Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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H (continued)

Horse Feathers (1932)

In director Norman Z. McLeod's satirical academic/sports comedy from the Marx Brothers:

  • the opening scene of Professor Wagstaff's (Groucho Marx) address to Huxley College faculty members and students
  • the sequence at a speakeasy where Wagstaff attempts to guess doorman Baravelli's (Chico Marx) secret password ("swordfish")
  • Pinky (Harpo Marx) providing a hot cup of coffee from the inside of his coat for a bum on the street
  • Pinky's scene with his horse blocking traffic and a cop who writes him a ticket
  • the classic Biology classroom scene ending with a peashooter fight between Wagstaff and two unruly students
  • Wagstaff's romancing and serenading of flirtatious "college widow" Connie Bailey (Thelma Todd) and their scene in a canoe on a duck pond - and his response to her baby talk: "If icky girl keep on talking that way, big stwong man's gonna kick all her teef wight down her thwoat"
  • the scene of the attempted kidnap of the two star Darwin College athletes
  • the climactic zany Huxley-Darwin football game involving audible football signals, banana peels, an elastic band, and a chariot



House of Wax (1953)

In Andre de Toth's classic horror film - created in "Natural Vision" 3-D:

  • the scene of the burning of the wax museum and the melting of the historical figures
  • the 3-D effect shown off with the carnival barker's bouncing paddle-balls
  • the dance hall scene with a line of dancers doing the can-can kick
  • the scene of cloaked wax sculptor Professor Henry Jarrod (Vincent Price) pursuing leading lady Sue Allen (Phyllis Kirk) along fog-shrouded streets and alleyways of turn-of-the-century New York City
  • the shocking moment that wheelchair-bound, Phantom-of-the-Opera-like Jarrod has his face slapped by Sue and his wax mask falls off to reveal his hideously-burned and disfigured face below
  • the scene of Sue bound and naked under a boiling vat of wax as he prepares her to be his next exhibit victim as Marie Antoinette



How Green Was My Valley (1941)

In John Ford's Best Picture-winning classic:

  • the realistic depiction of family life - father and sons returning home from the grimy Welsh coal mines, and then bathing and sitting around the dinner table
  • crippled Huw's (Roddy McDowell) first feeble steps on a daffodil-covered hillside under the guidance of the preacher Mr. Gruffydd (Walter Pidgeon)
  • the preacher's romance with Angharad (Maureen O'Hara) - ultimately unsuccessful
  • the preacher's condemnation of his congregation for hypocrisy and vicious rumors
  • the heart-wrenching mining disaster tragedy
  • the final image of Huw and his father (Donald Crisp) walking in the hills




Howard the Duck (1986)

In the George Lucas-produced sci-fi comedy about a humanoid duck (based upon the Marvel Comics' character):

  • the clever opening credits sequence set in Howard T. Duck's Marshington DC apartment (3636 Lakeside Dr.) located on a "duck" version of Earth, with duck-versions of everything ("Rolling Egg" Magazine, a film poster for "Breeders of the Lost Stork" with Indiana Drake, Mae Nest and W.C. Fowls in a My Little Chickadee film poster, Playduck Magazine, etc.)
  • the sudden expulsion of Howard in his armchair into outer space (and his landing in Cleveland)
  • the hilarious scene in the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services where "slacker" Howard was advised about finding a job by a large and outspoken counselor named Cora Mae (Virginia Capers)
  • the strange seduction scene in struggling punk rock Cherry Bomb musician Beverly Switzler's (Lea Thompson) apartment when Howard joins her in bed and they shared a few short kisses
  • the scene in Joe Roma's Cajun Sushi restaurant
  • the long extended scenes (about getting Howard back home with a reversed cosmic ray) involving multiple chase scenes and lots of explosions
  • the character of researcher Dr. Jenning (Jeffrey Jones) possessed by the Dark Overlord of the Universe -- and at one point using his extended tongue to extract power from a truck's dashboard cigarette lighter
  • the appearance of the monstrous scorpion-like creature (created by George Lucas' special effects division) and Howard's coming to the saving rescue and blowing it to smithereens
  • the film's conclusion with Howard (strumming a red electric guitar) and Beverly on-stage and singing together: "Howard the Duck"





Howl's Moving Castle (2004, Jp.)

