Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



F (continued)

The Fly (1958)

In director Kurt Neumann's original and chilling film:

  • the opening shocking scene of a factory's night watchman finding that Helene Delambre (Patricia Owens) has just crushed her scientist husband Andre's (David Hedison) head and arm in a giant metal hydraulic press
  • the rest of the story - in flashback - told how the husband was anatomically combined with a fly by his matter-transporting device - with the horrifying revelation when Helene screams when she first sees one of the fly's claws replacing one of his arms
  • the shocking view of his entire monstrous, twitching fly head revealed from under a draped black cloth (the kaleidoscopic point of view of her screaming was shot through the Fly's POV eye)
  • the climactic ending plea of the second entrapped fly (with a human head and fly body) in a spider's web crying: "Help me, please, help me!" to Andre's brother François Delambre (Vincent Price) - and the fly's merciful killing by being smashed with a rock by Inspector Charas (Herbert Marshall)

The Fly (1986)

In the superior and scary remake by master of horror David Cronenberg:

  • the gruesome scene when a baboon is teleported inside out during an experiment gone awry
  • shy scientist Seth Brundle's (Jeff Goldblum) first realization that he has become fused with a fly - the computer types out: "FUSION OF BRUNDLE AND FLY AT MOLECULAR-GENETIC LEVEL" - and adoption of his new name "Brundlefly"
  • his displays of superhuman strength after a teleport session - breaking a competitor's arm during an arm-wrestling match - and then climbing up and down walls, etc.
  • a degenerating Seth's ear falling off in front of his girlfriend/lover/science reporter Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis), as he clutched her in fear and whispered: "I'm scared. Help me. Please"
  • Seth's videotaped explanation of vomiting during preparations for his breakfast
  • the scene in which Veronica experiences a nightmare of aborting a maggot
  • the scene in front of his bathroom mirror when slowly-degenerating and mutating Seth stores "relics" of his human body in the cabinet ("the Brundle Museum of Natural History")
  • his warning to Veronica in his 'insect politics' speech to leave and never come back because he might hurt her: "Have you ever heard of insect politics? Neither have I. Insects don't have politics. They're very brutal..."
  • the scene of Seth's attack on Stathis Borans (John Getz) - using acidic digestive vomit to disintegrate his left hand and right foot
  • the final scene of the disfigured Brundlefly, after a failed transport and fusion with metal parts, wordlessly begging Veronica to kill his monstrous self with a shotgun - and her dropping to her knees after the deed was accomplished

Flying Down to Rio (1933)

In director Thornton Freeland's extravagant RKO musical:

  • the star-making dance "The Carioca" by Fred Ayres and Honey Hale (supporting players Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers)
  • the memorable scene of sexy chorus girls dancing to the title song, while on airborne airplane wings

Footlight Parade (1933)

In director Lloyd Bacon's and Warner Bros' musical:

  • the famous Busby Berkeley numbers, including Sittin' on a Backyard Fence featuring chorines dressed in cat-suits, and the three fantastic extravaganza finales back-to-back at the conclusion:

    - the film's Honeymoon Hotel sequence featured married (?) couples (all named Smith) preparing for the evening, along with hapless honeymooners Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler who had to put up with a lecherous baby (midget Billy Barty) who almost shared their wedding night - a segment that was heavily edited by censors

    - the 15-minute naughty pre-Code By a Waterfall featuring an elaborate aquacade of 100 bathing-suited girls/chorines (clothed to appear naked) performing amazingly intricate dances and artistic patterns in the water while shot kaleidoscopically from overhead - and then forming a revolving 70 foot high human wedding cake/fountain formation at the climax

    - the exotic Shanghai Lil (providing commentary on Paramount's Shanghai Lily character (Marlene Dietrich in Shanghai Express (1932) from the year before) in a backstreet opium den and brothel on the waterfront of Shanghai (with Ruby Keeler in Oriental makeup and James Cagney as a tap-dancing sailor looking for his lost love), before the closing shots of an imperialistic US Navy drill team, the Stars and Stripes flag, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the NRA's Blue Eagle

