'd just as soon go to the automat and keep the change"; but when he urged: "We could have lots of fun insulting the rich," she agreed, although she quipped: "If I eat any real food, I'll probably die. I just as soon die of food poisoning as anything else"
  • the next morning in his mansion, Alfred awakened with a hangover, a right black eye, gossip in the newspaper about the "disgraceful episode" (according to his wife) and Mary's appearance after sleeping in the upstairs guest room; during a wild night that he couldn't remember, he allegedly had an altercation with both a taxi-cab driver and a policeman; butler Higgins (Franklin Pangborn) reminded him: "It was nice to see you happy for a change"
  • Borden realized: "This was the first time in years that my wife has paid any attention to me, and I think you had something to do with it"; he decided to hire Mary (without his family's knowledge) to pose in a fake affair as his gold-digging mistress ("little blonde hussy"), something that eventually had positive results and brought his insensitive and dysfunctional family together
  • Mary's final pairing with son Tim (who was at first very belligerent toward her), soon after they visited the same park bench that she had earlier shared with his father and he forced a kiss on her; and her teary confessional revelation at the end to Borden and the family: "I didn't ask you for this job. You forced it on me," and her exit from the house ("I'm going back where I belong!"), only to be carried back in by Tim slung over his shoulder as she yelled at a policeman: "Why don't you mind your own business?"

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 opening voice-over during a confounding scene in which the film's two main characters were confronting each other. The "Narrator"/"Jack" (Edward Norton) was being held at gunpoint (the gun was in his mouth!) by Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), during a count-down to "ground zero" -- the demolition of twelve corporate buildings (credit card companies) by a movement known as "Project Mayhem." Tyler Durden threatened the destruction unless the "Narrator" shot himself
  • the scene in which charismatic, macho soap salesman and projectionist Tyler Durden introduced the concept of the 'Fight Club' to yuppie "Ikea Boy", insomniac white-collar worker "Jack"/Narrator by challenging him to a fight in a parking lot: ("Come on. Do me this one favor....Why? I don't know why. I don't know. Never been in a fight. You?...How much can you know about yourself if you've never been in a fight! I don't wanna die without any scars. Come on. Hit me, before I lose my nerve....So go crazy! Let it rip....Who gives a s--t? No-one's watching. What do you care?"); when "Jack" struck Tyler in the ear, he responded: ("That was perfect. It really hurts. Hit me again")
  • the statement of 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 the threatening Narrator/"Jack", after being fired, suggested an alternative: ("I have a better solution. Keep me on the payroll as an outside consultant. In exchange for my salary, my job will be never to tell people these things that I know. I don't even have to come into the office. I can do this job from home"); and then when security was being called, "Jack" beat himself up - to make it look like he was being assaulted - in front of his astonished regional manager/boss Richard Chesler (Zach Grenier): ("I am Jack's smirking revenge!...Under and behind and inside everything this man took for granted, something horrible had been growing, and right then, at our most excellent moment together...") - Chesler was framed for hitting him when security arrived at the perfect moment
  • 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) left, and on the hotel TV screen)
  • the 'twist' ending, in which "Jack" - in a conversation with himself (and with Tyler) realized that he was one and the same with Durden - a split personality: ("Why do people think that I'm you? Answer me!...Answer me. Why do people think that I'm you?......Because we're the same person! We are the all-singing, all-dancing crap"); 'Tyler' explained: ("You were looking for a way to change your life. You could not do this on your own. All the ways you wish you could be, that's me. I look like you wanna look, I f--k like you wanna f--k. I am smart, capable and, most importantly, I'm free in all the ways that you are not...People do it every day. They talk to themselves. They see themselves as they'd like to be. They don't have the courage you have to just run with it. Naturally, you're still wrestling with it, so sometimes you're still you...Other times, you imagine yourself watching me...Little by little, you're just letting yourself become Tyler Durden")
  • the conclusion in which the Narrator killed "Durden" in his mind by shooting himself in the jaw/face - he barely survived his own 'enlightenment' as he witnessed the destruction of various skyscrapers with girlfriend Marla Singer at his side as he told 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) in the Great Barrier Reef - and the devastating aftermath in which Marlin was made a widower with just a single surviving egg named Nemo (voice of Alexander Gould)
  • the plot of little Nemo's scary kidnap/capture in a net by an Australian mask-wearing scuba 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 who suffered from severe short-term memory loss
  • the wisecracking school of Moon-fish (voice of John Ratzenberger) and the elderly "surfer dude" turtle Crush (voice of co-writer/director Andrew Stanton)
  • 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 dentist Phillip Sherman's salt-water aquarium tank in Sydney, with the wisecracking Tank Gang, including a Moorish Idol Fish named Gill (voice of Willem Dafoe), a Yellow Tang named Bubbles (voice of Stephen Root), and a Pufferfish named Bloat (voice of Brad Garrett)
  • the threat of the braces-wearing niece Darla of the dentist (thought to be a "fish-killer" - accompanied by the sounds of the shower scene violins from Psycho (1960))
  • the sequence of Marlin and Dory trapped inside a blue whale (reminiscent of Pinocchio (1940))
  • the scene of Marlin reunited with his son Nemo
  • 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) found 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 became reality (the boys jumping on beds flew out the window, the family materialized 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 congratulated 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 entered separate bedrooms in their home, James' door opened to an imaginative sunlit field
  • the tearjerking scene of Sylvia discussing with James how she was "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 performed the play in the parlor for the ailing Sylvia - and she 'entered' into Neverland
  • the concluding poignant scene on a park bench in which James encouraged 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 believed: "I can see her"