In director Hayao Miyazaki and producer John Lasseter's Best Animated Feature-nominated enchanting fantasy based on English writer Diana Wynne Jones' book:

  • the evocative opening shot of roguish, narcissistic, immature, yet brave and principled teenaged wizard Howl's (voice of Christian Bale) gigantic, anthropomorphic Castle (with legs) strolling past a farm ranch
  • the memorable scene in which The Witch of the Waste (voice of Lauren Bacall) looking like an obese woman - spiteful and jealous over Howl's attentiveness and growing love for the pretty but mousy young hatmaker Sophie (voice of Emily Mortimer) - transforms the girl with a spell into a 90 year-old old woman (voice of Jean Simmons) who flees to the countryside where she is led to the Castle by bouncing Turniphead, the Scarecrow (voice of Crispin Freeman)
  • throughout the film - Sophie's fluid age-shifting depending upon her emotions
  • the funny, exhaustive race up the long, steep stairs between Sophie and The Witch - exhausted by the effort
  • the bizarre, creepy scene (involving giant light bulbs and dancing shadows) in which Howl's former tutor and sorceress Madame Suliman (voice of Blythe Danner) strips The Witch's powers
  • The Witch's question after being taken in by Sophie to live in the Castle, about her feelings for Howl: "You are in love with Howl, aren't you?"
  • the enchanting scene in which Sophie restores Howl's heart, while freeing Howl's assistant - the Castle's fire demon Calcifer (voice of Billy Crystal) to become a starry sprite again
  • the heart-warming, poignant shot of the restored family of Sophie (young again, but with white hair), Howl, young apprentice Markl (voice of Josh Hutcherson), and strange, wheezing dog Hean - now free of deceptions and happy







Hud (1963)

In Martin Ritt's emotionally-powerful drama:

  • the fascinating portrayal of womanizing, irresponsible, rude, non-hero Texas cowboy Hud Bannon (Paul Newman), especially his driving of a big pink Cadillac
  • the scene of the slaughter of the entire Bannon herd of diseased cattle due to hoof-and-mouth disease
  • Hud's advice to idolizing nephew Lon (Brandon de Wilde): "You don't look out for yourself, the only helping hand you'll ever get is when they lower the box"
  • the shocking and terrifying attempted rape scene of housekeeper Alma Brown (Oscar-winning Patricia Neal) by Hud
  • Alma's disgust at Hud during goodbyes at a bus station
  • the final scene of Lon walking off from Hud ("I won't be back this way"), and Hud's shouting: "...This world is so full of crap, a man's gonna get into it sooner or later whether he's careful or not"

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)

In RKO's and director William Dieterle's classic adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel:

  • the radiant beauty of gypsy girl Esmeralda (Maureen O'Hara)
  • the extremely touching scene in which she mercifully offers a drink of water to the deformed hunchback bellringer Quasimodo (Charles Laughton) after a public scourging during his one hour on the pillory
  • Quasimodo's thrilling rescue of the girl from a hanging by swinging to her on a rope and taking her to Notre Dame, crying "Sanctuary, Sanctuary"
  • his heartbreaking closing line next to a gargoyle high atop Notre Dame: "Why was I not made of stone like thee?"
  • the tremendous zoom back of the camera from the cathedral with choruses of 'Hallelujah' to end the film



The Hunt for Red October (1990)

In John McTiernan's adaptation of Tom Clancy's novel:

  • Sean Connery's memorable performance as over-the-top, magnanimous, pompous defecting Soviet submarine Captain Marko Ramius and Scott Glenn's cynical hard-nosed American counterpart Commander Bart Mancuso
  • the thrilling action sequences including protagonist CIA book author Jack Ryan's (Alec Baldwin) perilous helicopter-to-submarine transfer and stunning gunfight set within the bowels of prototype Russian submarine Red October, among towering red pumps
  • the death scene of opposing Soviet submarine Captain Tupolev (Stellan Skarsgård) by his own torpedo, with his first mate growling: "You arrogant ass! You killed us!"
  • the closing exchange between Ramius and Ryan in a blue-lit river in New England: Ramius: "'... and the sea will grant each man new hope, as sleep brings dreams of home.' Christopher Columbus" Ryan: "Welcome to the New World, sir"

The Hurricane (1937)

In director John Ford's adventure/disaster drama:

  • the iconic image of Dorothy Lamour (as Marama) in her tropical sarong next to bare-chested lover Terangi (Jon Hall)
  • the spectacular, but disastrous hurricane sequence in which a church is devastated by the rising waves
  • the final line in which the strict governor De Laage (Raymond Massey) observes through his binoculars wrongly to Germaine (Mary Astor): "You're right, Germaine, it's only a floating log"


The Hurt Locker (2009)

In Kathryn Bigelow's fact-based, but fictional character study and action thriller about the defusement and detonation of dangerous IED based upon the actual experiences of journalist and screenwriter/producer Mark Boal (Note: a "hurt locker" was the destination of explosion victims):