Forbidden Planet (1956)

In director Fred Wilcox' classic science-fiction space adventure - the first science-fiction film in color and CinemaScope - and an adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest:

  • the first appearance of friendly servant Robby the Robot (voice by Marvin Miller) (who influenced future sci-fi works such as Star Trek and Star Wars)
  • the scene of the night attack of the ID monster on the flying saucer spaceship
  • Dr. Morbius' (Walter Pidgeon as Prospero) face-to-face encounter with his own projected sub-conscious
  • his incestuous feelings for his lovely 18 year-old daughter Altaira (Anne Francis) (who innocently asks: "What's a bathing suit?")

Force of Evil (1948)

In Abraham Polonsky's film noir crime drama:

  • young, successful, and on-the-make Wall Street lawyer Joe Morse's (John Garfield) opening voice-over (during a high-angle camera view of towering skyscrapers surrounding St. Andrew's Church near Wall Street): "This is Wall Street and today was important because tomorrow, July Fourth, I intended to make my first million dollars, an exciting day in any man's life. Temporarily, the enterprise was slightly illegal. You see I was the lawyer for the numbers racket"
  • the long takes of Joe's discussion in the back seat of a taxi with secretary-bookkeeper Doris Lowry (Beatrice Pearson)
  • Joe's walk in a deserted Wall Street and his realization that he was indebted to the syndicated mob for life
  • his descent of a great stone staircase ("I just kept going down and down there. It was like going down to the bottom of the world to find my brother") from Riverside Drive to find his estranged, older dead brother Leo's (Thomas Gomez) bullet-ridden body that has been dumped on the rocks by the Hudson River lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge

Foreign Correspondent (1940)

In Alfred Hitchcock's political thriller:

  • the assassination scene when a statesman is shot in the face as he mounts the stairs in the rain by a photographer with a gun
  • the image of a sea of bobbing black umbrellas revealing the escape route of the assassin
  • the windmill set (including the sounds of the wind in the sails and the wooden gears) and the mystery of the blades turning the wrong direction
  • the tense scene atop Westminster Cathedral's bell tower as Rowley (Edmund Gwenn) cajoles Johnny Jones/Huntley Haverstock (Joel McCrea) and readies to push him off
  • the spectacularly convincing trans-atlantic plane crash disaster from the cockpit's point of view
  • the sequence of survivors clinging to the plane's crowded wing and the villain Stephen Fisher's (Herbert Marshall) attempts to heroically rescue others in the turbulent waters
  • the final, provocative radio appeal to America to end its neutrality ("It's as if the lights were all out everywhere, except in America")

Forrest Gump (1994)

In Robert Zemeckis' Best Picture-winning tearjerker comedy:

  • big-hearted dullard Forrest Gump's (Oscar-winning Tom Hanks) flashbacks while sitting on a bench
  • his recollected uplifting moments including when young, innocent and crippled Forrest Gump (Michael Conner Humphreys) quickly runs away (with young Jenny yelling: "Run, Forrest, Run"!) -- twice -- from mean schoolmates when his leg braces fall off - and when he streaks ahead into a football game as a running star
  • his simple-minded statement to a listener at a bus stop bench: ("My mama always said, life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get")
  • Forrest's transforming progression through the decades (as a war hero, shrimp tycoon, and father)
  • Bubba Blue's short speech about all the ways that shrimp ("the fruit of the sea") can be prepared
  • the computerized special-effects and imaging that put intellectually-challenged Forrest Gump into comedic situations with historical events (i.e., Gov. Wallace's stand-off in Little Rock, and his assassination attempt) and with Presidents and other celebrities (JFK - with his plea: "I gotta pee", LBJ, Nixon, Elvis Presley, John Lennon)
  • his reunion scene with true love Jenny Curran (Robin Wright) in Washington DC's reflecting pool
  • Forrest's ping-pong prowess
  • the scene of his first meeting young Forrest, Jr. (Haley Joel Osment) and being told that he was the father of Jenny's very normal child: ("You're his daddy, Forrest") and her reassurances: ("You didn't do anything wrong") followed by his reply: ("He's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen") - and the scene of them happily watching Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie on TV together
  • Forrest's moving eulogy-meditation for his newly-wed bride Jenny at her gravesite under a tree after she died of the AIDS virus: ("Mama always said dyin' was a part of life" and "... I miss you, Jenny. If there's anything you need, I won't be far away")
  • the floating feather uplifted into the sky at the conclusion

