Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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L (continued)
Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions
Screenshots

Lili (1953)

In Charles Waters' romantic and enchanting fantasy-musical drama, noted for becoming the first film ever to be adapted into a Broadway musical - in 1961, named Carnival:

  • the scenes of sad and lonely sixteen year-old carnival waitress Lili (Leslie Caron), a naive orphaned French girl, talking and singing to the puppets of the carnival's puppeteer Paul Berthalet (Mel Ferrer) as if they were real people
  • the four puppets, all of Lili's friends: red-haired Carrot Top, foxy and sly Reynardo, vain ballerina Marguerite, and cowardly giant Golo
  • the famous "Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo" scene, in which the catchy title song tune was sung by Lili with Carrot Top and accompanied with an accordian: ("On every tree there sits a bird singing a song of love, on every tree there sits a bird and every one I ever heard could break my heart without a word singing a song of love -- A song of love is a sad song, Hi-li Hi-lili Hi-lo, A song of love is a song of woe, Don't ask me how I know, A song of love is a sad song, For I have loved and it's so, Hi-lili Hi-lili Hi-lo Hi-lo Hi-lili Hi-lili Hi-lo, Hi-lili Hi-lili Hi-lo Hi-lo Hi-lili Hi-lili - Hi-lo!")
  • the revelation that the crippled and embittered Paul was the voice of the puppets, when Lili pulled away the curtain on the puppet stage; he told her -- "Well, are you staying or going? We've had an offer from the Folies Paris, but we can't accept it without you"; she told him: ("I've been an idiot, a stupid fool, melting and sniveling over Reynaldo and Carrot Top. I must be crazy, but they've become so very dear to me, I forget. I forget every time that it's only you, or is it you? Is it? Wh-what are you? Are you just a monster without any feelings? Why can't you ever say a kind word? Why do you hide behind those puppets?"); he yelled back that the puppets reflected his own personality, but it was only "business": ("I am the puppets! I'm Carrot Top: confident, clever, capable of running his life and yours, and everybody else's; and I'm Golo the Giant: cowardly, stupid, longing to be loved, clumsy and in need of comforting; and I'm Marguerite, too: vain, jealous, obsessed with self, looking at my face in the mirror. Are my teeth nice? Is my hair growing thin? And I'm Reynaldo: the thief, the opportunist, full of compromise and lies like any other man. I have in me all these things. All of these and as many more again. Must I make a new puppet for the small part of me you've managed to see? The monster? The angry man? The frustrated dancer, clumping along with a leg anchored to the ground, and a heart anchored to - but you don't have to understand me or even like me. This is business"); she replied: ("Not any more")
  • the creative sequence, when Lili walked out of town with her suitcase, to leave the carnival for good, and then imagined that she was dancing with life-sized living versions of the four puppets - and as she danced, each one turned into Paul, backed away and returned to town; after her last dance with Golo, the two showered each other with kisses and embraced; Lili came to her senses and fully realized that Paul was voicing his own affection for her through the puppets, and she raced back to town and ran into Paul's arms for a passionate kiss
  • the last image of the four puppets watching around the corner, and applauding the restored and reconciled romance between Lili and Paul







Lilies of the Field (1963)

In director Ralph Nelson's drama - adapted by James Poe from a novel by William E. Barrett:

  • the opening scene of handyman/carpenter and ex-GI Homer Smith (Oscar-winning Sidney Poitier) arriving at an Arizona desert farm asking for water for his station wagon: ("My car's thirsty. Can I please have some water?") and being recruited by East German nuns ("God is good. He has sent me a big, strong man")
  • the scenes of them coaxing him to stay more than a few hours and help them to fix things: the fence, the roof - and to build a chapel
  • his confrontations with the character of the stern and harsh but good-hearted Mother Maria (Lilia Skala) - in particular to get paid for his work, as they spouted conflicting Bible quotes, such as: (Homer: "And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his hire." Mother Maria: "Cast in thy lot amongst us, let us all have one purse..." and "Why take thee thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. Yet I say unto you, not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these")
  • after completing the building of the chapel, the last scene when Homer taught English to the German nuns by way of the spiritual song "Amen" (they sang the refrain as he led), and then slipped out the door (while still singing), to depart in his packed station wagon to drive off quietly into the night (with "Amen" as "The End")





The Lion in Winter (1968, UK)

In director Anthony Harvey's literate Best Picture nominee and costume/period drama of ruthless politicial and sexual intrigue, treason, incest, and patricide:

  • the opening scene to frame the entire film - of King Henry II (Oscar-nominated Peter O'Toole) practicing swordplay with his youngest son: ("Come for me! You're gaining on it, Johnny... Off you go now. Run along and practice. He'll make a good king. He'll be ready"), and then his thoughts spoken to his pretty mistress Princess Alais (Jane Merrow) who asked: ("Will you look down from heaven and see who's sitting on your throne?"); he prophetically spoke: ("I must know before I die. There's a legend of a king called Lear, with whom I have a lot in common. Both of us have kingdoms and three children we adore, and both of us are old, but there it ends. He cuts his kingdom into bits. I can't do that. I've bullt an empire, and I must know it's going to last. All of Britain, half of France. I'm the greatest power in a thousand years, and after me comes John"); and then he described his imprisoned, estranged wife Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine (Oscar-winning Katharine Hepburn): ("She is not among the things I love. How many husbands do you know who dungeon up their wives? I haven't kept the great bitch in the keep for ten years out of passionate attachment")
  • the dramatic arrival of prison-bound, iron-willed Eleanor, released from jail ("It's only for the holidays") by her husband King Henry II on Christmas Eve in 1183 after journeying on a barge to his lived-in, drafty castle-chateau
  • the introduction of their three sons: Richard the Lionheart (Anthony Hopkins in his film debut), Geoffrey (John Castle), and young John (Nigel Terry), and their continual feudings about who should inherit the throne
  • the scene of Eleanor's bargaining for her freedom, in exchange for a land deal: (Eleanor: "I give the richest province on the continent to John for what? You tell me, mastermind, for what?" King Henry: "Your freedom....Once Johnny gets the Aquitaine, you're free. I'll let you out. Think: On the loose in London, winters in Provence, impromptu trips to visit Richard anywhere he's killing people - all that for a signature"); she then described her pain at being imprisoned for ten years and the difficult deal being offered to her: ("Henry, I'm against the wall. To be a prisoner, to be bricked in when you've known the world. I'll never know how I survived. These ten years, Henry, have been unimaginable. And now, you offer me the only thing I want, if I give up the only thing I treasure"); then he complained about her torment of him, and she responded that she enjoyed it: (King Henry: "Is it rich, despising me? Is it rewarding?...Then stop!" Eleanor: "It's what I live for")
  • Eleanor's mournful monologue before a mirror about her desolate life: ("I've lost again. I'm done for this time. Well, there'll be other Christmases....I'll have him next time. I can wait....We're locked in for another year. Four seasons more. What a desolation. What a life's work")
  • Eleanor's annoyed, despairing lecture to her three feuding sons about the origins of war -- and peace: ("...It's 1183 and we're barbarians. How clear we make it. Oh, my piglets, we are the origins of war - not history's forces, nor the times, nor justice, nor the lack of it, nor causes, nor religions, nor ideas, nor kinds of government, nor any other thing. We are the killers! We breed wars! We carry it, like syphilis, inside. Dead bodies rot in field and stream because the living ones are rotten. For the love of God, can't we love one another just a little? That's how peace begins. We have so much to love each other for. We have such possibilities, my children. We could change the world")
  • King Henry's monologue about disowning his own sons: ("My life, when it is written, will read better than it lived. Henry Fitz-Empress, first Plantagenet, a king at twenty-one, the ablest soldier of an able time. He led men well, he cared for justice when he could, and ruled for thirty years, a state as great as Charlemagne's. He married out of love, a woman out of legend. Not in Alexandria, or Rome, or Camelot has there been such a queen. She bore him many children. But no sons. King Henry had no sons. He had three whiskered things, but he disowned them. You're not mine! We're not connected! I deny you! None of you will get my kingdom; I leave you nothing. And I wish you plague. May all your children breech and die! (To himself) My boys are gone. I've lost my boys")
  • the powerful sexually-manipulative scene between wily 21 year-old King of France Philip (Timothy Dalton in his screen debut) and Richard that revealed the eldest Prince's homosexual attraction to Philip
  • the film's best line of dialogue by Eleanor after Henry fled: "What family doesn't have its ups and downs?"
  • the joyous, crowd-pleasing ending in which Henry bid goodbye to Eleanor when she returned to her prison keep by barge and promised her return at Easter: (King Henry: "You know? I hope we NEVER die!" Eleanor: "So do I!" Henry: "Do you think there's any chance of it?")








