Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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

An American In Paris (1951)

In Vincente Minnelli's Best Picture-winning musical:

  • American expatriate and ex-GI Jerry Mulligan's (Gene Kelly) song/dance to neighborhood street children to "I Got Rhythm"
  • Jerry's romantic song/dance with pretty perfume-shop clerk Lise Bouvier (Leslie Caron) on the quay next to the bank of the Seine River to "Love is Here to Stay"
  • Henri Baurel's (Georges Guetary) Folies Bergere-like rendition of "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise"
  • Adam Cook's (Oscar Levant) dream sequence in which he conducted and performed Gershwin's "Piano Concerto in F" as members of the orchestra
  • the closing 17-minute ballet of Jerry and Lise dancing before lavish, colorful backdrops, fountains and impressionistic settings based on the works of famous French artists

American Pie (1999)

In Paul Weitz' teen sex farce:

  • the scene of horny Jim Levinstein's (Jason Biggs) experimentation with the feel of warm, freshly-baked apple pie and being discovered pumping the pastry on the kitchen island by his stunned but well-meaning dad (Eugene Levy)
  • their solution to cover up the damage: "Well....we'll just tell your mother that uh, that uh, we ate it all"
  • Jim's online voyeuristic experience (and encounter) with foreign Czech exchange student Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth), who was using his bedroom, while he spied on her undressing and masturbating through a hidden video-camera at his friend's home, where Paul Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) commented: "God bless the Internet"

An American Werewolf in London (1981, US/UK)

In writer/director John Landis' hip horror/black comedy film:

  • the warning by the locals in a British pub to two American student backpackers David Kessler (David Naughton) and Jack Goodman (Griffin Dunne) to "stay off the moors!"
  • the werewolf attack leaving Jack dead and David infected with lycanthropy
  • the disorienting 'dream within a dream' sequence in which wounded and hospitalized backpacker David had dreams of an attack by machine-gun-toting Nazi werewolves who killed his family and burned his house - and a second dream within the hospital in which a knife-wielding Nazi werewolf stabbed a nurse in the heart - and then David woke up again
  • the darkly comic haunting of David by the decomposing apparition of his friend Jack, warning him of his impending curse; at one point undead Jack complained about how his girlfriend reacted to his death: ("Debbie Klein cried a lot. So, so, you know what she does? She's soooo grief-stricken, she runs to find solace in Mark Levine's asshole! Life mocks me even in death!")
  • the horrific transformation scene (an Academy Award-winner for Best Makeup) of David turning into a werewolf
  • the chilling stalking scene of one victim in the British Underground subway (with the werewolf's POV) who was finally caught and devoured on an ascending escalator by David
  • the steamy shower and love scene between David and his nurse Alex Price (Jenny Agutter)
  • the scene in which all of David's victims' similarly-decomposing ghosts confronted him in a porno theater - furious at David for killing them and turning them into werewolves
  • the finale killing spree - including a car-wreck climax in Piccadilly Circus with David's nude corpse after being shot by police

Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

In director Otto Preminger's daring courtroom drama:

  • the melodramatic, sensationalist courtroom scenes between crafty small-town lawyer Paul Biegler (James Stewart) and flamboyant prosecuting attorney Claude Dancer (George C. Scott)
  • the daring details, testimony, and evidence regarding contraceptives, rape charges, and "panties"
  • real-life lawyer Joseph Welch's (famous for asking in the Army-McCarthy hearings - "Have you no decency at last, sir?") role as slyly-witty Judge Weaver as he held up pink panties that were entered as evidence

Anchors Aweigh (1945)

In director George Sidney's romantic musical:

  • the magical and extremely effective live-action dance scene between Joseph Brady (Gene Kelly) and Jerry - the animated mouse of the "Tom and Jerry" cartoons

...And God Created Woman (1956, Fr.) (aka Et Dieu Créa la Femme)

In director Roger Vadim's erotic drama:

  • a star-making vehicle for international sex symbol and 'sex kitten' Brigitte Bardot (as an 18 year old free-spirited orphan named Juliette, the wife of the director at the time)
  • the opening view of the naked and tanned starlet silhouetted against hanging white bedsheet/laundry while lying down sunbathing
  • also the erotic scene of a desperate Juliette madly dancing the mambo barefooted with an open skirt

...And Justice for All (1979)

In director Norman Jewison's powerful courtroom drama:

  • the final memorable, tumultuous sequence in the court room as Baltimore criminal defense attorney Arthur Kirkland (Al Pacino) lost control while defending a guilty client on a rape charge, crying: "You're out of order! He's out of order! This whole trial is out of order!" as he was dragged from the courtroom

Andrei Rublev (1966, Soviet Union) (aka Andrei Rublyov, or The Passion According to Andrew)

In Andrei Tarkovsky's dramatization of the life of the great icon painter (Anatoli Solonitsyn) through a turbulent period of 15th Century Russian history, presented in eight acts:

  • in the eighth episode, the sequence of the expensive and lengthy creation, casting, and hoisting (installation) of a great bronze bell into a tower by the deceased bellmaker's son Boriska (Nikolai Burlyayev), in time for an inauguration ceremony for the Grand Prince and his entourage when the bell was to be blessed by the priests - and the tension created, because if the bell's swinging clapper failed to ring, the entire work crew and Boriska would be beheaded
  • the moment of relief when the bell's sound came forth

Angel Heart (1987)

In Alan Parker's supernatural film noir:

  • the opening sequence in which a dog found a bloody corpse in an alley
  • Brooklyn private detective Harry Angel's (Mickey Rourke) encounters with mysterious satanic client Louis Cyphre (Robert De Niro) in a masterfully-acted devilish role, including the diner scene in which Cyphre remarked: "Some religions believe the egg is a symbol for the soul" -- before meaningfully biting into a hard-boiled egg
  • the many brutal murders that Harry discovered, including Dr. Fowler (Michael Higgins) - who was shot through the eye (with brain splatter) and Margaret Krusemark (Charlotte Rampling) who had her heart cut out
  • the scene of illegitimate, half-Creole, teenaged voodoo practitioner Epiphany Proudfoot (Lisa Bonet in her film debut, who child-starred as Denise Huxtable in the family TV show The Cosby Show) - witnessed participating in a voodoo ritual in which she was scantily-clad as she slit a chicken's throat and let the blood drip down her face, neck and breasts
  • the notorious, originally NC-17 rated sex scene (trimmed for an R-rating) between Harry and Epiphany as rain leaked through the hotel roof and was transformed into dripping chicken blood during a rainstorm, while they listened to the radio playing the sultry tune "Soul on Fire" by Laverne Baker
  • the twist ending in which missing piano player/singer Johnny Favourite's (aka Johnny Liebling) identity was revealed (Angel was Johnny Favourite himself after kidnapping and taking the place/identity of the original Harry Angel through a satanic ritual)
  • the post-credits exchange on a black screen ("Harry?" "Johnny?") - and an elevator descending into Hell

Angels With Dirty Faces (1938)

In director Michael Curtiz' crime melodrama:

  • James Cagney's memorable tough guy characterization as "Rocky" Sullivan - with characteristic mannerisms including jerking/twisting of the neck, shoulder-lifting, swaggering, snarling pugnacity, and lower-lip biting revealing a row of upper teeth
  • Rocky's (James Cagney) execution scene in which he became "yellow" on his last walk on the way to the electric chair (accompanied by an incredible Max Steiner score)
  • Rocky's boyhood friend priest Jerry Connelly (Pat O'Brien) telling the neighborhood boys: "Let's go and say a prayer for a boy who couldn't run as fast as I could"

Animal Crackers (1930)

In this early Marx Brothers film:

  • the many slapstick scenes and verbal gags with Captain Spaulding (Groucho Marx) - Groucho's most celebrated character - leading the rousing "Hooray for Captain Spaulding!" (Groucho's familiar theme song)
  • the leg-holding scene
  • the unbelievable boxing/wrestling match between the Professor (Harpo Marx) and Mrs. Rittenhouse (Margaret Dumont)
  • the lunatic bridge game
  • Spaulding's greatest monologue about his African exploits
  • the business letter dictation scene
  • the verbal nonsensical duels of wits between Spaulding and Ravelli (Chico Marx)
  • the Professor's famous silverware-dropping routine

Anna Christie (1930)

In director Clarence Brown's early talkie:

  • the scene in a waterfront bar with silent film star Greta Garbo, as title role character Anna Christie, speaking in a film for the first time -- her talking picture debut - with the immortal line: "Gimme a whiskey, ginger ale on the side. And don't be stingy, baby!"

