Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions
Screenshots

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' humorous teen sex farce and gross-out teen comedy (with the slogan: "You never forget your first slice!") - the film's title was derived from the question: "What exactly does third base feel like?" and the answer: "Like warm apple pie":

  • the opening scene of horny high-school teen Jim Levinstein (Jason Biggs) masturbating himself with a long athletic tube sock while watching scrambled porn on pay-TV, but was caught by both of his parents, who were shocked by the dialogue they were hearing from the TV: "Baby! Ride me like a pony!" and "Oh, spank my hairy ass!"
  • the scene of Jim's experimentation with the feel of warm, freshly-baked apple pie and being discovered pumping the pastry on the kitchen island by his stunned dad (Eugene Levy) - and his embarrassing excuse: ("It's not what it looks like"); their solution to cover up the damage: "Well....we'll just tell your mother that uh, that uh, we ate it all"
  • the scene of Jim's awkward sex-education session with his well-meaning father, who offered a selection of dirty magazines and instructed him to go to the center section: "Well, you see the detail that, uh, that they go into in this picture here.... It almost looks like a tropical plant or something, underwater - thing"; his father also asked: "Do you know what a clitoris is?"; slightly later was another frank session about masturbation: "Jim, I want to talk about masturbation. Now, I just want you to know that it's - it's a perfectly normal, uh, thing. And I have to admit, uh, you know. I, uh, did a fair bit of masturbating when I was a little younger. I, uh, I used to call it 'stroking the salami'. Yeah, you know, 'pounding the ol' pud.' I never did it with baked goods, uh, but you know your Uncle Mort? He pets 'the one-eyed snake' five, six times a day. See, it's like, uh, practice for the big game. You see? And it's like, it's like, uh, banging a tennis ball against a brick wall, which can be fun. It can be fun, but it's not a game...What you want is, you want a partner to return the ball"
  • 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"; a web-cam was broadcasting everything to the entire school, and although she was prepared to have sex with Jim, he prematurely ejaculated twice and became completely humiliated
  • the scene of Vicky Lathum (Tara Reid) being given oral sex in her bedroom by her boyfriend Kevin Myers (Thomas Ian Nicholas), as she loudly yelled out: "I'm coming!" while her clueless father stood outside her door, shrugged his shoulders, and then continued downstairs
  • Jim's discussion with openly-sexual band camp geek and prom date Michelle Flaherty (Alyson Hannigan) who admitted: "This one time, at band camp, I stuck a flute in my pussy...What ? You don't think I know how to get myself off? Hell, that's what half of band camp is -- Sex Ed. So are we gonna screw soon, 'cause I'm gettin' kinda antsy"; during sex, she coerced him into wearing two condoms to desensitize him: "I don't want you coming so damn early this time...Come on. I saw you on the 'Net. Why do you think I accepted this date? You're a sure thing"
  • the shocking, squirm-inducing bedroom scene of Stifler (Seann William Scott) chugging down a brew (mixed with sperm deposited there by Kevin), and then shortly later, embarrassingly vomiting up the entire contents of his stomach onto a female conquest (off-screen) - causing her to scream and flee down the stairs with stained clothes
  • the seduction scene between Paul Finch and Stifler's mother Jeanine (Jennifer Coolidge), to the tune of The Graduate's theme song - Mrs. Robinson - Finch: "So, uh, would you object if I said that you were quite striking?" Jeanine: "Mr. Finch, are you trying to seduce me?" Finch: "Yes, ma'am, I am." (She dragged him over to the basement pool table for sex)












An American Romance (1944)

In King Vidor's Technicolored, flag-waving drama (his last film for MGM) about an American success story (the Horatio Alger myth), and the increase in US industrialization and production during the war years:

  • the main character: ambitious, hard-working Eastern European (Slavic) immigrant Stefan "Steven" Dubechek/Dangos (Brian Donlevy) who came to the US just before 1900, and on-foot from Ellis Island, set out for Minnesota with only $5, where he found employment in an underground iron mine in the Mesabi range
  • the early scenes in which the illiterate Steven learned how to read from his school teacher Anna O'Rourke (Ann Richards) - his future wife; he was also curious about the process of refining ore into steel (and later became the foreman of a Pittsburgh steel mill), the mechanical operation of a steam shovel, and the steps involved in assembling an automobile (Steven later co-founded a car manufacturing company in Detroit with his friend Howard Clinton (Walter Abel) and became an American 'captain of industry')
  • the exciting rescue sequence when Steven almost lost his life when dangling above bubbling molten steel
  • several historical-documentary sequences depicting the manufacture of steel, cars and planes (some using the assembly-line process), including the concluding aircraft-making sequence in San Diego (after the attack on Pearl Harbor), exhibiting the mass production of Air Force Flying Fortress war planes for the government
  • 'The End' title card of planes flying in formation (photographed from below)



An American Tragedy (1931)

In director Josef von Sternberg's romantic drama, adapted from Theodore Dreiser's 1925 novel of the same name (based on the real-life murder of 20-year-old Grace Brown by Chester Gillette in upstate New York in 1906) - with tragic consequences (later remade as A Place in the Sun (1951)):

  • the son of street evangelists, socially-ambitious yet poor Clyde Griffiths (Phillips Holmes) moved to upper state New York to accept a lowly shirt factory worker job arranged through his wealthy uncle Samuel Griffiths (Frederick Burton); he became smitten with the family's beautiful debutante-socialite Sondra Finchley (Frances Dee), while also illegally dating his plain-looking, hard-working co-worker Roberta "Bert" Alden (Sylvia Sidney)
  • the dilemma: "Bert's" pregnancy, somewhat solved when during a vacation trip to the Adirondacks with her as they took a rowboat ride, he acted strangely but then vowed to her that he had decided to marry her for honor's sake: "It's nothing now. I'm alright. Just leave me alone. I brought you up here to drown you, but I'm not going to do it now. Just stay where you are. Nothing'll happen to you. I'll marry you. I'll go through with it. Just leave me alone....Stay where you are. Don't come near me!"; confused by his statements, she got up in the boat to comfort him, lost her balance, the boat overturned, and she accidentally drowned when he didn't swim back to rescue her
  • the scene of the idyllic lake party (attended by Clyde and Sondra) where many other debutante couples were drifting and gliding along in a number of slow-moving boats, while police authorities were closing in on their suspect Clyde; as the loving couple sat in a boat on the lake, they were startled by the ominous sounds of gunshots (first a single shot, then two more) coming from the woods where officers had assembled - it was one of the earliest and most effective uses of off-screen sound
  • the grueling courtroom sequences with much expository histrionics, including Clyde's cross-examination by District Attorney Orville Mason (Irving Pichel) and ultimately, his guilty verdict of first-degree murder with execution in the electric chair
  • Clyde's execution was prefaced by a jailhouse scene (through the cell bars) with his mother Mrs. Asa Griffiths (Lucille LaVerne), when Clyde admitted that he wasn't really "innocent" - he could have saved "Bert" but didn't because he wanted her dead: "Mother, come here, close. I'm gonna tell you something I couldn't tell the court. I didn't kill Roberta, but when she fell in the water, I could have saved her. Even when she went down for the last time, I could have saved her. But I didn't. I swam away, because in my heart, I wanted her to die...I wanted to tell the jury, Mother, but I couldn't. I-I was too ashamed. But that's just the same as killing her, isn't it? But I'm not a murderer, Mother"; his mother took the blame: "It's not your fault, Clyde. We never gave you the right start. We brought you up among ugly, evil surroundings, and while we were trying to save the souls of others, we were letting you go astray. We never taught you to be brave and fight sin like a man'; she urged him to face his just punishment bravely






