Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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

Inside Daisy Clover (1965)

In director Robert Mulligan's strange and satirical, rags-to-riches melodrama (and musical show-business drama) 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 Solitaire card-playing mother Mrs. Clover (Ruth Gordon), aka The Dealer, where Daisy sold movie-star pictures with forged autographs in 1936
  • 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 was heralded by Swan in 1936 Hollywood as "America's Little Valentine" - with a bow in her hair
  • the scene of Daisy left stranded at a Jawbone, Arizona motel after honeymooning, self-absorbed, narcissistic groom and fellow actor Wade Lewis (Robert Redford) deserted her
  • Swan's drunken and neglected wife Melora's (Katharine Bard) revelation to Daisy that Wade Lewis was a closeted homosexual: "Your husband never could resist a charming boy"
  • Daisy's costuming as a rag-doll - when Wade gave her all the postcards that he had sent to her after leaving her, and told her: ("I came back"), and then removed her blonde wig and wiped away white grease-paint on her face, metaphorically asking for her to forget his "sins": ("You see? Everything's wiped away")
  • Raymond Swan's tender soliloquy/speech to Daisy by his pool following her quick breakup with Wade - and the beginning of his own affair with her - signaled by a passionate kiss
  • Daisy's big pink-colored production number - the performance of "The Circus is a Wacky World"
  • Daisy's histrionic-rich, 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 by sticking her head inside her beachhouse kitchen's oven when she was 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 on the beach of what happened: "Someone declared war" - the film's last line)

Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939)

In Gregory Ratoff's romantic melodrama, an English-language remake of the 1936 Swedish film of the same name (also starring Ingrid Bergman):

  • the entire doomed and forbidden love affair between married world-famous virtuoso concert violinist Holger Brandt (Leslie Howard) and his 6 year-old daughter Ann Marie's (Ann E. Todd) comely piano teacher-accompanist Miss Anita Hoffman (Ingrid Bergman in her first American-Hollywood film) - and the scene of their passionately playing a duet together
  • the sequence during a holiday in France, after Anita had served on an extended musical tour with Holger as his replacement accompanist, when she received a letter and he insisted: "If it's an invitation, you can just turn it down. I'm not going to let you out of my sight for one moment, young lady"; she was offered a coveted, career-advancing Jenny Lind musical scholarship - and later at dinner time, she fatefully decided to burn it in his presence, so that they would not become separated: ("But I don't want it now, Holger. No, I'm-I'm not taking it...This is how I feel about the letter, about anything that could come between us")
  • the scene of the loving couple on a yacht, when Anita wished to escape from reality with Holger forever: ("Oh, no, I don't want to go home. Not yet, please... I am afraid. I don't know why but I am afraid. I wish we could stay out here forever...What a wonderful day this has been!...I can't bear to see it end...Hold me close, Holg, hold me close")
  • the use of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring as a metaphorical idea and musical theme
  • 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 scene at a tombstone on the French Riviera with its words: "Mon amour dure apres la mort (My love endures after death)" - and Anita's departure from Holger after realizing their love affair would not last: "I have been an intermezzo in his life"
  • the image of her tears after she had bid Holger good-bye (without telling him that she was leaving him forever) -- 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 Ann Marie was struck by a car and seriously-injured 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 Holger's wife Margit (Edna Best) descended stairs and sought reconciliation - she 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 proposed 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 expired - 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 Mountain Girl's (Constance Talmadge) unsuccessful and futile efforts to avert the attack of Persian King Cyrus upon Prince Belshazzar (Alfred Paget); during a prolonged death scene, the Mountain Girl crawled toward the Prince, her hero, to be next to him, and then died at the base of a statue near the throne; an iris opened, revealing the toy chariot pulled by two white doves next to her body
  • the exciting last-minute rescue of the Boy (Robert Harron) from being hanged with the delivery of a pardon by his wife, the Dear One (Mae Marsh) in the early 20th century America segments, and his heart-warming reunion with her at the bottom of the scaffold
  • and the recurrent image of a mother (Lillian Gish) endlessly rocking a cradle, the film's final medium-close shot