Annie Hall (1977)

In director/actor Woody Allen's prized semi-autobiographical, Best Picture-winning comedy:

  • the scene in the line at the movie theatre when real-life Marshall McLuhan (Himself) was pulled out from behind a lobby standee to 'tell off' a pseudo-intellectual blowhard-critic (Russell Horton) who was pontificating about director Fellini and Samuel Beckett - followed by Alvy's (Woody Allen) rebuttal to the camera: ("Boy, if life were only like this")
  • the contrasting titles of Marcel Ophul's grim documentary The Sorrow and the Pity
  • the realistic scenes of the developing relationship between Annie (Diane Keaton) and Alvy including their kitchen scene preparing lobsters and their first insecure meeting at a tennis club
  • the subtitles scene (during two simultaneous dialogues) on Annie's apartment balcony revealing their real feelings/thoughts behind their nervous and fumbling chit-chatty words of flirtation
  • Alvy's struggle against a spider "the size of a Buick"
  • the sight gag of Alvy snorting coke - and sneezing, and blowing about $2,000/ounce worth of cocaine into the room!
  • fantasy elements (including Annie and Alvy as cartoon characters, Alvy talking directly to the audience or to his younger self and Jewish relatives, and the split-screen family dinner scene)
  • the scenes of Alvy meeting Annie's family including her suicidal brother Duane (Christopher Walken) and Grammy Hall (Helen Ludlam)
  • the many jokes emphasizing the difference between New York and LA
  • Alvy's questioning of strangers on the street to find the secrets to their happiness for sexual and romantic compatibility
  • the flashbacked philosophical ending and chicken joke

The Apartment (1960)

In Billy Wilder's Best Picture-winning film about unethical corporate America:

  • the opening voice-over narration ending with the shot of the interior of the Manhattan insurance company office filled with chattering employees and the dissolve showing lowly worker Bud Baxter (Jack Lemmon) staying on late by himself at his desk on the 19th floor, until his own apartment was vacated - after being used by higher-ups for their affairs: ("You see, I've had this little problem with my apartment...I can't always get in when I want to")
  • the growing relationship between Bud and elevator girl Miss Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine) while Baxter (getting sick in the cold) allowed higher-ups to use his apartment for after-hours affairs
  • the kitchen scene of Bud straining spaghetti through a tennis racket: ("You should see my backhand") preparing dinner for Miss Kubelik after her suicide attempt
  • the curtain-closing scene during a card game when Bud professed his love ("I absolutely adore you") and Fran responded by handing him a pack of cards and bluntly speaking the film's last line: "Shut up and deal!"

Apocalypse Now (1979)

In director Francis Ford Coppola's hallucinatory and apocalyptic Vietnam War epic:

  • the opening credits sequence with the thumping sound of the choppers - and the billowing napalm flames coinciding with the music of The Doors, while drunken Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) was in his Saigon hotel room with spinning ceiling fan (and his opening line: "Saigon. Shit. I'm still only in Saigon")
  • the compelling depiction of the horrors of war in the symbolic and surrealistic Navy patrol boat journey taking Captain Willard on an assassination mission
  • Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore's (Robert Duvall) choreographed Air Cavalry and its visual/audio swarming and swooping helicopter dawn attack on a coastal Vietnamese village with Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries blaring over loudspeakers
  • surf-loving, flamboyant and gung-ho fearless Lieutenant Kilgore's famous speech amidst blowing yellow smoke: "I love the smell of napalm in the morning...smelled like...victory," (and "Charlie don't surf")
  • the arrival at an isolated US base supply depot at Hau Phat in a surreal nighttime scene brilliantly lit by floodlights
  • the Playboy Bunnies USO-style show for sex-starved soldiers
  • the scene in which the panicky crew senselessly massacred all the innocent Vietnamese peasants in a sampan with machine-gun fire
  • the bizarre night battle for the besieged, psychedically-lit, temporary Do Lung bridge
  • their arrival at the mad renegade Colonel Kurtz's (Marlon Brando) compound surrounded by mutilated bodies, dead enemies hanging on trees, and heads on poles
  • the dark, shadowy confrontation between Willard and an incoherently-mumbling and deranged Kurtz (weighing hundreds of pounds with head shaven) with his words about the 'horrors' he had experienced: "I've seen the horrors, horrors that you've seen. But you have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me - you have a right to do that - but you have no right to judge me"
  • the emergence of Willard from the jungle water, and the concluding execution of Kurtz ("the Horror, the Horror!") interspersed with the ritualistic killing of a water buffalo/caribou (outraging animal activists)

(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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