Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



I (continued)

Inside Daisy Clover (1965)

In director Robert Mulligan's strange and satirical, rags-to-riches melodrama of the perils of an adolescent Hollywood star seeking recognition, fame, and fortune:

  • the character of tomboyish, rebellious, angry, expressive 15-year old ragamuffin-urchin, Angel Beach boardwalk/pier-dwelling Daisy Clover (Natalie Wood at age 26) with her eccentric and senile mother (Ruth Gordon) where she sold movie-star pictures with forged autographs
  • Daisy's rise to teenaged stardom (she declared: "I'm gonna make a noise in the world") after she was driven by limousine to an audition/screen test for manipulative, Svengali-like studio head Raymond Swan (Christopher Plummer) - with her singing the memorable song "You're Gonna Hear From Me"
  • her debut appearance when she becomes "America's Little Valentine"
  • the scene of Daisy left stranded at a Jawbone, Arizona motel after honeymooning, self-absorbed, narcissistic homosexual groom/actor Wade Lewis (Robert Redford) deserted her
  • (Swan's drunken wife Melora (Katharine Bard) revelation to Daisy that Wade was a closeted homosexual: "Your husband never could resist a charming boy")
  • Raymond's tender soliloquy/speech to Daisy by the pool following the quick breakup - and the beginning of his own affair with her signaled by a passionate kiss
  • Daisy's nervous breakdown/crack-up in a sound-recording booth as she was dubbing in her voice to a film track
  • the concluding scene of her aborted efforts to suicidally gas herself to death in her beachhouse kitchen's oven when interrupted by the phone - and her triumphant strut down the shoreline drinking coffee as she blew up the beach-house behind her (and her explanation to a passer-by of what happened: "Someone declared war" - the film's last line)

Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939)

In Gregory Ratoff's romantic melodrama:

  • the entire doomed love affair between married world-famous concert violinist Holger Brandt (Leslie Howard) and his 6 year-old daughter Ann Marie's (Ann E. Todd) comely piano teacher Anita Hoffman (Ingrid Bergman in her first American film)
  • the scene in which Holger begged Anita to not get on a train (she was going away to Sweden to escape their forbidden affair)
  • the use of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring as a metaphorical idea and musical theme
  • the scene at a tombstone on the French Riviera with its words: "Mon amour dure apres la mort (My love endures after death)" - and her leaving of him: "I have been an intermezzo in his life"
  • her tears after she had bid him good-bye (without telling him that she was leaving him) -- followed by her Dear John letter: ("...But we know in our hearts that love like ours is wrong -- that it drags itself down with remorse and fears, and the unhappiness of others...")
  • the startling, heart-breaking scene in which Holger's daughter was struck by a car when rushing to greet her father
  • Holger's line to his bitter son Eric (Douglas Scott): "You see, Eric, even if you don't need me anymore, now it's I who need you"
  • the last shot in which wife Margit (Edna Best) forgave Holger for his mid-life crisis/affair: ("Holger ...welcome home ...Holger, welcome home!")

Into the Wild (2007)

In director/writer Sean Penn's documentary-styled, ill-fated odyssey:

  • the concluding sequence - titled 'Final Chapter: Getting of Wisdom' - of free-spirited, idealistic, arrogant college-grad adventurer Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) (aka Alexander Supertramp) on his way to a remote portion of Alaska in 1992 after forsaking his estranged family and many friends along his wanderlust journey
  • his meeting up with Salton Sea (California) elderly widower and leather worker Ron Franz (Oscar-nominated Hal Holbrook), and their discussion on a rocky hilltop about where to find human happiness ("From the bits and pieces I've put together, you know, from what you told me about your family, your mother and your dad, and I know you've got your problems with the church too, but there's some kind of bigger thing we can all appreciate, and it sounds like you don't mind calling it God. But when you forgive, you love, and when you love, God's light shines on you")
  • their tearful parting scene when Ron proposes paternalistically to adopt 'Alex' ("When I'm gone, I'm the end of the line...I could be, say, your grandfather")
  • the final scene of Chris' prolonged death due to starvation and poisoning after eating inedible Wild Sweet Peas (mistaken for Wild Potato Alaska Carrot) and his final words scrawled in block letters into his journal: "HAPPINESS ONLY REAL WHEN SHARED"
  • the incredible pull-back shot from his face gazing up at the light in the back of his abandoned 'magic bus' home as he expires - followed by an actual self-portrait photograph of Chris sitting next to his bus

