Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions
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L.A. Confidential (1997)

In director Curtis Hanson's great neo-noir police-crime drama of the early 50s derived from James Ellroy's 1990 novel:

  • the sequence of the so-called 'Bloody Christmas' incident occuring in the LA - the severe beating of imprisoned civilians (including a number of Hispanics) by members of the LAPD on Christmas Day, 1951 -- witnessed by young, clean-cut, straight-arrow, college-educated, neophyte patrolman cop Ed Exley (Guy Pearce) (who protested against the brutalizing actions of officer Dick Stensland (Graham Beckel) and violent, tough cop Wendell 'Bud' White (Russell Crowe)): ("Stop officer, that's an order"); and the next day's LA Times headlines: BLOODY CHRISTMAS: Police Assault Prisoners in Jailhouse Melee," and Exley's subsequent testimony in the case to advance in the ranks, while Stensland was fired
  • the bloody multiple homicide scene at the Nite Owl Coffee shop where six murdered victims were discovered - with the evidence eventually pointing to the corrupt LAPD and its police chief as the perpetrators of a major cover-up in their attempt to seize control of the lucrative drug trade in the city
  • the scene in which gossip-mongering, suave, celebrity "Hollywood" narcotics detective and technical advisor for the TV police drama series Badge of Honor Sgt. Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) made a deal with Lieut. Exley and promised: ("You help me with mine, I'll help you with yours - deal?")
  • the character of the sleazy tabloid Hush Hush magazine editor-publisher Sid Hudgens (Danny DeVito), in cahoots with Sgt. Vincennes who was provided kickbacks in exchange for being informed about celebrity-related arrests
  • the Veronica Lake look-alike - high-class hooker Lynn Bracken (Oscar-winning Kim Basinger) pimped by the leader of a pornography business and Fleur-de-Lis call-girl ring, millionaire Pierce Morehouse Patchett (David Strathairn) - specializing in movie-star look-alike prostitutes (after plastic surgery), who became attractive to White: (White: "Patchett's running whores cut to look like movie stars"); and their conversation: (Bracken: "You're different, Officer White. You're the first man in five years who didn't tell me l look like Veronica Lake inside of a minute." White: "You look better than Veronica Lake"); shortly later, she claimed that she hadn't been 'cut': ("l'm really a brunette, but the rest is me. And that's all the news that's fit to print")
  • the interrogation scene when tough, frustrated cop Bud White (who hated woman-beaters and injustice) burst in on Ed's questioning of three black suspects, possibly involved in the Nite Owl murders, about the whereabouts of a kidnapped female victim: ("Son, six people are dead, and someone has to pay for it. Now, it can be you, or it can be Ray...Son, you know what's gonna happen to you if you don't talk. You'll go to the gas chamber. So for God's sake, admit what you did...These people are all in the morgue. They were dead when you left them...Louis, who's the girl, what's her name?...Was she at the Nite Owl?...Now, listen to me. lf that girl is still alive, she's the only chance you've got....Where is she now?"); White pulled out his gun, emptied it of all but one bullet, and then stuck the gun in one black suspect's mouth while pulling the trigger and threatening: "One in six, where's the girl?"
  • the scandalous scheme devised by Sid Hudgens to set up actor Matt Reynolds (Simon Baker) in a homosexual tryst with LA's District Attorney Ellis Loew (Ron Rifkin), resulting ultimately in the death of Reynolds
  • the scenes of the rescue of the kidnapped and abused female victim, and the bloody takedown-raid on the entire gang suspected of committing the Nite Owl murders, noted by Exley's blood-splattered face and his new nickname: "Shotgun Ed"
  • the scene when the cops mistook the real Lana Turner for high-priced prostitute Lynn Bracken, and she threw her drink in Exley's face: (Vincennes: "She is Lana Turner")
  • the stunning scene when corrupt and diabolical veteran cop and LAPD police chief Capt. Dudley Smith (James Cromwell) shockingly and unexpectedly shot in the chest and killed Sgt. Jack Vincennes in the Captain's own kitchen for knowing too much
  • afterwards, the scene of Sgt. Exley confronting Capt. Smith about the meaning of the term 'Rollo Tomasi', knowing that the Police Chief was a corrupt mastermind crime boss: ("You're the guy who gets away with it. Jack knew it. So do I"); and later, Exley's murder of Capt. Smith in the back as he walked away from the Victory Motel, with his hands in the air
  • in the subsequent cover-up, Smith was remembered dying as a "hero," and a compromised, opportunistic Exley was awarded a Medal of Valor - to avoid controversy, and to prevent a stain on the reputation of the LAPD. At the ceremony, Exley was lauded: ("With leaders like Lieut. Edmund Exley, the image of fat cops stealing apples will be left behind, and Los Angeles will finally have the police force it deserves")
  • the concluding scene - the departure of seriously-injured but surviving Officer White (sitting mute in the back seat) departed with Lynn Bracken, on her way home to Arizona after quitting the high-class whore business. As Lynn departed and kissed Exley, she told him (in the film's last line): ("Some men get the world. Others get ex-hookers and a trip to Arizona. Bye")













L.A. Story (1991)

In actor/director Steve Martin's existential, surreal romantic fantasy-comedy set in the artificial, shallow city of Los Angeles:

  • the film's opening voice-over, introducing Harris K. Telemacher (Steve Martin), as he was riding a stationary bike in a park, and paraphrasing from William Shakespeare's Richard II play: ("My name is Harris K. Telemacher. I live in Los Angeles, and I've had seven heart attacks, all imagined. That is to say, I was deeply unhappy but I didn't know it, because I was so happy all the time. I have a favorite quote about L.A. by William Shakespeare. He said: 'This other Eden, demi-paradise, this precious stone set in the silver sea of this earth, this ground, this Los Angeles. Anyway, this is what happened to me, and I swear, it's all true")
  • Harris' solution to LA gridlock - buckling up his seatbelt, and like clockwork, taking a detour through side-streets, over sidewalks, backyards and lawns, to avoid the traffic, and later, the road rage scene of firing his pistol at an aggressive water-delivery truck
  • the scene of the report LA weatherman Telemacher's "Wac-Wac-Wacky Weekend Weather!"
  • the many gags about LA's lifestyle (i.e., the Walk/Don't Walk sign that read: "Like Uh Don't Walk")
  • his amusing thought: "I could never be a woman, 'cause I'd just stay home and play with my breasts all day"
  • the one-upsmanship lunch scene of ordering coffees at a trendy restaurant: (Harris: "I'll have a half double decaffeinated half-caf, with a twist of lemon"), and an earthquake that no one paid attention to
  • the brilliantly funny cameo by Patrick Stewart as a French-accented Maitre D' ("You zink with a bank statement like zis you can have ze duck?!")
  • the classic museum scene in which Telemacher roller-skated past objets d'art, then described one painting to his friends as sexy: ("The way he's holding her. It's almost - filthy. I mean, he's, he's about to kiss her and she's pulling away. The way the leg's sort of smashed up against her. Phew. Look how he's painted the blouse sort of translucent. You can just make out her breasts underneath and it's sort of touching him about here. It's really pretty torrid, don't you think? And of course you have the onlookers peeking at them from behind a doorway like they're all shocked. They wish! You know, when I see a painting like this, I get, uh, emotionally - erect") - and the painting was only a large red rectangle!
  • Harris' asking the name of carefree, playful Valley Girl airhead SanDeE*'s (Sarah Jessica Parker), and commenting on name variations: ("It's a nice name, but everybody has such weird names now, it's like Tiffany with a p-h-i, and instead of Nancy, it's Nanceen") - after spelling her name for him three times: ("big S, small a, small n, big D, small e, big E and there's a little star at the end"), she wrote it on his palm surrounded by a heart shape; and later, his reaction after touching her breasts: "SanDeE*, your... your breasts feel weird" with her unexpected reply: "Oh, that's 'cause they're real"
  • the romance between Harris and British journalist Sara McDowel (Victoria Tennant), aided by freeway signs, as Harris explained in voice-over: ("There are two events in my life that I consider to be magical, that couldn't be explained scientifically. The first of them was about to happen") -- a Freeway Condition sign (!) began to flash messages at him, and at first suspected he was being filmed, but then began to seriously take its advice about changing his life and romancing Sara: ("HIYA", "I SAID HIYA", "R U O K?", "DON'T MAKE ME WASTE LETTERS", "R.U.O.K.?", "HUG ME", "I SAID HUG ME", "I'M A SIGNPOST", "HUG ME", "PLEASE?", "THAT FELT GOOD", "I C PEOPLE N TROUBLE & I STOP THEM", "L.A. WANTS 2 HELP U", "U WILL KNOW WHAT 2 DO WHEN U UNSCRAMBLE HOW DADDY IS DOING", "IT'S A RIDDLE")
  • the powerfully romantic scenes, including the Enya-scored scene when he walked with Sara and they were magically transformed into children and then they kissed
  • Harris' line about summoning storms and winds (and changing the polarity of the earth so compasses wouldn't work) to prevent Sara from returning to London - as he kissed her passionately: ("Forget for this moment the smog and the cars and the restaurant and the skating and remember only this. A kiss may not be the truth, but it is what we wish were true") - and all of the freeway signs flashed: "CONDITION CLEAR"
  • the solving or rearranging of the letters of the riddle: "HOW DADDY IS DOING" -- as -- "SING DOO WAH DIDDY"
  • Harris' final summation of what he learned: ("There are only two things in my life I will never forget. One is that there is someone for everyone. Even if you need a pickax, a compass, and night goggles to find them. And the other is tonight. When I learned that romance does exist deep in the heart of .A")
  • the funny final shot of the freeway sign saying: "WHAT I REALLY WANT TO DO IS DIRECT"












La Dolce Vita (1960, It./Fr.) (aka The Sweet Life)

In Federico Fellini's landmark masterpiece, the tale of a journey of seven days to search for and discover "the sweet life":

  • the image in the opening scene of a helicopter lifting and transporting a huge statue of the figure of Christ with outstretched arms over the city of Rome (the Eternal City), flying next to an ancient aqueduct and then across to the Vatican's St. Peter's square, while a second news helicopter flew over a group of four pretty bikinied females sunbathing on a high-rise rooftop
  • the classic night-time sequence - following a dull party attended by playboy gossip writer Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni) and bosomy, sexy, and seductive blonde Hollywood starlet Sylvia (Anita Ekberg), a Swedish-American actress in a black evening gown - the two drove off and then she spontaneously went wading, dancing, cavorting and cooling off in the water of Rome's Trevi Fountain (a practice now banned) to tempt Marcello to join her - and after he did, she anointed his head with some water
  • the beach-house scene in which recently-divorced Nadia (Nadia Gray) performed a modified strip-tease to the sound of cha-cha music, while Marcello unsuccessfully attempted to instigate an orgy (he rode piggy-back on a young woman down on all fours)
  • the final scene of the partiers on the beach at dawn discovering a monstrous sting-ray fish (with two giant eyes) caught in a fishermen's net and dead for three days - but still staring: (Marcello: "And it insists on looking"), and the still drunken Marcello gesturing that he was unable to hear the calls of adolescent waitress Paolo (Valeria Ciangottini) from afar and across a small estuary; she watched and enigmatically smiled as he was joined by another woman and they walked away







Lady and the Tramp (1955)

In Disney's animated film, a musical love story between two cats from differing classes and backgrounds:

  • the musical performance of the song: "The Siamese Cat Song," by Aunt Sarah's two trouble-making Siamese cats, Si and Am, who sang: "We are Si-a-me-se if you please. We are Siamese if you don't please"
  • the romantic 'spaghetti-dinner' scene of refined cocker spaniel Lady and the scruffy, backstreet roguish stray mutt Tramp at the back entrance to Tony's - an Italian restaurant, sharing a meal of spaghetti and meatballs - when they were nibbling on a strand of spaghetti and met in an unexpected kiss for the first time
  • after being captured by the dog catcher, Lady's encounter with a colorful assortment of dogs in the local dog pound (that performed a memorable chorus of "Home Sweet Home"); Toughy derided her high-class upbringing as "Miss Park Avenue herself," and Bulldog called her "a regular bloomin' debutante" and also asked: "Hey, whatcha in for, sweetheart? Putting fleas on the butler?"
  • the vicious fight between the Tramp and a disgusting large rat that snuck into the house and was threatening the Darling's baby in the nursery




The Lady Eve (1941)

In Preston Sturges' classic romantic screwball comedy about a battle of the sexes:

  • the many scenes of comic erotic seduction, sexy legs, slapstick pratfalls, and witty dialogue between Jean Harrington (Barbara Stanwyck) and wealthy snake expert Charles "Hopsie" Pike (Henry Fonda)
  • specifically on a transatlantic oceanliner, resourceful, sophisticated and alluring Jean Harrington and her crooked but lovable father, Colonel Harrington (Charles Coburn), taking advantage of innocent, dense and slow-thinking, snake-loving 'Hopsie' - the wealthy heir to a brewery fortune; she sized him up as she voyeuristically watched the eligible bachelor and described what she saw through a compact make-up mirror held up to reflect the obvious and futile efforts and tricks of other amateurish debutantes and single women behind her, while she commented on Hopsie's unpreparedness and deplorable naivete: ("Not good enough...they're not good enough for him. Every Jane in the room is giving him the thermometer and he feels they're just a waste of time. He's returning to his book, he's deeply immersed in it. He sees no one except - watch his head turn when that kid goes by. It won't do you any good, dear, he's a bookworm, but swing 'em anyway. Oh, now how about this one. How would you like that hanging on your Christmas tree? Oh you wouldn't? Well, what is your weakness, brother? Holy smoke, the dropped kerchief! That hasn't been used since Lily Langtry. You'll have to pick it up yourself, madam. It's a shame, but he doesn't care for the flesh. He'll never see it...(imitating Hopsie speaking to himself) I wonder if my tie's on straight. I certainly upset them, don't I? Now who else is after me? Ah, the lady champion wrestler, wouldn't she make a houseful. Oh, you don't like her either. Well, what are you going to do about her? Oh, you just can't stand it anymore. You're leaving. These women don't give you a moment's peace, do they? Well go ahead! Go sulk in your cabin. Go soak your head and see if I care")
  • after her long monologue, Jean's attempt to snare the reclusive millionaire as he walked out, by stretching out her shapely foot and ankle from under the table into his path, tripping him - and after he fell flat on his face to the floor, she complained that he had broken her shoe's heel - and forced him to accompany her to her room to replace them -- her means to get acquainted
  • the flirtatious scene in her ship's cabin after Charles escorted Jean there to try on a new pair of evening 'slippers' - when she extended her shapely leg for the fitting, he held onto her ankle and stared deeply into her eyes, while she stared back and he became overpowered by her perfume: ("You see, where I've been, I mean up the Amazon, you kind of forget how, I mean, when you haven't seen a girl in a long time. I mean, uh, there's something about that perfume that...Like it! I'm cock-eyed on it!") - she resisted him, purposely: ("Why Hopsie! You ought to be kept in a cage!")
  • the sequence of Charles' introduction of his pet snake Emma (a rare type of Brazilian glass snake) to Jean when they were outside his stateroom cabin: ("Would you care to come in... and see Emma?") - she flippantly responded: ("That's a new one, isn't it?") - and then she screamed when she saw the creature slithering around on Charles' pajamas on the bed, and rushed out of the room
  • the memorable most artful, sexually-lustful seduction scene, back in her cabin, when she leaned over and wrapped her arms around his neck, almost holding it in a vise, and began to caress his hair, face and earlobe - while his eyes sometimes closed. Jean cradled his head with her right arm, and as they talked, she nuzzled close to his cheek, tantalized him and drove him wild: ("Oh darling, hold me tight! Oh, you don't know what you've done to me"); during a lengthy conversation, with her face nestled against his, she teased and kidded with him - and tenderly and seductively stroked his cheek and fooled with his hair and ear, causing him to become paralyzed with desire; and then she described her ideal man: ("He's a little short guy with lots of money....What does it matter if he's rich? It's so he'll look up to me. So I'll be his ideal....And when he takes me out to dinner, he'll never add up the check and he won't smoke greasy cigars or use grease on his hair. And, oh yes, he, he won't do card tricks...When I marry, it's gonna be somebody I've never seen before. I mean I won't know what he looks like or where he'll come from of what he'll be. I want him to sort of - take me by surprise....And the night will be heavy with perfume. And I'll hear a step behind me and somebody breathing heavily, and then - you'd better go to bed, Hopsie. I think I can sleep peacefully now")
  • the sequence of Jean's elaborate and vengeful scam to get even: ("I've got some unfinished business with him. I need him like the axe needs the turkey") - a tricky impersonation of aristocratic English woman, Lady Eve Sedgwick (who looked suspiciously exactly like Jean Harrington) to seduce Charles (a second time) and make him fall in love with her again - so that she could get the upper hand; Charles was completely taken aback and stunned when first introduced to Lady Eve
  • confused by Lady Eve's identity, the magnificent pratfall when Charles was distracted, and he tripped and dove right over a low sofa couch, ending up on top of a coffee table with his head in a bowl of lobster dip, as his rotund, frog-voiced father Mr. Horace Pike (Eugene Pallette) remarked: "You haven't been hitting the bottle lately, have you?"
  • their wedding night scene aboard a speeding train en route to their honeymoon - causing Pike great dismay when Lady Eve told him about all her past lovers (Angus, Herman, Vernon, Cecil, Hubert, Herbert, and John)
  • the final scene, again onboard an ocean liner, in which Jean happened to luckily meet Pike again by deliberately tripping him -- and their curtain closing revelations at her state-room cabin door - Pike: "There's just one thing. I feel it's only fair to tell you. It would never have happened except she looked so exactly like you. And I have no right to be in your cabin....Because I'm married" -- Jean: "But so am I, darling. So am I"; Pike's cynical and protective guardian/valet Muggsy (William Demarest) delivered the final line to the camera after stealthily sneaking out of their room: "Positively the same dame!"