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 bed...an asshole! Life mocks me even in death!")
  • the horrific transformation scene (an Academy Award-winner for Best Makeup for Rich Baker) of David turning into a fearful 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







Le Amiche (1955, It.) (aka The Girlfriends)

In Michelangelo Antonioni's existential, ensemble melodrama based upon Cesare Pavese's 1949 novella Among Women Only (aka Tra donne sole) - the director's fourth feature film (and his first great film), about women's issues and crises involving careers, fashion, love and emotional relationships and alliances among mostly idle-rich, bourgeoise females:

  • the main characters: five fairly prosperous, shallow, snobby, aimless, cruel and petulant women in Turin, Italy, seen through the eyes of a returning, strong-willed career female to her native hometown - Clelia (Eleonora Rossi Drago) - she had become a successful working woman after setting up and managing a fashion-clothing boutique salon in Rome, and was now in town to open another branch store - she checked into her hotel room and was drawing a bath for herself
  • the precipitating incident - the near-death suicide of troubled, sensitive and jilted Rosetta Savoni (Madeleine Fischer) in Clelia's hotel (in the next adjoining room) - she had taken an overdose of pills and was found unconscious lying on a bed (wearing an elegant gown) [Note: later, it was revealed that she was depressed over unrequited love from an unavailable male (Lorenzo), an artist who had painted her portrait.]
  • the other characters, all socialite friends of Rosetta, included:
    - Momina De Stefani (Yvonne Furneaux), worldly, flirtatious and cynical, estranged from her wealthy husband, and randomly and frivolously involved with many men, including Cesare (Franco Fabrizi), the stylish architect of Clelia's new salon
    - Nene (Valentina Cortese), a ceramics artist living with her recent husband - the frustrated, depressed, self-obsessed and unsuccessful second-rate painter Lorenzo (Gabriele Ferzetti)
    - Mariella (Anna Maria Pancani), a flighty, self-centered 'good-time' girl hedonist
  • the sequences involving Clelia's relationship with impoverished, lower-class Carlo (Ettore Manni), the assistant of the salon's architect, and realizing they were separated by class and taste differences
  • the brilliant sequence that featured masterful camerawork (medium view tracking shots) during a Sunday beach outing by the group of women (and some males) on a gray, cold and windy overcast day
  • in the denouement, Rosetta's more successful suicide death after being rejected by Lorenzo - revealed in an overhead shot of the city docks after Rosetta's body had been recovered, placed on a stretcher, and was about to be taken away in an ambulance
  • shortly later, the scene of Clelia angrily - in front of all the salon's clientele - accusing Momina of having irresponsibly encouraged and set up a liaison between Lorenzo and Rosetta - and ultimately becoming her murderer; assuming wrongly that she had been fired for her hysterical outburst, Clelia decided to return to Rome
  • the last sequence - Clelia left on the train (without meeting up with Carlo for a scheduled date at the train station's bar prior to departure) - Carlo watched her train depart from the platform without her noticing him








L'Amour fou (1969, Fr.) (aka Mad Love)

In director Jacques Rivette's tiring and challenging four hour-long romantic drama, a French New Wave film about the disintegrating relationship of a married couple during a stage production over a period of about two and a half weeks - partly reminiscent of Cassavettes' Faces (1968) and Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris (1972):