Fireworks (1947) (short)

In avante-garde filmmaking director Kenneth Anger's first official, experimental film (his earliest surviving film), shot over just one weekend and initially charged as being obscene - it was a landmark gay movie:

  • the opening voice-over by the sole character, the Dreamer (homosexual Kenneth Anger Himself): "In Fireworks, I released all the explosive pyrotechnics of a dream. Inflammable desires dampened by day under the cold water of consciousness are ignited that night by the libertarian matches of sleep, and burst forth in showers of shimmering incandescence. These imaginary displays provide a temporary relief"
  • the main expressionistic (black and white, shadowy) homoerotic dream sequence (with masochistic imagery), experienced by a Dreamer, was inspired by the 1944 Zoot Suit Riots when all-American sailors in white naval uniforms attacked flamboyantly-dressed Mexicans
  • the surrealistic dream: a sleeping young man arose from his bed, while he was fantasizing about a sailor (who carried him into a bar with a GENTS restroom and was displaying the flexing of his muscular upper torso); a larger gang of white-uniformed US sailors with chains surrounded him, beat and raped him (a closeup showed his face contorted in pain, as his nose began to bleed - fingers were jammed into his nose - and cleansing milk (metaphorical semen) was poured onto his face in slow-motion)
  • the quick shot of the sailor with a roman candle positioned in the opened zipper of his pants as a phallic symbol before it exploded in his crotch
  • body-horror imagery also included a cigarette lit with a gigantic fiery branch, a burning Christmas tree (with decorations), flaming masturbatory photographs (of young men embracing), the peeling away of raw flesh by a hand to discover a compass underneath, a sculpture of a hand with smashed fingers - and the conclusion with a final image of two men lying together

First Blood (1982) (aka Rambo: First Blood)

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) hassled by prejudiced Hope, Washington's town Sheriff Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy), being arrested as an unshaven vagrant, treated abusively in jail by police officers - amidst horrifying flashbacks of torture he experienced as a POW during the war
  • Rambo's incredible escape and defense against an army of pursuers in some Northwest woods outside the small hostile town, stitching his own wound, and his threat to become a one-man army while holding a large knife to the throat of the Sheriff: "I could have killed you. In town you're the law, out here, it's me. Don't push it. Don't push it, or I'll give you a war you won't believe. Let it go. Let it go"
  • Rambo's final confrontation with Green Beret Col. Samuel Trautman (Richard Crenna), his former commander, and his impassioned, preachy speech 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 nothin'! 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! Where is everybody? Gosh. I had a friend who was there for us. There were all these guys, man. Back there were all these f-kin guys who were my friends. But back here, there's nothin'!")
  • collapsing to the floor in tears and then surrendering while suffering from a PTSD breakdown, Rambo's horrifying account (the film's final words) of the death of his friend Dan Forest during the war, whose body was blown up with the entrails covering Rambo: ("I can't get it out of my head. lt was seven years. Every day it hurts. Sometimes I wake up and don't know where I am. I don't talk to anybody. Sometimes a day. Sometimes a week. I can't put it out of my mind")

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 heard 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 ran over him with a steamroller

The Fisher King (1991)

In Terry Gilliam's mystical fantasy fairy tale:

  • the off-handed, snide comments made to psychotic, unstable radio caller Alan from late-night caustic talk radio DJ Jack Lucas (Jeff Bridges), resulting in Alan's killing spree in a Manhattan bar-restaurant and the tragic unwitting murder of a man's wife with a shotgun blast to the head
  • the symbolic demonic, giant apocalyptic figure of a horseback-riding, fire-spewing Red Knight with a tattered cloak -- the horrid, pursuing nemesis and hallucination experienced by crazy, disheveled ex- Hunter College medieval history professor Parry (aka Henry Sagan) (Robin Williams), reminding him of the traumatic slaughter of his wife, when she was shot in the head with a shotgun and blood splattered onto Parry's face
  • the night-time rescue scene of Jack - depressed and drunk and about to commit suicide in the East River, who was mistaken by street thugs under a bridge for a homeless man, who beat him and threatened to light him on fire with gasoline: ("What are you doin' here, man? You shouldn't hang around this neighborhood....People spend a lot of hard-earned money for this neighborhood. It's not fair, looking out their window and see your ass asleep on the streets"); now-homeless, deluded Parry came to Jack's rescue by accosting the two thugs, using medieval words: ("Hold, varlet or feel the sting of my shaft! In the name of Blanche De Fleur, unhand that errant knight!...Mendacity! Why are two attractive city squires like you abusing a knight like this?") - and shooting an arrow into one guy's groin, and confronting them when other homeless joined him; Parry advised before counter-attacking: ("You know, boys, there's three things in this world that ya need: Respect for all kinds of life, a nice bowel movement on a regular basis, and a navy blazer. Oh, one more thing. Never take your eye off the ball! Of course, the ability to bean a s--thead can be a fabulous advantage"); and Jack's reluctance to be rescued by such a crazy man: ("I need a drink")
  • the now-homeless (and naked) Parry, completely obsessed with the story of the Fisher King and the Quest for the Holy Grail (the cup from the Last Supper), delivering an emotionally-tender monologue to Jack in Central Park (while they both laid on their backs in the grass), 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')
  • the magical, beguiling, and surreal fantasy scene in Grand Central Station that began 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)
  • the scene of Parry, again catatonic and lying in a mental ward hospital when Jack brought the Holy Grail (a simple awards trophy) to him: ("All right, I did my side of the bargain. Here's your cup. You gonna wake up now? You want to think about it a little more? OK, take your time") - acquired from the Upper East Side 'castle' of a famous architect, and later, Parry's awakening from his catatonia to tell Jack that his life had been restored: ("I had this dream, Jack. I was married. I was married to this beautiful woman. And you were there, too. I really miss her, Jack. Is that okay? Can I miss her now? Thank you")
  • the final image of Parry and Jack, both naked, again lying face-up in Central Park and looking up at the moon on a beautiful night

Fistful of Dollars (1964, It.) (aka Per un Pugno di Dollari)

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

  • the central character - a pancho-wearing, cigarillo-smoking Man With No Name (Clint Eastwood) (aka Joe, the Stranger)
  • his request to the nearby local undertaker/coffin-maker Piripero (Joseph Egger): "Get three coffins ready", as he strolled by the storefront on a street in the Mexican border town of San Miguel
  • the Man With No Name's subdued anger over treatment of his mule by a gang of four gunslingers, who didn't want him in town: ("Listen, Stranger, didn't you get the idea? We don't like to see bad boys like you in town. Go get your mule. You let him get away from you, ha, ha?"); he replied during a tense-standoff when they refused to apologize, before shooting them down: ("You see, that's what I wanna talk to you about. He's feelin' real bad....My mule. You see, he got all riled up when you went and fired those shots at his feet....You see, I understand you men were just playin' around. But the mule, he just doesn't get it. Of course, if you were to all apologize (they laughed at him) - I don't think it's nice, you laughin'. See, my mule don't like people laughin'. He gets the crazy idea that you're laughin' at him. Now, if you apologize, like I know you're going to, I might convince him that you really didn't mean it")
  • and shortly after seeking deadly revenge in a shoot-out that killed all four men, the Man With No Name revised his mordant order to the coffin-maker: "My mistake, four coffins"
  • the final duel against Ramon (Gian Maria Volontè), when the Man With No Name - who was taunting the gunman to aim for his heart: ("The heart, Ramon. Don't forget the heart. Aim for the heart or you'll never stop me) - then revealed that he was wearing a make-shift bullet-proof metal plate under his poncho, and knowing that Ramon would empty his Winchester rifle of bullets; he then challenged Ramon to a race to see who could load their weapon the fastest: ("When a man with a '45 meets a man with a rifle, you said the man with the pistol's a dead man. Let's see if that's true. Go ahead. Load up and shoot") - and after loading up more quickly, he shot Ramon dead