Forty Guns (1957)

In maverick director Sam Fuller's unusually weird b/w widescreen B-western with Freudian overtones:

  • the character of ruthless, whip-wielding Arizona rancher Jessica Drummond (Barbara Stanwyck) with black skin-tight outfits, and usually accompanied by an armed posse of '40 guns' riding after her or joining her at an elongated dinner table
  • the film's love theme: "High Ridin' Woman With a Whip"
  • the film's innuendo-laden sexual dialogue such as: "She’s quite a girl. I’d like to stay around long enough to clean her rifle"
  • the scene of tough ex-marshal Griff Bonnell (Barry Sullivan) stroking his gun in front of Jessica and his smirking warning when she asks to touch it: "Be careful - that thing may go off in your face" - and her reply: "I'll take a chance"
  • the tornado scene with Jessica dragged behind her horse
  • the scenes of Bonnell's brother Wes (Gene Barry) in a passionate relationship with the gunsmith's busty blond daughter Louvenia Spanger (Eve Brent) whom he romantically stares at down the bore of his rifle's gunsight
  • the finale in which Jessica is held captive hostage by her crazy brother Brock (John Ericson) and is fired upon by Bonnell and wounded - and his cold assessment: "Get a doctor. She’ll live"

42nd Street (1933)

In Lloyd Bacon's classic backstage musical with crisp dialogue and performances:

  • the first of Busby Berkeley's films with chorus girls as kaleidoscopic patterns in the movie musical that invented all the cliches
  • the most notable scene in which the show's director Julian Marsh (Warner Baxter) coaxed understudy chorus girl Peggy Sawyer (Ruby Keeler) onto the stage from the wings on the opening night to replace the show's star Dorothy Brock (Bebe Daniels) -- with the famous words: "And Sawyer, you're going out a youngster, but you've got to come back a star"
  • the film's three production numbers in the finale:
    - "Shuffle Off to Broadway" in which the observation deck on the caboose of the newlyweds' train opens up into the interior of the train,
    - "I'm Young and Healthy" with circles and lines of endlessly-reproduced chorus girls
    - the "42nd Street" production number in which Peggy and Billy Lawler (Dick Powell) peek over the top of the skyscraper and Peggy's performance of a clumsy and heavy-footed tap-dance

For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943)

In director Sam Wood's romantic war drama:

  • the famous scene in a sleeping bag under the stars between American mercenary Robert Jordan (Gary Cooper) fighting on the side of the Republicans in Spain and blue-eyed, short-haired Maria (Ingrid Bergman) with their subsequent kissing scene ("I'd like - I don't know how to kiss, or I would kiss you. Where do the noses go?")
  • the conclusion with ill-fated hero Jordan's final soliloquy to Maria when he chooses to be left behind to meet his certain death ("You go now, Maria...what I do now I do alone. I couldn't do it if you were here...There's no good-bye, Maria, because we're not apart")
  • the smoky machine-gun fire and a bell tolling his fate in the dissolve ending

The Fountain (2006)

In Darren Aronofsky's profoundly meditative and metaphysical, 3-pronged (past, present, and future) sci-fi drama about immortality:

  • the early scene of the couple: Izzy Creo (Rachel Weisz, the director's real-life wife) and husband Tom (Hugh Jackman) viewing the stars on a snowy rooftop ("it's actually a nebula wrapped around a dying star. That's what makes it look gold...The Mayans called it was their underworld...a place that dead souls go to be reborn")
  • the hospital scene in which cancer-suffering and dying patient Izzy told her cancer-drug developer/researcher husband (who somewhat ignored her in search for a cure) that she wanted him to finish the last and ninth chapter of her writings titled "The Fountain" about the search for eternal life in New Spain by conquistadors
  • Tomas as a Spanish explorer (also Hugh Jackman) was sent by his 16th century Queen Isabel (also Rachel Weisz) - she had accepted her impending death: "Death was (the)...road to awe" and "I'm not afraid anymore, Tommy"
  • the masterful way in which all of the parallel stories came together - the deliverance of Spain from bondage, acceptance of the thought: "Together we will live forever," and the space journey of balding 26th century immortal cosmonaut (also Jackman) with the Tree of Life, in a bubble enroute in the lotus position to the nebula they saw in the sky (the Mayans believed the dying star was actually the origin of life) after finding the gateway to life

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)

In director Rex Ingram's war drama:

  • Argentinian Julio's (Rudolph Valentino) sexy (but forbidden) tango dance scene in a smoke-filled Argentinian cantina

The Four Feathers (1939)

In director Zoltan Korda's classic adventure epic:

  • the magnificent panoramic battle scenes - especially the attack of the Fuzzy Wuzzies against the British lines

The 400 Blows (1959, Fr.) (aka Les Quatre Cents Coups)

In critic-turned-director Francois Truffaut's innovative New Wave film (his feature film debut):

  • the definitive and original, but ambiguous freeze-frame ending - the conclusion of a lengthy sequence in which young boy Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud) escapes from a reformatory and runs along the streets and onto an empty beach at Normandy, stops, turns, and looks tellingly at the camera - and then is unexpectedly frozen in time - trapped or caught between the land and sea and between his past and future (as "Fin" appears on-screen)

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

In Mike Newell's surprise hit:

  • the opening scene, with many F-words, of bachelor Charles (Hugh Grant) and Scarlett (Charlotte Coleman) waking up and realizing that they are late to a wedding
  • the scene of Charles seated at a wedding table with many of his ex-girlfriends - squirming and cringing while listening to their recollections
  • the scene of an inept, fumbling, malaprop-spouting vicar (Rowan Atkinson) reciting the vows for the "awful-wedded" marital couple in the second of the film's four weddings
  • the scene of Charles discussing his deficient sexual history with charming American girl Carrie (Andie MacDowell) who hilariously recounts her experiences with 33 sexual partners ("...So there you go, less than Madonna, more than Princess Di - I hope")
  • the stuttering 'romantic' declaration of love of timid, upper-class Charles for Carrie after she has bought a wedding dress: ("Uhm, look. Sorry, sorry. Uh, I just, uhm, well, this is a really stupid question and, uhm, particularly in view of our recent shopping excursion, but, uh, I just wondered, if by any chance, uhm, ah, I mean obviously not because I guess I've only slept with nine people, but-but I-I just wondered...uhh. I really feel, short, to recap in a slightly clearer version, uh, in the words of David Cassidy in fact, uhm, while he was still with the Partridge Family, uh, 'I think I love you,' and uh, I-I, uh, just wondered by any chance, you wouldn't like to... Umm...Uh...Uh...No, no, no of course not...Uhm, I'm an idiot, ha, he's not... Excellent, excellent, fantastic...lovely to see you, sorry to disturb...Better get on...Well, I thought it over a lot, you know, I wanted to get it just right")
  • the film's highlight - Matthew's (John Hannah) poignant reading of W. H. Auden's Funeral Blues at the moving funeral of "splendid bugger" Gareth (Simon Callow): "Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, Silence the pianos and with muffled drum, Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come..."
  • the final scene of Charles, after an aborted 'fourth' wedding ceremony that he had called off, finally declaring his utter and true love for Carrie in the rain (Carrie: "Is it still raining? I hadn't noticed") and awkwardly not asking for her hand in marriage - with Carrie's response: "I do," accompanied by a kiss and a lightning bolt in the sky

(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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