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 resembled and took on human features
  • the frightening, terrifying reaction Miles experienced after kissing his sweetheart Becky (Dana Wynter) - discovering that she had been transformed and had become one of the clones
  • the final warning as Miles ran down a busy highway with heavy traffic and screamed 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 about an invasion of extra-terrestrial aliens that 'snatched' bodies:

  • the cameo of Kevin McCarthy (the star of the original film) running through the San Francisco city streets, hysterically warning and accosting everyone about the alien menace: ("They're coming!..Help! Help! They're coming. They're coming. Listen to me! Listen! Help me. You're next. Please! Please! You're next. We're in danger! Please, listen to me... Something terrible! Please. You're next! Here they are. They're already here! Help! You're next! They're coming. They're coming...") - as seen through a cracked windshield - and then soon after found dead after being run over (off-screen)
  • the shocking discovery of a lifeless, half-formed (or deformed) doppelganger human being covered with plant fibers in the mud bath business owned and operated by Jack Bellicec (Jeff Goldblum) and his wife Nancy (Veronica Cartwright): ("It's a monster. It's got hair all over it"); Department of Health inspector Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) examined the body and exclaimed: ("Nose, lips, hair"); Jack added: ("Hands, everything, but it's got no detail, no character. It's unformed"); Nancy warned: ("Jack, don't touch it. You don't know where it's been"); and the chilling recognition that the body, with no respiration or fingerprints, was like a fetus that partially resembled Jack
  • and later that night, the frightening moment that the pod opened its eyes - scaring Nancy
  • the sequence during the unloading of truckloads of pods, and the scream of San Francisco's Public Health Department chemist Elizabeth Driscoll (Brooke Adams) at the sight of a dog-man hybrid - forcing both she and her colleague Matthew to flee and jump onto the open back of a moving truck
  • the confrontational scene between Matthew and Elizabeth, after a long pursuit, and alien duplicates of Jack and psychiatrist Dr. Kibner (Leonard Nimoy), who wished to inject them with a sedative to sleep; Kibner lectured them: ("We don't hate you. There's no need for hate now, or love...Don't be trapped by old concepts. Matthew, you're evolving into a new life form. Come and watch. We came here from a dying world. We drift through the universe from planet to planet, pushed on by the solar winds. We adapt and we survive. The function of life is survival") - they rejected his advice and fled when they saw the two pods prepared for their future
  • the despairing, climactic ending in which a nude pod-replica of Elizabeth rose from the bushes
  • the startling scene in which Matthew screamed with a piercing, accusatory howl when he pointed his finger and confronted the still-human Nancy Bellicec (and the camera descended into the blackness of his open mouth), revealing that he had been transformed

The Invisible Man (1933)

In director James Whale's horror classic:

  • the miraculous scene of scientist Jack Griffin (Claude Rains) taunting the authorities and others who threatened to arrest him: ("All right, you fools. You've brought it on yourselves. Everything would have come right if you'd only left me alone. You've driven me near madness with your peering through the keyholes and gaping through the curtains. And now you'll suffer for it! You're crazy to know who I am, aren't you? All right! I'll show you! There's a souvenir for you. And one for you. I'll show you who I am and what I am...How do you like that, eh?") - then, he began stripping off his bandaged-wrapped facial and body coverings and giving away "souvenirs" of his disguise: (a stage nose, dark glasses hiding his eyes, fake hair on his head, and gloves concealing his hands) and his clothing (shirt, hat, underwear, shoes, and socks) to amaze everyone by revealing absolutely - nothing - thin air - emptiness
  • during his unwrapping, Jack's insane and hysterical laugh and the comments of a policeman: "Look, he's all eaten away"
  • and then at his house, when the authorities arrived to arrest him before he could disappear, Griffin declared: ("They've asked for it, the country bumpkins. This'll give them a bit of a shock. Something to write home about. A nice bedtime story for the kids, too, if they want it"); when he danced in front of them wearing only a shirt, the policeman was flabbergasted about where to place the handcuffs: ("How can I handcuff a bloomin' shirt?"), and they chased him around the room
  • Griffin description of his crazed plan for ultimate control of the world, before fleeing: ("Are you satisfied now, you fools? It's easy, really, if you're clever. A few chemicals mixed together, that's all, and flesh and blood and bone just fade away. A little of this injected under the skin of the arm every day for a month. An invisible man can rule the world. Nobody will see him come, nobody will see him go. He can hear every secret. He can rob and rape and kill!")
  • the impressive technical and visual special effects, especially regarding invisibility, e.g., when Griffin stole a bicycle and rode it through the town, or his footprints revealed in the snow
  • the hospital deathbed scene of the mortally-wounded Griffin by gunshot, and his final confession: ("I failed. I meddled in things that man must leave alone")
  • as he died, his face slowly revealed and visible in stages: ("His body will become visible as life goes") - 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 saved 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 shot 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")
  • Hogarth's 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 short film - an 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 flew 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 soared into the air to neutralize it by striking it head-on, as he heard the words of Hogarth: "You are who you choose to be." Just before the explosion in outer space, the Giant realized his heroism and identity: "Superman!"
  • the final shot of the smiling Giant as he self-repaired on an Icelandic glacier - signaling for all his disassembled parts to regroup

The Italian Job (2003)

In F. Gary Gray's remake of the original 1969 British heist film (with Michael Caine):

  • the opening sequence - a daring Venice heist of gold bullion by a group of high-class thieves, and an exciting boat-chase
  • the advice offered in dialogue by retiring life-long professional criminal John Bridger (Donald Sutherland) to mastermind thief Charlie Croker (Mark Wahlberg) about two kinds of thieves in the world: ("You know, Charlie, there are two kinds of thieves in this world: the ones who steal to enrich their lives, and the ones who steal to define their lives. Don't be the latter. Makes you miss out on what's really important in this life"); then Bridger questioned his own fatherhood: ("Sitting in prisons doesn't make you a good father. I spent half my kid's life in prison. Don't get to be my age with nothin' but this, Charlie. Find somebody you want to spend the rest of your life with and hold onto her forever")
  • and a year later in Los Angeles, the confrontational scene in a restaurant when Charlie alerted the calculating, devious and paranoid Steve Frazelli (Edward Norton) to the fact that his gang were going to vengefully re-steal the gold bullion, after being double-crossed and betrayed in Europe; Steve claimed that he had already laundered most of the gold bricks in LA, and that Charlie had blown any element of surprise: ("That gold is already gone....No, really, it's over Charlie. I'm trying to move the last two bricks. You want to come after me over a couple of lousy bricks? I mean, really, be my guest. But you're off to a bad start, you know? 'Cause you just blew the best thing you had going for ya. You just blew the element of surprise"); Charlie abruptly punched out Steve, asked: "Surprised?", and then added: "It's over when I say it's over"
  • the amazing action sequences in downtown Los Angeles began with the overhead view of a trio of Mini Coopers (red, white, and blue) driving down the sidewalk of Hollywood's Walk of Fame, and careening down stairs to enter an LA Metro subway station and rail tunnel; in a race to get to the tracks, they had to speed past a Metro train with only seconds to spare; afterwards, the group of vehicles retreated from gunmen on motorcycles, and navigated through the narrow storm drain tunnels or tubes into a Los Angeles River bed, where they also had to evade Steve piloting a helicopter in the air and race through a pre-planned Los Angeles traffic jam
  • the concluding celebratory montage of Croker's team enjoying the fruits of their newfound wealth: getaway driver Handsome Rob's (Jason Stratham) Aston Martin car ("Handsome Rob got his Aston Martin"), demolitions expert "Left Ear"'s (Mos Def) dream house ("Left Ear got his dream house in the south of Spain with a room just for his shoes"), computer hacker Lyle's (Seth Green) fame and powerful audio speakers ("Lyle finally made the cover of Wired Magazine...And he got that kick-ass stereo he wanted...with speakers so loud they'd blow a woman's clothes off"), and Croker's love and respect from fellow expert safecracker Stella Bridger (Charlize Theron), John Bridger's estranged daughter ("And me? I took John Bridger's advice. I found somebody I want to spend the rest of my life with and I'm gonna hold on to her forever")