Fitzcarraldo (1982, W. Ger./Peru)

In director Werner Herzog's adventure drama set in the early 20th century, about a crazed opera aficionado with a crazy idea to build an opera house in the Peruvian jungle, and having indigenous tribesmen haul his riverboat by hand over a mountain, from one river to another:

  • the seemingly-impossible dream of Irish rubber baron Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald (Klaus Kinski) (aka Fitzcarraldo)
  • the monumental manual hauling of a three-story, 320-ton steamship, christened the SS Molly Aida, over a group of steep-inclined South American hills to another waterway in the Amazon basin - without special effects, but with an elaborate system of pulleys (and brute strength)

Five Easy Pieces (1970)

In Bob Rafelson's intriguing character study and road film, appearing during the New Wave age, about a disaffected male seeking his identity:

  • the early morning scene during a freeway jam when angered ex-classical pianist/blue-collar S. California oil-rigger Robert Eroica Dupea (Jack Nicholson) exited his car and gave 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 or "Tita" (Lois Smith) in an LA recording studio
  • his car trip to his patrician family in 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 filth because it was "cleaner"
  • the celebrated roadside cafe-diner scene of an impatient Dupea's frustrating fight with a strict, rude and surly waitress (Lorna Thayer) (who allowed 'no substitutions') over his initial side order of wheat toast - that quickly became a chicken-salad sandwich order: ("You make sandwiches, don't you?...You've got bread and a toaster of some kind?"...OK, I'll make it as easy for you as I can. I'd like an omelette, plain, and a chicken salad sandwich on wheat toast. No mayonnaise, no butter, no lettuce, and a cup of coffee...Yeah. Now all you have to do is hold the chicken, bring me the toast, give me a check for the chicken salad sandwich, and you haven't broken any rules") in order to bypass the diner's rules about menu substitutions - including his further sneering challenge: "I want you to hold it (the chicken) between your knees" and his clearing of the table of all the water glasses, place-mats, cutlery and menus after telling her: ("You see this sign?")
  • the post-diner sequence in the car, when hitchhiker Pam praised him for his defiance: ("Fantastic that you could figure that all out, and lie that down on her, so you can come up with a way to get your toast, fantastic!"); Bobby pointed out that he actually WASN'T successful in obtaining what he ultimately wanted - in this case, his food: "Yeah, well, I didn't get it (the sandwich), did I?"; she responded: "No, but it was very clever. I would have just punched her out"
  • the moving camera as Robert played a Chopin Prelude for his brother's cultured fiancee Catherine Van Oost (Susan Anspach), then downplayed his talent: ("I picked the easiest piece that I could think of. I first played it when I was eight years old, and I played it better then"), and ridiculed her emotional response to his playing, claiming he had no inner feeling or emotion while playing - and then made an improper romantic advance toward her: ("I faked a little Chopin. You faked a big response")
  • his painful, one-sided, but conciliatory apology to his dying, unresponsive, invalid, mute wheel-chair bound father Nicholas (William Challee) at his home on Puget Sound: ("I don't know if you'd be particularly interested in hearing anything about me, my life, I mean. Most of it doesn't add up to much that I could relate as a way of life that you'd approve of. I move around a lot. Not because I'm looking for anything, really, but - 'cause I'm getting away from things that get bad if I stay. Auspicious beginnings. You know what I mean?...)
  • the long, final and bleak scene when he abandoned his entire life - and his uneducated, needy, crass and dim-witted girlfriend/waitress Rayette Dipesto (Karen Black), stranding her at a Gulf gas station (with his car and wallet) and catching a ride north into Canada with a logging trucker (who warned: "Where we're going, it's gonna get colder than hell")

Flaming Creatures (1963)

In gay film-maker Jack Smith's experimental, controversial, ultra-low-budget, black and white 43-minute movie that was declared obscene and seized by police at its underground premiere in NYC in the spring of 1963, and banned in 22 states and in four countries:

  • the primitive, herky-jerky, ragged and legendary underground film (shot on half-ruined or damaged film stock), made on a Greenwich Village rooftop in the city, and often regarded as the beginning of 'camp'
  • the many images of bisexuals, transvestites, hermaphrodites and other drag queens that were among those declared sexually graphic and depraved
  • the simulated cruel rape of a screaming woman during an earthquake, and a repetitive close-up of her large, round, jiggling, singly-exposed, massaged breast before her dress was raised and she was ravaged and forced to endure cunnilingus
  • a mock lipstick commercial (Someone asks: "Is there a lipstick that doesn't come off when you suck cocks?...But how does a man get lipstick off his cock?"), with a close-up of a flaccid penis being shaken and then seen next to the face of a man with a large false nose while he applied lipstick
  • a drug-fueled orgy of intertwined bodies, kissing and organ caressing and stimulation, with nude and semi-nude males and females
  • a vampirish, blonde, high-heeled drag queen who masturbated