  • the opening (and closing) images: a white, bare and empty stage, where a modern but sparse version of a Greek tragedy, Racine's Andromaque was being rehearsed (the rehearsals were shot in grainy, hand-held 16mm with a documentary style, by TV director Andre Labarthe and cameraman Etienne Becker as Themselves), while the rest of the film was more formally 35 mm
  • the two protagonists in a harrowing, self-destructive pairing: actress Claire (Bulle Ogier) and her ineffectual Parisian director-husband Sebastien (Jean-Pierre Kalfon); Claire was originally cast as Hermione but soon quit (she protested the presence of the documentary movie crew filming the rehearsals for television) and remained at home during production (where boredom slowly morphed into insanity)
Apartment Destruction
  • the "mad love" of the frustrated Claire and psychotic Sebastien after a number of days; instances of their cycle of recurring craziness included:
    (1) the sequence of Sebastien cutting off his clothes with scissors as Claire watched
    (2) the growing paranoia of Claire about Sebastien's fidelity with her cast replacement (Sebastien's brunette ex-mistress Marta (Josée Destoop)), and while straddling him and watching him sleeping in bed, also threatening to pierce his sleeping eyeball with a needle
    (3) Sebastien's and Claire's dismanteling orgy rampage in their own apartment - including drawing onto their wallpaper and then ripping it off the wall, and using an axe to break into the neighbor's apartment to have sex on the couch








Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

In director Otto Preminger's daring courtroom drama about an explosive rape case:

  • the melodramatic, sensationalist courtroom scenes between crafty small-town, country-styled defense lawyer Paul "Polly" Biegler (James Stewart), interested only in jazz piano and fishing, and flamboyant, tough co-counsel - assistant prosecuting attorney Claude Dancer (George C. Scott); Biegler was defending hot-tempered Army officer Lt. Frederick Manion (Ben Gazzara) - who was accused of the murder of Barney Quill - the bartender and owner of Thunder Bay Inn; it was alleged that Quill had previously raped Manion's attractive wife Laura (Lee Remick)
  • the portrayal of the innocent, yet slightly trampy-acting Laura - who told Biegler when he asked what she was wearing the night of the attack: "In a sweater, like this, and a skirt...Underneath? I had on a slip and panties and a bra....I don't need a girdle. Do you think I need a girdle?..."; she then described Quill's rape-attack upon her in his car parked on a lane in the woods: "And then he grabbed me and he said, 'I'm gonna rape you.' Just like that... I fought him off as best I could, but he was terribly strong...He began to shout names at me like 'army slut' and some other names. And then, he drew back and hit me with his fist. He hit me again and I didn't fight anymore. I must've been only half-conscious, but I know that he tore my panties off and did what he wanted"
  • also shortly later, the lengthy open-car conversation between Laura and Biegler, when she admitted her husband was always jealous of her looks; she confessed: "He was jealous even before we were married. I should've known how it would be. It's funny, though. He likes to show me off. He likes me to dress the way I do, and then he gets furious if a man pays any attention to me. I've tried to leave him, but I can't. He begs, I give in"; Biegler received a definitive answer to his repeated, pointed question before the trial: "Does your husband have any reason to be jealous?"; she coyly answered: "No, not once, not ever"
  • during the case, the crafty Biegler was able to persuade Judge Weaver (real-life lawyer Joseph Welch (famous for asking in the Army-McCarthy hearings - "Have you no decency at last, sir?")) to rule in his favor, when in a monologue, he described how the shooting and killing of Quill was triggered by Manion's "temporary insanity": "Your Honor, how can the jury accurately estimate the testimony being given here unless they first know the reason behind this whole trial -- Why Lt. Manion shot Barney Quill? Now, the prosecution would like to separate the motive from the act. Well, that's, that's like trying to take the core from an apple without breaking the skin. Now, the core of our defense is that the defendant's temporary insanity was triggered by this so-called trouble with Quill. And I beg the court, I-I beg the court to let me cut into the apple" - after a few pregnant moments after he wound his watch, the Judge made a decision to allow the motive for the murder into the case: "Objection overruled"
  • during questioning, it was alleged that Quill beat and raped Laura - and afterwards, Manion - under an "irresistible impulse," had calmly walked to the tavern and committed the crime with five shots of a gun; on the stand, however, Dancer's strategy was to make 'veiled suggestions' to paint Laura as a trampy, provocative and seductive woman: "Had you ever gone to the Thunder Bay Inn or elsewhere in Thunder Bay, alone at night?...Did you ever go to meet another man?...You mean to say a lovely woman like yourself, attractive to men, lonely, restless, that you never..."
  • the trial's daring details, testimony, and evidence regarding contraceptives, rape charges, and the entering into evidence of the pink "lost panties" (allegedly torn off by Quill), later verified by inn manager Mary Pilant (Kathryn Grant); she claimed that she had found them in the laundry chute near Quill's room, and shockingly revealed that Quill was her father - and that she was his illegitimate daughter
  • in the conclusion of the case, Manion was found not guilty, and he unexpectedly left town with Laura (who was seen in tears) - with only a note for Biegler, explaining that he was seized by an "irresistible impulse" to leave