Intolerance (1916)

In D. W. Griffith's epic silent film classic:

  • the epic-sized sets, especially in the ancient "Fall of Babylon" segments
  • the exciting last-minute rescue of the Boy (Robert Harron) from execution with the delivery of a pardon by his wife, the Dear One (Mae Marsh) in the early 20th century America segments
  • the Mountain Girl's (Constance Talmadge) efforts to avert the attack of Persian King Cyrus upon Prince Belshazzar (Alfred Paget)
  • and the recurrent image of a mother (Lillian Gish) endlessly rocking a cradle

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

In Don Siegel's cautionary sci-fi film:

  • the opening scene (and closing scene - bookends) of Dr. Miles Bennell's (Kevin McCarthy) paranoic fear and mania about alien takeover in Santa Mira, California - a metaphor for the Communist threat
  • the first view of a strange, corpse-like cadaver lying on a pool table - with an unfinished, half-formed, mannequin-like humanoid face and no fingerprints
  • another fearful discovery in the greenhouse scene of another repellent, unfeeling pod that resembles and takes on human features
  • the frightening, terrifying reaction Miles experiences after kissing his sweetheart Becky (Dana Wynter) - discovering that she has been transformed and become one of the clones
  • the final warning as Miles runs down a busy highway with heavy traffic and screams into the camera: "You're next!"

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

In Philip Kaufman's effective remake of the 1956 classic sci-fi/horror film:

  • the cameo of Kevin McCarthy (the star of the original film) running through the San Francisco city streets warning everyone about the alien menace ("Help! Help! They're coming!") - as seen through a cracked windshield - and then found dead
  • the despairing, climactic ending in which a nude pod-replica of city Health Department chemist Elizabeth Driscoll (Brooke Adams) rises from the bushes
  • the scene in which Department of Health inspector Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) screams with a piercing, accusatory howl (and the camera descends into the blackness of his open mouth) when he points his finger and confronts the still-human Nancy Bellicec (Veronica Cartwright)

The Invisible Man (1933)

In director James Whale's horror classic:

  • the impressive technical and visual special effects, especially regarding invisibility
  • the miraculous scene of scientist Jack Griffin (Claude Rains) stripping off his bandaged-wrapped facial and body disguise (with dark glasses hiding his eyes, gloves his hands, fake hair on his head, a stage nose) and his clothing (shirt, hat, underwear, shoes, and socks) to amaze everyone by revealing absolutely - nothing - thin air - emptiness
  • his hysterical laugh and the comments of a policeman: "Look, he's all eaten away"
  • the death scene of Griffin when his face slowly becomes revealed and is visible by stages - first the skull, then flesh, and then his full face

The Iron Giant (1999)

In Brad Bird's enchanting animated Cold War parable:

  • the friendship between young, isolated preteen Hogarth Hughes (voice of Eli Marienthal) and a 100-foot robot (voice of Vin Diesel) with a steam-shovel mouth from outer space, brought about in 1957 when Hogarth saves the metal-eating giant's life in the woods from electrocution by a power plant
  • the life lessons taught by Hogarth to the Iron Giant after hunters shoot a deer with a gun ("I know you feel bad about the deer, but it's not your fault. Things die. It's part of life. It's bad to kill, but it's not bad to die...You're made of metal, but you have feelings, and you think about things, and that means you have a soul. And souls don't die")
  • his lesson about choice ("Guns kill. And you don't have to be a gun. You are what you choose to be. You choose. Choose")
  • the educational animated "Duck and Cover" spoof
  • the sequence of Hogarth attempting to hide the Giant's disembodied or severed hand in his house
  • the Giant's cannonball dive into a lake
  • the odious and villainous federal government agent Kent Mansley's (voice of Christopher McDonald) efforts to capture and destroy the Giant
  • the crowd-pleasing moment when the Giant flies for the first time (Hogarth: "You can fly?! YOU CAN FLY!")
  • the Giant's climactic, tear-jerking sacrifice to save the small Maine town of Rockwell from a nuclear missile - it soars into the air to neutralize it by striking it head-on, as he hears the words of Hogarth: "You are who you choose to be." Just before the explosion in outer space, the Giant realizes his heroism and identity: "Superman!"
  • the final shot of the smiling Giant as he self-repairs on an Icelandic glacier - signaling for all his disassembled parts to regroup