The Lady from Shanghai (1948)

In writer/director Orson Welles' film noir classic:

  • the opening voice-over narration by out-of-work, gullible, wandering Irish seaman Michael O'Hara (Orson Welles): ("When I start out to make a fool of myself, there's very little can stop me. If I'd known where it would end, I'd never let anything start, if I'd been in my right mind, that is. But once I'd seen her, once I'd seen her, I was not in my right mind for quite some time...me, with plenty of time and nothing to do but get myself in trouble. Some people can smell danger, not me")
  • the sequence of O'Hara's first meeting short-haired blonde femme fatale Elsa Bannister (Rita Hayworth), who was seated under the black hood of a horse-drawn carriage on its way to New York's Central Park; his fanciful name for her: Princess Rosalie; and his voice-over recollection: ("That's how I found her, and from that moment on, I did not use my head very much, except to be thinking of her")
  • the secret meeting at SF's Steinhart aquarium between the two secret lovers - Elsa and Michael, who had been hired as a sailor on the yacht of Elsa's husband - they were deliberately positioned before predatory fish, when she begged: ("Tell me where we'll go, Michael. Will you carry me off with you into the sunrise?...Just take me there. Take me quick. Take me.")
  • Elsa's haunting singing of the torch song "Please Don't Kiss Me" ("Please don't love me, but if you love me, then don't take your lips or your arms or your love away"), while on the deck of the yacht one night, while wearing a black two-piece swimsuit
  • the visually-intriguing, climactic shoot-out in the Crazy House-Hall of Mirrors in an abandoned amusement park between femme fatale Elsa and her abusive, wealthy lawyer husband Arthur Bannister (Everett Sloane) as O'Hara watched - set among multiple distorted mirrors that broke and shattered; the couple self-destructively drew their guns and shot at multiple likenesses of each other, as the screen erupted into a wild kaleidoscope of smashed glass, and they both mortally-wounded each other; Bannister uttered his last words: ("You know, for a smart girl, you make a lot of mistakes. You should have let me live. You're gonna need a good lawyer")
  • the prolonged death scene of Elsa - filmed at ground level down next to her on the floor, as she agonized over her death. While she was dying, she had one last exchange with Michael before he left her to die alone: (Michael: "You said the world's bad and we can't run away from the badness. And you're right there. But you said we can't fight it. We must deal with the badness, make terms. And then the badness'll deal with you, and make its own terms, in the end, surely." Elsa: "You can fight, but what good is it? Goodbye." Michael: "You mean we can't win?" Elsa: "No, we can't win. (poetically) Give my love to the sunrise." Michael: "We can't lose, either. Only if we quit." Elsa: "And you're not going to?" Michael: "Not again!" Elsa: "Oh Michael, I'm afraid. (He strolled away) Michael? Come back here. Michael! Please! I don't want to die! I DON'T WANT TO DIE!")






Ladyhawke (1985)

In Richard Donner's fantasy adventure set in medieval France about two star-crossed lovers:

  • the scene of the daring rescue of pickpocket thief Phillipe Gaston (aka "the Mouse") (Matthew Broderick) who was about to be executed; knight Capt. Etienne Navarre (Rutger Hauer) shot an arrow with his crossbow at the executioner to prevent the killing and free Phillipe, and then confronted Captain of the Guard Marquet (Ken Hutchison)
  • the famous, beautifully photographed "transformation" scene of the two cursed lovers: Captain Navarre and beautiful Isabeau d'Anjou (Michelle Pfeiffer); the curse upon them by evil Bishop of Aquila (John Wood) meant that they could only see each other as human for a split second between night and day, and were not able to touch; he would appear as a black wolf at night, and she would be a hawke by day -- there was a spectacular movie moment when they shared a brief and fleeting moment together as the dawn light shone on them and they reached out to each other; he transformed from his wolf form into human form, while she was reversing herself from human to animal form - Navarre frustratingly gave off a primal howl as Isabeau became a hawke and flew away (the shadow of her flapping wings were visible on his face)
  • in the film's conclusion, the scene of the joyous tearful reunion-celebration in the front of the cathedral of two lovers: Captain Navarre and Isabeau - after Navarre had sword-dueled on horseback against Marquet and then confronted the Bishop to lift the curse; the curse was over and broken when Navarre and Isabeau both faced the Bishop in their human form on "a day without a night and a night without a day" - a convenient solar eclipse; Navarre shouted at Isabeau: "You cut your hair!"; when Isabeau intervened, the Bishop went mad and attempted to kill Navarre, who defended himself and killed the Bishop
  • their companions: the escaped Phillipe Gaston (aka "the Mouse") and cloistered monk Father Imperius (Leo McKern) tearfully looked on as the curse was broken, and then exited, as Navarre embraced and lifted Isabeau high into the air and spun her around - lovers joyfully reunited









The Lady Vanishes (1938, UK)

In Alfred Hitchcock's early classic thriller and last British film:

  • the scene of English tourist and socialite Iris Henderson (Margaret Lockwood) being hit on the head with a planter dropped from above, and soon suffering dizzyness and hallucinations, while the intended target was actually hotel guest and fellow traveler, elderly governess Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty)
  • Miss Froy's silent scream that was drowned out by the sound of a train whistle on a train bound for London from the Swiss Alps
  • the vanished Miss Froy's handwriting on the train window, from earlier when she was having tea with Iris and because of train whistle noise, she wrote her name with her finger on the frosted glass: ("FROY")
  • the sight of a Harriman's Herbal Tea bag stuck to the train window pane for a moment
  • Iris's sleepy discovery that a suspicious British nurse-nun attendant was wearing high heel shoes
  • the eerie appearance of a fully-bandaged "patient" - allegedly Dr. Hartz's (Paul Lukas) patient, but thought to possibly be a disguised and/or kidnapped Miss Froy
  • the very last frames of the film -- a joyful reunion between Iris, Gilbert Redman (Michael Redgrave), and Miss Froy (actually revealed to be a British agent) seated at a piano playing her cryptic melody (containing a coded secret message)





The Last Detail (1973)

In director Hal Ashby's military-related, anti-authoritarian buddy film strewn with a record number of obscenities:

  • the character of Billy "Badass" Buddusky (Oscar-nominated Jack Nicholson), given a shore-patrol detail in Virginia to escort, along with his buddy Gunner's Mate First Class Richard "Mule" Mulhall (Otis Young), a naive young kleptomaniac prisoner, Seaman Larry Meadows (Oscar-nominated Randy Quaid), to Portsmouth Naval Prison in Maine to serve an eight-year sentence
  • the tense scene between Buddusky and a "redneck bartender" (Don McGovern) over a beer order for the under-aged Meadows - with the bartender threatening to summon the shore patrol, culminating with Billy's retort: ("I am the motherf--king shore patrol, motherf--ker! I am the motherf--king shore patrol! Give this man a beer!")
  • the trio's several days journey to Maine with various stops along the way to have "the kid" experience life, including a lunch of cheeseburgers and a lesson about returning food: ("Cheese melted enough for ya?...It ain't melted at all. Send it back...Send the god-damn thing back, Meadows. You're payin' for it. Meadows, have it the way you want it. Waiter? Melt the cheese on this for the Chief, would ya?"), a fist-fight with a group of Marines in NYC's Penn Station public restroom after Buddusky was insulted at the urinal, and called the offending Marine a 'dickhead': ("If I was a Marine, I wouldn't have to f--k with no thirteen buttons. I'd just take my hat off"), observing a joyous discussion group of chanting Buddhists, ice skating in NYC's Rockefeller Center,and a stop at a brothel in Boston for Meadows to have sex with a Young Whore (Carol Kane)




The Last Emperor (1987, UK/It./China/HK)

In Bernardo Bertolucci's Best Picture-winning epic, a biography about the life of Pu Yi, the last imperial ruler of China, told in flashback:

  • the sight of the last emperor of the Qing dynasty - child emperor Pu Yi (Richard Vuu as 3 years old), who ascended the throne in 1908 when pronounced the new emperor by the dying Empress Dowager Cixi (Lisa Lu) - "the new Lord of Ten-Thousand years. You will be the Son of Heaven"; he toddled out beyond a billowing yellow curtain to view outside the palace throne room the lined-up hordes of supporters, eunuchs and ritualistic worshippers - and the young boy's interest in a cricket pet given to him by an elderly Mandarin on his coronation day - becoming "the emperor's cricket"
  • the scene of the teenaged emperor riding his bicycle to the outer gate and being forbidden to leave the imprisoning Forbidden City walls
  • the young emperor's tutoring beginning in 1919 by Scot Reginald 'R.J.' Johnston (Peter O'Toole), a faithful yet ascerbic gentleman, who realized how imprisoned the emperor had become: ("The Emperor has been a prisoner in his own palace since the day that he was crowned, and has remained a prisoner since he abdicated. But now he's growing up, he may wonder why he's the only person in China who may not walk out of his own front door. I think the Emperor is the loneliest boy on Earth"); and the scene of their final goodbye in the back seat of a vehicle before Johnston boarded a ship
  • the scene of preparations for his marriage - in which he unveiled his arranged marriage partner Wan Jung (Joan Chen) after which she smothered him with lipstick-kisses all over his bald head - and later shared his bed with a second wife-concubine Wen Hsiu (Vivian Wu, aka Wu Jun Mei) (as they explored each other's bodies under a silk sheet)
  • tuxedo-clad ex-emperor Pu Yi (John Lone) as an exiled young adult dressed in Western clothes, cigarette in his hand, and singing wistfully "Am I Blue?" while leaning on a piano in a Western hotel dining room in Tianjin in 1927
  • later, his escape to Manchukuo as a puppet ruler where his wife Wan Jung became an opium addict (and was eventually placed in an asylum) and had an affair with leather-clad, decadent lesbian Japanese spy Eastern Jewel (Maggie Han); Wan Jung nibbled on Eastern Jewel's toes and smiled: "Now we're engaged"
  • the ten years of his imprisonment as # 981 in Foo Shoe - a Russian prison/re-education camp (where he couldn't even tie his own shoes) - but where he majestically scribbled his name on the ground - and the scene of his eventual release in 1959
  • the final sequence of an older Pu Yi in 1967 (the year of his death) - as a simple Peking gardener and also as a tourist visiting the Forbidden City where he ascended the Dragon Throne once again and showed an amazed young boy, wearing a red tie signifying Communist Party ties, his hidden cricket box behind the throne - to prove that he was the Emperor of China (Son of Heaven, or "The Lord of Ten Thousand Years"); the young lad released the cricket from the box, and it crawled onto his red tie
  • the final words of a tour guide in 1987, pointing out the golden Dragon Throne area to a group of tourists: ("This is the Hall of Supreme Harmony where the empress were crowned. The last Emperor to be crowned here was Aisian-Gioro Pu Yi. He was three years old. He died in 1967"), before the credits rolled over a freeze-frame of the throne area











The Last House on the Left (1972)

In Wes Craven's controversial early low-budget horror film, a taboo-breaking and often revolting 'snuff'-type film:

  • the long ordeal of two teenaged girls: Mari Collingwood (Sandra Cassell) and Phyllis Stone (Lucy Grantham) who were searching for pot when kidnapped by a group of escaped convicts led by Krug Stillo (David Hess)
  • their brutal and sadistic torture, rape, dis-embowelment, and eventual murder in the woods -- blue-wearing Phyllis was forced to urinate with her clothes on ("Piss (in) your pants...Do it!") - the camera panned down, showing her wettened blue-jeans
  • the two females were stripped naked and forced to have oral sex with each other ("Make them make it with each other!") - as the girls rationalized: "lt's just you and me here. Nobody else. Just you and me, okay?"; psychopathic, sadistic gang member Sadie (Jeramie Rain) also performed oral sex on Mari
  • the scene of Phyllis making a run for it, but was cornered, stabbed in the back by deviant Fred "Weasel" Podowski (Fred Lincoln) and then dis-emboweled (after repeated stabbings) and butchered, after which Sadie reached in and pulled out her gooey intestines to examine them - Phyllis' left hand and half of her forearm were amputated (off-screen)
  • the brutal sequence when Mari had Krug's name carved into her upper chest and was then brutally raped (as he drooled onto her face); she vomited and then walked dazedly into a nearby pond to half-submerge and cleanse herself where Krug shot and killed her, and she floated on the water's surface
  • and the later sequence of animalistic payback revenge/slaughter by the Collingwoods on the gang (who had been seen in intercut segments, planning a 'surprise party' for Mari) -- the father (Gaylord St. James) semi-electrocuted Krug, chipped out his teeth out with a chisel (in a dream sequence) and pursued him with a chainsaw, while the mother (Cynthia Carr) fellated gang member "Weasel" (who had his hands tied behind his back); after he boasted: "I can come five or six times if you want me to," she then viciously bit off and dismembered his penis as he was climaxing; she also slashed Sadie's throat with a razor in the pool







The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

In Michael Mann's historical romance epic - based mostly on director George Seitz's 1936 film (starring Randolph Scott) with screenplay by Philip Dunne - of James Fenimore Cooper's early 19th century novel about the battles between British and French forces in the American colonies during the French and Indian War:

  • the visually stunning opening scene of the pursuit-tracking of a deer
  • the lead heroic character of Nathaniel "Hawkeye" Poe (Daniel Day-Lewis), the European-born adopted son of Mohican scout Chingachgook (Russell Means) (literally, the last of the Mohicans)
  • the exciting battle scene of hand-to-hand combat during the violent Huron attack on the British troops who were being led unwittingly into an ambush by villainous Huron warrior Magua (Wes Studi) - including scalpings, stabbings, throat slashings, and Hawkeye's ultimate rescue of the group of attacked Britons, including Redcoat Colonel Edmund Munro's (Maurice Roëves) headstrong daughter Cora Munro (Madeleine Stowe) and her younger sister, Alice (Jodhi May); during the midst of battle, the point-blank shooting of a charging Indian by Cora
  • the scene of the two lovers, Hawkeye and Cora, in golden light in the besieged Fort William Henry (commanded by Colonel Munro), surrounded by French troops and the Hurons
  • the sequence of Hawkeye's famous romantic instructions and farewell scene in a cave behind a cascading waterfall to Cora as they were pursued by a Huron war party; she begged for him to save himself ("You've done everything you can do. Save yourself. If the worst happens, and only one of us survives, something of the other does too"), but he promised to come back and find her later, before jumping into the waterfall to escape: ("No. You stay alive. If they don't kill you, they'll take you north, up to Huron land. Submit, do you hear? You're strong, you survive. You stay alive, no matter what occurs! I will find you. No matter how long it takes, no matter how far, I will find you!")
  • and the chilling, quietly vitriolic promise of revenge against Cora's father - nicknamed "Grey Hair" by Huron warrior Magua: ("The Grey Hair's children were under Magua's knife. They escaped...When the Grey Hair is dead, Magua will eat his heart. Before he dies, Magua will put his children under the knife, so the Grey Hair will know his seed is wiped out forever")
  • the chilling scene of hostage Alice's decision to commit suicide by jumping off a cliff, rather than submitting to Magua
  • the dialogueless 15-minute sequence featuring the climactic one-on-one fights on a cliff-side path between Magua and Chingachgook's son Uncas (Eric Schweig) - ending in Uncas' death when he was stabbed and thrown off a mountain, and then another one-on-one fight between Chingachgook and Magua, ending with Magua's death
  • Chingachgook's final prayer (with Hawkeye at his side) as the "Last of the Mohicans" to honor Uncas: ("Great Spirit, Maker of All Life. A warrior goes to you swift and straight as an arrow shot into the sun. Welcome him and let him take his place at the council fire of my people. He is Uncas, my son. Tell them to be patient and ask death for speed; for they are all there but one - I, Chingachgook - Last of the Mohicans"); after Chingachgook finished his speech, he gave a tortured look to his adoptive European-born white son Hawkeye as they looked out to the New York wilderness








The Last Picture Show (1971)

In Peter Bogdanovich's best film about life and rites of passage in the small Texas town of Anarene in the early 1950s, with Robert Surtees' magnificent black-and-white cinematography:

  • the sex-capades of co-captains of the football team, Texas high-school seniors Duane Jackson (Jeff Bridges) and Sonny Crawford (Timothy Bottoms) as they pondered their uncertain futures
  • Sonny's affair with the coach's wife Ruth Popper (Oscar-winning Cloris Leachman), when the two hurriedly and self-consciously undressed (without looking at each other) in separate areas of her bedroom, and he lost his virginity when he awkwardly made unceremonious love to the older woman - under the sheets
  • the reading of a Keats poem by an English teacher (John Hillerman) to his disinterested class of teens: ("When old age shall this generation waste Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man To whom thou sayest, 'Beauty is truth, Truth Beauty' That is all ye know on Earth And all ye need to know")
  • the scene of the teenaged skinny-dipping indoor pool party when neophyte Jacy was challenged to get undressed out on the diving board as part of the initiation rites ("so everybody gets to watch"); expectantly, the whole naked group of teenaged boys and girls eagerly sat by the edge of the pool to watch "the strip show" - she nervously and gingerly removed many articles of clothing, almost fell off the diving board, and then with one dramatic gesture, yanked off her bra top and flung it on top of her pile of clothes; finally, she was cheered as she hopped into the water - completely naked
  • the fishing scene with ex-cowboy Sam 'The Lion' (Oscar-winning Ben Johnson), owner of the local pool hall, in which he recollected a "crazy" youthful romance with a girl (unhappily married) who swam nude with him in the same water: ("You wouldn't believe how this country's changed. First time I seen it, there wasn't a mesquite tree on it, or a prickly pear neither. I used to own this land, you know. First time I watered a horse at this tank was more than forty years ago. I reckon the reason why I always drag you out here is probably I'm just as sentimental as the next fella when it comes to old times. Old times. I brought a young lady swimmin' out here once, more than 20 years ago. Was after my wife had lost her mind and my boys was dead. Me and this young lady was pretty wild, I guess. In pretty deep. We used to come out here on horseback and go swimmin' without no bathing suits. One day, she wanted to swim the horses across this tank. Kind of a crazy thing to do, but we done it anyway. She bet me a silver dollar she could beat me across. She did. This old horse I was ridin' didn't want to take the water. But she was always lookin' for somethin' to do like that. Somethin' wild. I'll bet she's still got that silver dollar....Aw, she growed up. She was just a girl then, really....If she was here, I'd probably be just as crazy now as I was then in about five minutes. Isn't that ridiculous? No, it ain't really. Bein' crazy about a woman like her is always the right thing to do. Bein' a decrepit ol' bag of bones, that's what's ridiculous. Gettin' old")
  • the revelation of Sam's sudden death from a stroke to the two stunned teens Duane and Sonny after they returned to town following a trip to Mexico, and the cascade of misfortunes that followed in the wake of his death (i.e., the closing of the local movie house and the pool hall, the molestation of a little girl)
  • the pre-arranged rendezvous and sexual encounter between Duane and the town's ravishingly beautiful, calculating, fortune-hunting Jacy Farrow (Cybill Shepherd in her film debut) at the Cactus Motel in the dying Texas town - she laid back on the motel bed and half-closed her eyes as she encouraged him to take her virginity: "Oh Duane, hurry"; but then asked annoyingly: ("Aren't you gonna do it?...What do you mean? How could anything be wrong? Just go on and do it"); aggravated by the aborted love-making when he was unable to perform, she ordered him to dress: ("You think I wanna sit around here and look at you nekkid?"); she instructed him to "not tell one soul - you just pretend it was wonderful," and then threw her panties at his face; afterwards she told her admiring girlfriend-classmates: "I just can't describe it in words"
  • the scene of Duane and Sonny attending the 'last picture show' in town - Howard Hawks' western Red River (1948) before Duane's deployment to fight in the Korean War
  • the senseless death of Sonny's mentally retarded brother Billy (Sam Bottoms, Timothy's real-life brother) -- hit by a truck -- and Sonny's anguished cry: ("He was sweepin', ya sons of bitches. He was sweepin'!") - before covering Billy's body with his letter jacket
  • Ruth's tirade at Sonny for abandoning her when he returned to her after Billy's death: (""I'm sorry, I'm still in my bathrobe. What am I doing apologizing to you? Why am I always apologizing to you, you little bastard?! Three months I've been apologizing to you without you even bein' here! I haven't done anything wrong. Why can't I quit apologizin'?! You're the one oughta be sorry! I wouldn't still be in my bathrobe if it hadn't been for you. I'd have had my clothes on hours ago. You're the one made me quit caring if I got dressed or not! I think it's just because your friend got killed, you want me to forget what you did and make it all right? I'm not sorry for you. You'd have left Billy too, just like you left me. I bet you left him plenty of nights whenever Jacy whistled. I wouldn't treat a dog that way. I guess you thought I was so old and ugly, you didn't owe me any explanation. You didn't need to be careful of me. There wasn't anything I could do, so why should you be careful of me? You didn't love me. Look at me. Can't you even look at me? See? Shouldn't have come here. I'm around that corner now. You've ruined it. It's lost completely. Just your needin' me won't make it come back") before empathically realizing Sonny's pain: ("Never you mind, honey, never you mind...")









Last Tango in Paris (1972, Fr./It.) (aka Ultimo Tango a Parigi)

In Bernardo Bertolucci's landmark and controversial erotic film:

  • the scene (later in the film) of middle-aged American expatriate Paul's (Oscar-nominated Marlon Brando) anguished, out-of-control confessional (mostly ad-libbed) monologue next to his dead wife Rosa's body in their bedroom, surrounded by flowers, after she had committed suicide: ("...For five years, I was more a guest in this f--king flophouse than a husband. With privileges, of course....Our marriage was nothing more than a, a foxhole for you. And all it took for you to get out was a 35-cent razor and a tub full of water. You cheap, goddamn, f--king, god-forsaken whore. I hope you rot in hell. You're worse than the dirtiest street pig that anybody could ever find anywhere, and you know why? You know why? Because you lied. You lied to me and I trusted you. You lied. You knew you were lying! Go on, tell me you didn't lie. Haven't you got anything to say about that? You can think up something, can't you? Huh? Go on, tell me something! Go on, smile, you cunt! Go on, tell me, tell me something sweet. Smile at me and say it was - I just misunderstood. Go on, tell me. You pig-f--ker! You goddamn, f--king, pig-f--king liar"); and then he turned apologetic: ("I'm sorry, I just can't, I can't stand it to see these goddamn things on your face. You never wore make-up. This f--king s--t. I'm gonna take this off your mouth. This lipstick, Rosa. Oh, God! I'm sorry. I don't know why you did it. I'd do it too, if I knew how. I just don't know how. God, I have to, I have to find a way")
  • the controversial, carnal and raw sexual scenes (becoming increasingly more vile, empty and unromantic) between the gutter-talking widower Paul and young, full-breasted 20 year-old Parisienne ingenue Jeanne (Maria Schneider); during their first encounter in an empty apartment - clothed - he picked her up, carried her to a window with closed venetian blinds, and made love to her standing up, without saying anything; afterwards, they collapsed to the floor still embracing
  • Paul's insistence on having an affair - conducted anonymously without names; and his set of 'no questions asked' and 'no names' rules notable for the time: ("I don't have a name....No, no, I don't, I don't want to know your name. You don't have a name and I don't have a name either. No names here. Not one name... I don't want to know anything about you. I don't wanna know where you live or where you come from. I wanna know nothing....Nothing, nothing, do you understand?...You and I are gonna meet here without knowing anything that goes on outside here. OK?...Because, because we don't need names here. Don't you see? We're gonna forget everything that we knew. Every - all the people, all that we do, all that we, wherever we live. We're gonna forget that, everything, everything")
  • the development of their relationship that became increasingly more vile, slavish, empty, humiliating, and unromantic (i.e., "You know in 15 years, you're going to be playing soccer with your tits. What do you think of that?", and "What strong arms you have! The better to squeeze a fart out of you! What long nails you have! The better to scratch your ass with. Oh, what a lot of fur you have! The better to let your crabs hide in. Ooh, what a long tongue you have! The better to, to stick in your rear, my dear")
  • the sequence when they were hugging each other naked and coupled together, and she proposed that they concentrate - and "Maybe we can come without touching" but they were unsuccessful; then she suggested that they invent names for each other; he countered: ("Oh, God, I've been called by a million names all my life. I don't want a name. I'm better off with a grunt or a groan for a name. Do you wanna hear my name?"); after he made animal sounds, she complimented him: ("It's so masculine"), and then she made her own barnyard sounds ("Listen to mine") - and he joked: "I didn't get the last name" and they continued speaking in grunting moans and sounds
  • her passive acquiescence to various sexual encounters in the empty apartment, including a bathtub washing sequence, and rape and/or forced sodomy scene on the floor using butter as a lubricant during intercourse ("Get the butter"); and later, Paul reciprocated by letting Jeanne penetrate him anally with her fingers - part of his objective to "look death right in the face...go right up into the ass of death... till you find the womb of fear"
  • the scene of Paul's revelation of his past to Jeanne, including his "bad memories" and his unhappy childhood living in the country: ("My father was a, a drunk. Tough. Whore-fucker, bar-fighter. Super-masculine. And he was tough. My mother was very, very poetic. And also a drunk. And one of my memories, when I was a kid, was of her being arrested nude. We lived in this small town. Farming community. We lived on a farm. And I'd come home after school and she'd be gone. In jail or something. And, uh, and I used to, I used to have to milk a cow every morning and every night and I liked that but I remember one time I was all dressed up to go out and take this girl to a basketball game. And I started to go out and my father said, 'You have to milk the cow.' And I asked him, I said, 'Would you please milk it for me?' And he said, 'No, get your ass out there.' So I went out and was in a hurry and didn't have time to change my shoes. And I had cows--t all over my shoes. And on the way to the basketball game, it smelled in the car. And - I don't know. I-l can't remember very many good things...")
  • the fateful scene in a tango bar, where the two became increasingly drunk together and made toasts: ("Let's have a toast to our life in the hotel...Let's drink a toast to our life in the country. Huh?"), and he suggested that they dance - and also that they could start their relationship anew, but she was ready to end things because she was going to get married: ("What's the matter with you? It's finished....We're never going to see each other again. Never!"); during their disrupting dancing during a tango competition, they were thrown out: ("You'll have to leave, sir!")
  • the shocking finale back in the apartment when Jeanne semi-accidentally shot Paul in the stomach with a revolver in her hand; he stumbled onto the balcony where his last simple act was to remove his chewing gum from his mouth, and then he collapsed and died in a fetal position
  • her glazed, wide-eyed mantra as the film ended - Jeanne muttered the last lines of the film to herself (in French, translated below), rehearsing her lines that she would have to deliver to the police to explain his death (rationalizing and reassuring herself that it was self-defense when the stranger attempted to rape her): ("I don't know who he is. He followed me in the street. He tried to rape me. He's a lunatic. I don't know what he's called. I don't know his name. I don't know who he is. He tried to rape me. I don't know. I don't know him. I don't know who he is. He's a lunatic. I don't know his name")












The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

In Martin Scorsese's unorthodox and profound film - adapted from the novel of the same name by Nikos Kazantzakis:

  • the scene of Nazarene Jesus Christ's (Willem Dafoe) angry outburst at the moneylenders in the temple and his confrontation with the priest: ("This is my Father's house! It's a place of worship, not a market!...God doesn't need a palace. He doesn't need cypress trees or dead animals! He doesn't need shekles!")
  • the crucifixion scene, including the lengthy, slow-motion walk through Jerusalem's streets and mocking crowds to Golgotha
  • the moment when the cross was raised into an upright position (with the camera mounted upon it)
  • and then the moment that Jesus, naked and hanging on the cross during crucifixion, cried out as the camera turned sideways: "Father! Why have You forsaken me?"
  • the controversial "last temptation" visionary sequence in which Jesus was tempted by Satan (portrayed as a young androgynous guardian angel (Juliette Caton)) with visions of a "normal" earthly life with tattooed prostitute Mary Magdalene (Barbara Hershey) - including sex, marriage, and children
  • his ultimate return to the cross when the temptation was ultimately rejected by Jesus, with his triumphant dying words: "It is accomplished"







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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