  • the stressful and tense series of war scenes/set-pieces of an elite group of three bomb-squad specialists or EOD bomb defusers (Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal Squad) in Bravo Company (cognizant of a 39-day countdown until their home-leave deployment-rotation)
  • the film's opening with the death of team leader SSG Matt Thompson (Guy Pearce) in a bulky Kevlar suit after the failed defusement of a dangerous IED (improvised explosive devices) bomb with a robotic device in the rubble and garbage-strewn streets of Bagdad in 2004 Iraq, when they were threatened with sniper fire and the bomb was set off by a cellphone from a marketplace butcher shop
  • the fears and difficulty of level-headed African-American Sgt. J.T. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and nervously fearful and pessimistic Spc. Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) ("Pretty much the bottom line is, if you're in Iraq, you're dead") in comfortably accepting Thompson's replacement (Sanborn calls him "a redneck piece of trailer trash") - newcomer and risk-taker Army Staff Sergeant William James (Jeremy Renner)
  • in scene after scene, James displayed bravado, recklessness and fearlessness -
    (1) he activated a flare, obscuring everyone's visibility, and drew his pistol on a suspected Iraqi-haji cab driver during a stand-off while commanding him to back up and get out of the car - and then after clipping the wires to one bomb detonator found it attached to seven others buried nearby, and
    (2) his disregard for orders when he attempted to defuse bombs in an illegally-parked, torched car near an evacuated UN building and removed his protective helmet and gear (so if he's gonna die, he can die "comfortable") - and also threw away his headset while searching to dismantle the device, and
    (3) the sequence of the tense stake-out in the hot desert sun when aiding a party of British army contractors (including Ralph Fiennes) caught in an ambush, and the use of scopes to zero in on targets - and James' fumbling unwrapping of a juice pack and straw to give a drink to dehydrated partner Sanborn, and
    (4) the unsuccessful attempt to break the bolts of locks holding strapped explosives with a timer to an Arabic family man's waist
  • the sequence in which curious Colonel Reed (David Morse) asked how many bombs "wild man" James had disarmed (he was told 873) - and his remark: "That's just hot s--t", and his follow-up question about the best way to disarm a bomb, with James' dry reply: "The way you don't die, sir"
  • the scene of the three comrades after a tense day - in their compound swigging alcohol, punching each other, and wrestling (and discovering that James kept souvenirs of his bomb dismantlings)
  • the scene of the wounding of Eldridge with a gunshot shattering his femur during an unnecessary nighttime mission and his anger at James as he was airlifted for medical treatment: "We didn't have to go out looking for trouble to get your f--king adrenaline fix, you f--k!"
  • the scene of James' sense of extreme disorientation when confronted by so many choices of frozen pizza and boxed cereal in a US supermarket during home-leave







Husbands and Wives (1992)

In Woody Allen's last true masterpiece to date, famously filmed during (and severely overshadowed by and paralleling) the real-life breakup of Allen's marriage to longtime companion/actress Farrow:

  • the scene of middle-aged married man Jack (Sydney Pollack) and his distraught wife Sally's (Oscar-nominated Judy Davis) glib announcement before dinner to couple Gabe (Woody Allen) and Judy Roth (Mia Farrow) that they are splitting up
  • the subsequent documentary-styled account of their marriages all crumbling (with new flings) following the news - complete with violently-panning handheld camera shots and jump-cutting
  • the disastrous new romances: Jack with younger, sexy yet ditzy 24 year-old aerobics instructor Sam (Lysette Anthony) and Sally's relationship with romantic Irishman Michael Gates (Liam Neeson), one of Judy's co-worker colleagues
  • the sour, embarrassing party scene in which Sam screeches at Jack on the lawn after a party
  • Sally's brilliant "hedgehogs and foxes" internal monologue during unromantic, frigid sex with Michael
  • the awkward scene when Jack returns home to find Michael and Sally together (Jack: "This is my f--king house!" Sally: "No, this is MY f--king house!") in an effort to reconcile
  • the relationship between professor Gabe and his bright, 20 year-old creative writing student Rain (Juliette Lewis) - and her reading of Gabe's sublimely-written novel about relationships and sex: ("...of course men would make love at any given moment with any number of women, while females were selective. They were in each case catering to the demands of only one small egg, while each male had millions and millions of frantic sperms screaming wildly 'Let us out! Let us out!'...")
  • the breathtaking kiss between Gabe and Rain during a rainstorm ("You want a real kiss?") accompanied by thunder and lightning
  • Gabe's decision not to pursue a romantic relationship with his seductive student
  • the downbeat final interview with Gabe - with the closing line "Can I go? Is this over?"



The Hustler (1961)

In Robert Rossen's exciting drama:

  • the realistic pool play [sometimes by real-life player Willie Mosconi] and authentic sleazy pool-room milieu in the pool bar including the performance of legendary Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason) and the challenge from pool shark "Fast" Eddie Felson (Paul Newman) for $200 per game
  • the painful breaking of Eddie's thumbs with his face pressed against a glass window of the men's room
  • the monologue during a picnic when Eddie tells alcoholic and crippled girlfriend Sarah Packard (Piper Laurie) the rush he experiences in playing pool ("I got oil in my arm. Pool cue's part of me...")
  • the character of evil promoter Bert Gordon (George C. Scott)
  • the tragic suicide of Sarah after writing "Perverted, Twisted, Crippled" on her mirror
  • the film's final words by challenger Eddie to a beaten Fats: "Fat Man, you shoot a great game of pool"




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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