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 religious icon painter Andrei Rublev (Anatoli Solonitsyn), who took a "vow of silence" and lived through a turbulent period of 15th Century Russian history, presented in eight acts:

  • in the spectacular eighth episode finale, set in the Russian countryside, the sequence of the expensive and lengthy creation of a great bronze bell; the film watched over the digging of a pit, the choice of clay, the pouring of the molten metal, the casting, the removal of the bell from its mold, and the hoisting (installation) of a great bronze bell into a tower
  • the sequence observed by Andrei Rublev, and conducted by the deceased bellmaker's teenaged son Boriska (Nikolai Burlyayev), who allegedly had received the secrets of bell-casting from his master artisan bell-making father; they were under a deadline - to complete the work in time for an inauguration ceremony for the Grand Prince and his entourage when the bell was to be blessed by the priests
  • the tension of the sequence, because if the bell's swinging clapper failed to ring, the entire work crew and Boriska would be beheaded
  • the moment of Boriska's relief when the bell's sound came forth - his collapse into the mud of exhaustion and relief - and his shocking admission to Rublev that he had lied and bluffed about receiving bell-making secrets from his father; moved by the boy's creative all-consuming drive and faith to create the bell, Rublev broke his "vow of silence"
  • the film's conclusion reverted to Technicolor, exhibiting in a collage the beautiful icon paintings of Rublev




Angel Face (1953)

In Otto Preminger's dark noir of murder, a love/hate relationship and betrayal, with the intriguing taglines: "She loved one man ... enough to KILL to get him!" and "The men she loved she destroyed" - similar in plot to The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946):

  • the main protagonist: the gorgeous and sensual, but insane 20 year-old Diane Tremayne (Jean Simmons) - a diabolical, scheming, psychotic 'angel of death' femme fatale; the disturbed and spoiled heiress became infatuated with working class Beverly Hills ambulance driver Frank Jessup (Robert Mitchum) after she met him during a call to treat the suspicious gas inhalation-poisoning of her own American stepmother Catherine (Barbara O'Neil) at the Tremayne estate
  • her sabotage of Frank's relationship with his steady blonde girlfriend, hospital receptionist Mary Wilton (Mona Freeman), and hiring him as their family's chauffeur, and entering into a love affair with Frank
  • Diane's scheme: to murder her wealthy and controlling step-mother Catherine, in order to acquire the inheritance - and to have her well-respected, henpecked British novelist father Charles (Herbert Marshall) all to herself
  • the scene of the tampered Tremayne car - rigged to crash by accelerating in reverse, but the car crash sent both Tremaynes over a nearby cliff and killed both of them - the crash scene dissolved to a view of the mastermind sitting impassively and playing at a grand piano, about to suffer a nervous breakdown
  • Frank's famous quote about Diane: "I don't pretend to know what goes on behind that pretty little face of yours; I don't want to" - he also rightly cautioned himself: "Never be the innocent bystander - that's the guy that always gets hurt"
  • after being acquitted with assistance by defense lawyer Fred Barrett (Leon Ames), Diane's continuing manipulation of the naive Frank to marry her
  • the four minute sequence of Diane's sole wanderings through the empty rooms and hallways of the mansion, and awakening the next morning wrapped in Frank's coat and cuddled in a chair
  • the ironic, surprise bleak ending: as Frank was packing to permanently leave for Mexico, she offered to drive him to the bus station; Diane accelerated their car in reverse over an embankment and killed them both