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 splashed 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 -- amoral, insatiably sexual and sultry temptress-siren Countess Felicitas von Rhaden (Greta Garbo) and Austrian soldier Leo von Harden (John Gilbert)
  • 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

The Flight of the Phoenix (1965)

In Robert Aldrich's adventure drama and disaster film (the first of a wave of star-studded disaster films to come in the next decade and a half) about a disabled plane's crash landing in the North African desert and the struggle for survival - remade by director John Moore as Flight of the Phoenix (2004), a second-rate effort starring Dennis Quaid:

  • the opening sequence: the devastating crash of a twin-engine, chartered cargo plane (for the Middle East Arabco oil company) piloted by guilt-ridden veteran Capt. Frank Towns (James Stewart), a stubborn old-school pilot, into an isolated area of the Sahara Desert during a sandstorm enroute to Benghazi, Libya; it was carrying 14 men, including oil-rig workers and two British Army officers, and alcoholic British co-pilot navigator Lew Moran (Richard Attenborough); after the crash, there were only 12 survivors (and a seriously injured Gabriel (Gabriele Tinti))
  • the initial efforts to trek out of the desert by brave British Army officer Capt. Harris (Peter Finch), unstable oil-rig foreman Trucker Cobb (Ernest Borgnine), and Carlos (Alex Montoya) - the latter two died during the attempt to march out
  • the hopeful plans to rebuild a sleeker, single-engine version of the plane (dubbed "The Phoenix") by German Heinrich Dorfmann (Hardy Kruger), an aeronautical technical engineer who claimed he was an airplane designer
  • the dreamy experience of an hallucinatory mirage - seductive and exotic Berber dancer Farida (Barrie Chase) who materialized out of the desert sands
  • and later, the film's subtle plot twist -- the devastating revelation to Moran and Towns that Dorfmann only had experience in building model or toy planes ("The biggest I've personally designed is the Jaeger 250"); he was directly confronted by Moran: ("How much designing have you done on the real thing?") - and he answered bluntly: "Oh, no, no, no. You misunderstand. We make nothing but model aeroplanes" - although he then assured them: "Full-size, no. But then, of course, the principles are the same"; they hadn't been lied to or deceived, but had exaggerated in their own minds his earlier claims: Moran: "He didn't keep anything from us. He really doesn't think there's any difference"; shortly later, Moran laughed hysterically and despairingly after realizing the dire implications of Dorfmann's words
The Nerve-Wracking Starter Sequence
  • the nerve-wracking climax - when Towns attempted to start the plane with only seven starter cartridges remaining - with each one failing until one succeeded, and their triumphant flight out of the desert by lying on the wings

Floating Clouds (1955, Jp.) (aka Ukigumo)

In director Mikio Naruse's romantic yet tragic and depressing social melodrama (amour fou), told in flashbacks, and set in the years following WWII:

  • the main character: Yukiko Koda (Hideko Takamine), a young and timid Japanese typist-secretary who had just been repatriated and returned from French Indochina to be resettled in a devastated and defeated Tokyo, Japan
  • her visit to the Tokyo home of womanizing, opportunistic forester and agricultural surveyor Kengo Tomioka (Masayuki Mori), married to an aging, sickly wife Kuniko (Chieko Nakakita), where she hoped he would fulfill his promise to divorce Kuniko and marry her
  • the flashbacks to their love affair in Japanese-occupied Da Lat (French Indochina) during WWII, and her continued obsessive search, blind devotion and hopeless unrequited love for him in subsequent years
  • Yukiko's life of struggle to survive (symbolic of Japan's own post-war challenges) - including rape from her despicable brother-in-law Sugio Iba (Isao Yamagata), prostitution as a "hostess" in Tokyo's red-light district, an affair with an American GI (Roy James) and with a rich man, and continued rejection from the promiscuous, fickle and half-hearted Tomioka
  • the many scenes of their emotionally detached and aimless walks or wanderings (as if floating), as they discussed their concerns as a co-dependent couple
  • the scene of gravely-ill Yukiko's ultimate death on the rugged and rainy southern island of Yakushima when there was finally some hope (but dashed) that Tomioka might find love with her - and his tearful denouement over Yukiko’s lifeless body

(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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