It Happened One Night (1934)

In Frank Capra's classic Best Picture-winning screwball romantic comedy, putting together a spoiled socialite heiress and an unscrupulous reporter into various uncomfortable misadventures:

  • the flight of runaway heiress Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) from her wealthy father Alexander Andrews' (Walter Connolly) yacht in Miami, Florida after a temper tantrum with him: ("I come from a long line of stubborn idiots") - jumping off the boat in her clothes to flee and take a Greyhound bus northward to New York meet up and elope with her fortune-hunting fiancee - an aviator named King Westley (Jameson Thomas)
  • the phone booth scene in a bus station of the firing of rogue newspaper reporter Peter Warne (Clark Gable) (nicknamed "The King") for drunkenness on the job, who yelled at his boss Joe Gordon (Charles C. Wilson): ("In a pig's eye, you will!...Hey listen monkey face, when you fired me, you fired the best newshound your filthy scandal sheet ever had...That was free verse, you gashouse palooka!"), and then made up the remainder of the call for the benefit of onlookers: ("Oh, so you're changing your tune, eh? You're a little late with your apologies. I wouldn't go back to work for you if you begged me on your hands and knees. And I hope this will be a lesson to you!")
  • the long overnight bus ride, with Ellie and Peter sharing a cramped seat in the back, and when the bus first lurched forward, she fell into his lap, with his quip: ("Next time you drop in, bring your folks")
  • the "Walls of Jericho" scene when Peter separated their shared twin bedroom in an autocamp with a clothesline and a blanket: ("Well, I like privacy when I retire. Yes, I'm very delicate in that respect. Prying eyes annoy me. Behold the walls of Jericho! Uh, maybe not as thick as the ones that Joshua blew down with his trumpet, but a lot safer. You see, uh, I have no trumpet"); she fled to her side when he later warned: (" got nothin' to worry about. The walls of Jericho will protect you from the big bad wolf")
  • the memorable lesson Peter gave Ellie as he flirtatiously undressed in front of her, taking one article of clothing off at a time, while discoursing on the various ways men undress: ("Perhaps you're interested in how a man undresses. You know, it's a funny thing about that. Quite a study in psychology. No two men do it alike. You know, I once knew a man who kept his hat on until he was completely undressed. Now he made a picture. Years later, his secret came out. He wore a toupee. Yeah. I have a method all my own. If you notice, the coat came first, then the tie, then the shirt. Now, uh, according to Hoyle, after that, the, uh, pants should be next. There's where I'm different...")
  • Peter and Ellie's discussion in separate beds with the lights turned out, when he introduced himself as Peter Warne; when she said she didn't like it, he responded by suggesting a new temporary last name for her - to pretend that they were married for the one night: ("Don't let it bother you. You're giving it back to me in the morning...The pleasure is all mine, Mrs. Warne")
  • and later, Peter's breakfast lesson on how to dunk donuts and how real folks eat: ("Dunking's an art. Don't let it soak so long. A dip and (he stuffed the donut in his mouth) plop, in your mouth. Let it hang there too long, it'll get soft and fall off. It's all a matter of timing. Aw, I oughta write a book about it")
  • the scene of their deception of two nosy private investigators by impersonating a make-believe, quarreling married couple - he berated her for flirting with a "big Swede" on the Elks' dance floor and then insulted her: ("You're just like your old man. Once a plumber's daughter, always a plumber's daughter. There's not an ounce of brains in your whole family"); when the flabbergasted detectives left, the auto-camp manager commented: "I told you they were a perfectly nice married couple"