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 of "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
  • the scene of Rocky's (James Cagney) nightclub murderous shooting of crooked, double-crossing attorney James Frazier (Humphrey Bogart) whom he taunted before shooting him dead in the back when he fled: "You've had your last chance, and you can take this with ya!"
  • unrepentent and defiant Rocky's (James Cagney) pre-execution meeting in his cell with his boyhood friend priest Father Jerry Connelly (Pat O'Brien), when Rocky joked about his impending death: "It's like sitting in a barber chair. They're going to ask me, 'You got anything to say?' and I say, 'Sure. Give me a haircut, a shave and a massage - one of those nice new electric massages'" - he also claimed that he wasn't afraid: "You know Jerry, I think in order to be afraid, you've got to have a heart. I don't think I got one. I got it cut out of me a long time ago"
  • Jerry's request of a favor from Rocky - to act fearful so he wouldn't be regarded by the slum neighborhood boys as a hero, role model, or martyr: "Suppose I asked you to have the heart...to be scared... Suppose at the last minute the guards dragged you out here screaming for mercy. Suppose you went to the chair yellow.... This is a different kind of courage, Rocky. The kind that's well, that's born in heaven. Well, not the courage of heroics or bravado. The kind that you and I and God know about...I want you to let them down. You see, you've been a hero to these kids, and hundreds of others, all through your life - and now you're gonna be a glorified hero in death, and I want to prevent that, Rocky. They've got to despise your memory. They've got to be ashamed of you"; Rocky was reluctant to humble himself and show fear in the death chamber as a cringing coward pretending to be 'yellow': "You asking me to pull an act, turn yellow, so those kids will think I'm no good...You ask me to throw away the only thing I've got left...You ask me to crawl on my belly - the last thing I do in life...Nothing doing. You're asking too much...You want to help those kids, you got to think about some other way"
  • Rocky's memorable last walk or death march to his execution, and his entry into the death chamber, where he broke down and became "yellow" (accompanied by an incredible Max Steiner score), turning into a screaming, snivelling, cowering coward begging not to be killed: "Oh, I don't wanna die! Oh, please. I don't wanna die! Oh, please. Don't let me burn. Oh, please. Let go of me. Please..."
  • the next day's news headlines: "ROCKY DIES YELLOW: KILLER COWARD AT END!", read by the neighborhood kids who couldn't believe Rocky's cowardice, but accepted it; they asked Father Jerry: "Did Rocky die as they said, like a yellow rat?" and Jerry responded with the film's final words: "It's true, boys. Every word of it. He died like they said. All right, fellas. 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, greedy and corrupt corporate America in the year 1959:

  • 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 subordinate worker C. C. "Bud" Baxter (Jack Lemmon), one of "31,259 drones" staying on late by himself at his desk on the 19th floor at the impersonal Consolidated Life of New York insurance company (a shot paying homage to King Vidor's silent film classic The Crowd (1928)), until his own apartment was vacated - after being used by married higher-up executives for their trysts and affairs: ("You see, I have this little problem with my apartment...I live in the West Sixties, just half a block from Central Park. My rent is $85 a month. It used to be eighty until last July when Mrs. Lieberman (Frances Lax), the landlady, put in a second-hand air conditioning unit. It's a real nice apartment - nothing fancy - but kind of cozy - just right for a bachelor. The only problem is - I can't always get in when I want to")
  • the scene of Bud surprising his concerned neighbor Dr. Dreyfuss (Jack Kruschen), when he was seen carrying out a large wastebasket of used liquor bottles; Bud was admonished and mistaken for a 20th century Don Juan lothario, partier and frequent alcohol imbiber: "The way you're beltin' that stuff, you must have a pair of cast-iron kidneys....As a matter of fact, you must be an iron man all around. From what I hear through the walls, you got somethin' goin' for ya every night...Sometimes, there's a twi-night double-header. (He clucked his tongue) A nebbish like you!...You know, Baxter, I'm doing some research at the Columbia Medical Center and I wonder if you could do us a favor?...When you make out your will, and the way you're going, you should, would you mind leaving your body to the University?... (Shaking his finger) Slow down, kid"
  • the growing relationship between "Bud" and the company's pixie-faced, charming, elfin elevator operator Miss Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine); one day in the elevator, when he complained about his cold (from sleeping on a Central Park bench overnight), she commiserated with him: "You should have stayed in bed this morning" - he quipped back: "I should have stayed in bed last night"; those who used Bud's Upper West Side apartment for after-hours romantic trysts-affairs included his four philandering managers and his fast-talking, authoritative married executive Jeff D. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray); Sheldrake was womanizing with Fran behind Baxter's back
  • the devastating sequence of Bud finding Miss Kubelik unconscious and overdosed on sleeping pills in his apartment on Christmas Eve - after the irredeemable Sheldrake had told her that he couldn't commit to her: "Look, I know you think I've been stalling you, but-well, when you've been married to a woman for twelve years, you just don't sit down at the breakfast table and say, 'Pass the sugar, I want a divorce.' It's not that easy. Anyway, this is the wrong time. The kids are home from school. My in-laws are visiting for the holidays. I can't bring it up now"
  • the sequence on Christmas Day, when Bud made a person-to-person phone call to Sheldrake's home, where the family was celebrating a lavish Christmas under the tree - the embarrassed Sheldrake (in a new dressing gown just received as a present) shamelessly refused to offer help even though he heard that Fran had taken an overdose of sleeping pills and was recovering after a "touch and go" night
  • still morose and recuperating in bed, Fran asked: "Why can't I ever fall in love with somebody nice like you?" Bud replied (with his most famous line) - speaking with shaving cream all over his face: "Yeah, well, that's the way it crumbles, cookie-wise"
  • the kitchen scene of Bud singing operatically as he dexterously strained spaghetti over the strings of his tennis racket for an Italian spaghetti dinner: ("You should see my backhand") - it was a special dinner for Miss Kubelik after her suicide attempt; he quipped: ("Me, I used to live like Robinson Crusoe, I mean shipwrecked among eight million people. Then, one day I saw a footprint in the sand, and there you were. It's a wonderful thing, dinner for two...Sometimes I have dinner with Ed Sullivan, sometimes Dinah Shore or Perry Como. The other night, I had dinner with Mae West. Of course, she was much younger then")
  • the New Year's Eve celebratory scene in a Chinese restaurant when Fran was being entertained by Sheldrake and learned that Bud had quit his job rather than lending out his apartment anymore: (Sheldrake: "He just walked out on me, quit. Threw that big fat job right in my face...that little punk, after all I did for him. Said I couldn't bring anybody to the apartment, especially not Miss Kubelik"); she responded: "I guess that's the way it crumbles, cookie-wise," then rushed to Bud's apartment, realizing that he really loved her and had sacrificed his career for her; when she reached the top of the stairs, she heard what she thought was a gun-shot - and was relieved when the door opened and Bud was holding a recently-uncorked bottle of champagne foaming over
  • the curtain-closing scene during a card game (gin rummy) 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, still romantically reticent: "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 Huey helicopters dawn attack on a coastal Vietnamese village with Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries blaring over loudspeakers, and the napalm bombing of the jungle
  • surf-loving, flamboyant and gung-ho fearless Lieutenant Kilgore's famous speech amidst blowing yellow smoke while others surfed in celebration: "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)











100's of the GREATEST SCENES AND MOMENTS
(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
M4
| 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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