The Italian Job (2003)

In F. Gary Gray's remake of the 1969 original with Michael Caine:

  • the exciting reprise of the escape of three Mini Coopers (red, white, and blue) through an orchestrated Los Angeles traffic jam, evading a helicopter as they careen down Hollywood's Walk of Fame on the sidewalk and enter an LA subway station via the stairs

It Happened One Night (1934)

In Frank Capra's classic Best Picture-winning screwball comedy:

  • the "Walls of Jericho" (blanket) scene separating the beds of runaway heiress Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) and newspaperman Peter Warne (Clark Gable) in an autocamp
  • the memorable lessons Peter gives Ellie on how men undress and how to dunk donuts
  • the scene of their deception of two investigators by impersonating a quarreling married couple
  • the busload of passengers singing "The Man on the Flying Trapeze"
  • the thumb vs. show-some-leg hitchhiking technique scene at the side of the road as Ellie lifts her skirt to entice a car to stop
  • the wedding scene with Ellie fleeing her wedding as a runaway bride with her long veil trailing behind
  • the "fall" of the blanket (offscreen) in the last scene

It's A Gift (1934)

In director Norman Z. McLeod's very funny comedy:

  • hilarious grocery store sequences with Harold Bissonette's (W. C. Fields) customers
  • the patrons, including someone requesting kumquats, a blind/deaf and destructive Mr. Muckle (Charles Sellon), and Baby Ellwood Dunk (Baby LeRoy) spreading molasses all over the floor
  • the tour-de-force episode: the hilarious sequence of Harold's humorous attempts to peacefully sleep on his back porch swing while bothered by a milkman, an insurance salesman looking for Karl LaFong, by Baby Dunk dropping grapes on him and chattering neighbors
  • the entire California trip sequence including their family picnic scene

It's A Wonderful Life (1946)

In Frank Capra's dark and ultimately uplifting Christmas classic:

  • the simple opening scene of stars blinking and angels talking about George's fate
  • the scene of George's rescue of his younger brother from a fall through the ice
  • young Mary Hatch's (Jean Gale) whispered secret ("George Bailey - I'll love you till the day I die")
  • George's saving of the drunk druggist Mr. Gower (H.B. Warner) from prescribing poisonous cyanide
  • the comedic scene of the high school dance with the dance floor opening over a swimming pool as George Bailey (James Stewart) and Mary (Donna Reed) obliviously dance the Charleston and fall into the pool
  • George Bailey's walk home with sweetheart Mary while singing Buffalo Gals, their throwing of stones at the deserted old Granville house, her loss of her bathrobe and his talking to the shrubbery
  • the marvelous scene of an extended angry and intimate shared phone conversation with George and Mary on the same end of the phone
  • Mary's question to George: "Why must you torture the children?"
  • small-town father and husband George's rescue by guardian angel Second Class Clarence Oddbody (Henry Travers) on a bridge when he considers suicide on Christmas Eve
  • the nightmarish sequence of Bedford Falls (now Pottersville) without George as he staggers through the town - with the visit to his brother Harry's (Todd Karns) gravesite who would have died in the childhood sledding accident ("at the age of nine" according to Clarence) because George wasn't there to save him - and Harry would have never grown up to be a war hero, saving all the lives of the men on the naval transport: "Every man on that transport died. Harry wasn't there to save them because you weren't there to save Harry"
  • George's plea to Clarence to live again ("Get me back!...I want to live again") - his life-affirming and joyful discovery that he's alive (because his mouth is bleeding, he has a deaf ear, and he feels Zuzu's petals in his pocket) and his resounding ecstasy as he runs down the wintry Bedford Falls street yelling "Merry Christmas" at everything in sight (the movie house, the Building and Loan, etc.)
  • the heartwarming reunion in his home with friends who have paid his rent, the toast by his war-hero brother Harry: ("A my big brother, George. The richest man in town"), the singing of Hark the Herald Angels Sing and Auld Lang Syne - and the ornament bell ringing on the Christmas tree (signifying Clarence's promotion to an angel with wings)

(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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