  • the busload of passengers singing "The Man on the Flying Trapeze"
  • after leaving the bus for a trek cross-country, the scene of Peter serving as a male protector by carrying Ellie slung over his shoulder across a moonlit stream; as he waded through the water, he taught her yet another lesson on piggyback carrying, arguing with her about what it takes to be a "piggy-backer" - an ability he claimed that her family of rich people didn't have: ("I'll bet there isn't a good piggy-back rider in your whole family. I never knew a rich man yet who could piggy-back ride...You show me a good piggy-backer and I'll show you a real human. Now you take Abraham Lincoln for instance. A natural born piggy-backer. Where do you get all of that stuffed-shirts family of yours?")
  • the thumb vs. show-some-leg hitchhiking technique scene at the side of the road; Peter condescendingly lectured Ellie: ("It's all in that ol' thumb, see?...that ol' thumb never fails. It's all a matter of how you do it, though"); after a detailed lecture on the three proper and correct ways that common people hail passing cars while thumb hitchhiking, he failed miserably and she suggested her method: ("Oh, you're such a smart alec. Nobody knows anything but you. I'll stop a car and I won't use my thumb...It's a system all my own") - she provocatively raised her skirt above the knee, exposing a shapely, stockinged leg and garter - an immediately effective technique - the next car screeched to a halt; she joked: ("Well, I proved once and for all that the limb is mightier than the thumb"); he quipped back: ("Why didn't you take off all your clothes? You could have stopped forty cars")
  • the night-time scene of Peter's idealistic speech to Ellie, as they both were outstretched on adjacent beds, when he described a dream of a Pacific island paradise where social pressures and restrictions would disappear, and he could live with a woman isolated from the world's worries: ("I saw an island in the Pacific once. I've never been able to forget it. That's where I'd like to take her. She'd have to be the sort of a girl who'd jump in the surf with me and love it as much as I did. Nights when you and the moon and the water all become one. You feel you're part of something big and marvelous. That's the only place to live...Boy, if I could ever find a girl who was hungry for those things..."); Ellie responded with wet eyes and love for him ("Take me with you, Peter. Take me to your island. I want to do all those things you talked about"), but he was taken aback by her love for him and told her twice: "You'd better go back to your bed," where she cried herself to sleep
  • the aborted wedding scene with Ellie fleeing her wedding as a runaway bride with her long veil trailing behind
  • the last scene, set in another autocamp, this time in Michigan, with Peter and Ellie in possession of a marriage license; the auto-camp manager and his wife discussed the couple: ("Funny couple, ain't they?...They made me get them a rope and a blanket on a night like this. What do you reckon that's for?"); when the manager mentioned they had requested a trumpet, the wife was puzzled: ("But what in the world do they want a trumpet for?"); suddenly, they heard the sound of a tinny trumpet blast - a signal that the blanket had 'fallen' (off-screen) and the "walls of Jericho" had toppled

It's A Gift (1934)

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

  • the hilarious grocery store sequences with Harold Bissonette's (W. C. Fields) customers - the patrons included 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 by 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 about a small-town lender-banker in Bedford Falls:

  • the simple opening scene of stars blinking and celestial angels talking about George Bailey's (James Stewart) fate on Christmas Eve
  • the scene of young George's (Bobbie Anderson) rescue of his younger brother Harry (Georgie Nokes) from a fall through the ice and potential drowning
  • young Mary Hatch's (Jean Gale) whispered secret to young George in the local drugstore (that he didn't hear), when she leaned over the counter, asked: ("Is this the ear you can't hear on?"), and then vowed: ("George Bailey - I'll love you till the day I die")
  • the sequence of George's saving of the drunk and grieving druggist Mr. Gower (H.B. Warner) from mistakenly mixing up a prescription of poisonous cyanide to an ailing child: ("You put something wrong in those capsules. It wasn't your fault, Mr. Gower")
  • the comedic scene of the high school dance with the gymnasium dance floor opening over a swimming pool as George and grown-up childhood sweetheart Mary (Donna Reed) obliviously danced the Charleston and fell into the pool
  • George Bailey's walk home after the dance with Mary while singing Buffalo Gals, and their throwing of stones at the deserted old Granville house (with Mary's prophetic wish: "I love that old house...It's full of romance, that old place. I'd like to live in it"), and George's statement of dreams for the future: ("I'm shakin' the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I'm gonna see the world. Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Coliseum. Then, I'm comin' back here to go to college and see what they know. And then I'm gonna build things. I'm gonna build airfields, I'm gonna build skyscrapers a hundred stories high, I'm gonna build bridges a mile long...")
  • George's idealistic offer to Mary - a poetic, imaginative fantasy about lasso-ing the moon and bringing it down to Earth to her: ("What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You-you want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey, that's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon...Well, then you could swallow it. And it'll all dissolve, see. And the moon beams that shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair...Am I talking too much?"), ending with the bald, overweight neighbor (Dick Elliott) nearby challenging George to do less talking and try more romantic action: "Why don't you kiss her instead of talking her to death?"
  • afterwards, the humorous scene of the loss of Mary's bathrobe and George's teasing of her, and talking to the shrubbery where she was hiding
  • after the death of George's father, his inspired address in defense of his father's character, fighting selfishness and deceitfulness with honesty and decency against the town's vengeful Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore), and his speaking up for the common folk: ("Do you know how long it takes a working man to save five thousand dollars? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you're talking about. They do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn't think so. People were human beings to him, but to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they're cattle. Well, in my book, he died a much richer man than you'll ever be")
  • the marvelous scene of an extended angry and intimate shared phone conversation with George and Mary on the same end of the phone, when Mary encouraged George: ("He says it's the chance of a lifetime"), and George's outburst at her: ("Now, you listen to me! I don't want any plastics, and I don't want any ground floors, and I don't want to get married - ever - to anyone! You understand that? I want to do what I want to do. And you're...and you're...") but then immediately embracing and kissing her passionately - and their wedding in the next scene
  • Mary's question to George: "Why must you torture the children?", and George's complaints about his life: ("This drafty old barn! Might as well be living in a refrigerator! Why did we have to live here in the first place and stay around this measly, crummy old town?...Everything's wrong. You call this a happy family? Why do we have to have all these kids?")
  • small-town father and husband George's rescue by guardian angel Second Class Clarence Oddbody (Henry Travers) on a bridge when he considered suicide on Christmas Eve; and then, the despondent George's wish: ("I suppose it'd been better if I'd never been born at all") - and Clarence's granting of the wish: ("You've got your wish: you've never been born") -- and soon after, Clarence's explanation: ("Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives, and when he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?")
  • the nightmarish sequence of Bedford Falls (now named Pottersville after the town's despotic tycoon) without George as he staggered 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"); Clarence reminded George: ("You see, George, you've really had a wonderful life. Don't you see what a mistake it would be to throw it away?")
  • George's encounter with Mary, now an unhappy old-maid librarian with spectacles, who didn't recognize him and screamed for him to get away
  • George's breakdown and heartfelt plea to Clarence to live again: ("Get me back!...I want to live again") - his life-affirming and joyful discovery that his wish was granted and that he was alive (because his mouth was bleeding, he had a deaf ear, and he felt daughter Zuzu's petals in his pocket), the sequence of his resounding ecstasy as he ran 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 had 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): (Zuzu: "Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings, an angel gets his 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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