Little Big Man (1970)

In Arthur Penn's revisionist, Forrest Gump-like serio-comic western epic based upon Thomas Berger's best-selling novel, a fancifully-told flashback tale:

  • the opening scene, introducing the character of 121 year-old Jack Crabb (Dustin Hoffman with Terry Miles' incredible makeup) - the only white survivor of Custer's Last Stand in 1876 at Little Big Horn, who recalled his tall-tale epic exploits in the West to a skeptical historian-interviewer (William Hickey) - about how he was raised by the Cheyenne Indians (who called themselves "Human Beings") and wise tribal chief Old Lodge Skins (Oscar-nominated Chief Dan George), and eventually acquired the nickname "Little Big Man": ("I am, beyond a doubt, the last of the old-timers. My name is Jack Crabb. And I am the sole white survivor of the Battle of Little Big Horn, uh, uh, popularly known as Custer's Last Stand...")
  • the moving speech of Old Lodge Skins to Little Big Man/Jack Crabb, as he held up a white man's scalp, about the difference in beliefs between the White Man and the "Human Beings" (their Indian tribe), after being asked if he hated the White Man: ("Do you see this fine thing? Do you admire the humanity of it? Because the Human Beings, my son, they believe everything is alive. Not only man and animals, but also water, earth, stone. And also the things from them like that hair. The man from whom this hair came, he's bald on the other side, because I now own his scalp! That is the way things are. But the white man, they believe everything is dead. Stone, earth, animals, and people! Even their own people! If things keep trying to live, white man will rub them out. That is the difference")
  • the scene in 1865 when 16 year-old Jack was assaulted by a US cavalry trooper and almost killed, but convinced the murderous soldier that he was 'white' in order to be saved: ("Shooting rifles against bow and arrow. I never could understand how the white world could be so proud of winning with them kind of odds. 'God bless George Washington!' Before I knowed it, them words just popped out of my mouth. 'God bless my mother!' You murderin' fool! Got to cut your throat to get it through your head I'm a white man...Sure I'm white. Didn't you hear me say: 'God bless George Washington'? 'God bless my mother'? I mean, now, what kind of Indian would say a fool thing like that?")
  • and later as a teenager, Jack's raising by puritanical Reverend Silas Pendrake (Thayer David), taken in for "moral guidance and a Christian upbringing" although he was immediately seduced by Pendrake's sex-obsessed young wife Louise (Faye Dunaway), who gave young Jack a bath while singing the gospel song: "Shall We Gather at the River" and delivering "religious instruction"; he recalled it as the "greatest bath I ever had in my life": ("Poor boy. He hasn't even had a proper bath. His darling neck is so... I detect the odor of food. I shall wash this poor, dirty boy...Silas, it is my Christian duty to give this boy an immediate thorough bath. Take off your clothes, dear...E- Every stitch. But I shall avert my eyes at the necessary moment..."); as she stroked his leg and excited him, she simultaneously asked: ("Are you thinking of Jesus, Jack?"); and after the bath was completed, she personally toweled him dry: ("All right now, dear, please stand up and let me dry you off. I shall avert my eyes, of course. Fine, now step out of the tub - and - actually, you are rather well grown, Jack. You're small but nice-looking. Did you know that?...The girls, I'm sure, will all be after you. And Jack...That way lies madness...You, you'll understand these things better when you're older. The point is, my dear boy, that we all must resist temptation. Purity is its own reward. Dear Jack, (she kissed him) welcome to your new home")
  • the scenes of Jack's days as a gunfighter (the "Soda Pop" Kid) when he met Wild Bill Hickok (Jeff Corey) in a saloon
  • the recreation of insane Gen. George Armstrong Custer's (Richard Mulligan) 1868 mid-winter surprise attack and brutal massacre of Black Kettle's Cheyenne encampment (of mostly women and children) on Indian lands at Washita River (shot silently through a telephoto lens) with the additional slaughter of Indian horses and views of bodies lying in the snow, in the midst of which Custer made insensitive comments: ("You think it's shocking to shoot a few ponies? Well, let me tell you, the women are far more important than the ponies. The point is, they breed like rats, however, Lieutenant, this is a legal action. And the men are under strict orders not to shoot the women. Unless, of course, they refuse to surrender")
  • the scene of Custer's "mule-skinner" scout Jack, using reverse psychology, tricking General Custer into leading his cavalry troops to the disastrous Little Big Horn - where they were massacred: ("General, you go down there... There are thousands of Indians down there. And when they get done with you, there won't be nothin' left but a greasy spot. This ain't the Washita River, General. And them ain't helpless women and children waitin' for ya. They're Cheyenne brave and Sioux. You go down there if you got the nerve"); Custer thought he had outsmarted Jack and vowed to proceed: ("Still trying to outsmart me, aren't you, mule skinner? You want me to think that you don't want me to go down there, but the subtle truth is, you really don't want me to go down there. Well, are you reassured now, Major? Men of the seventh! The hour of victory is at hand! Onward to Little Big Horn and glory!")
  • toward the end of the film, Chief Old Lodge Skins' decision to die, accompanied by Jack to the Indian burial ground, where he made a speech about his gratitude before lying down to die: ("It makes my heart sad. A world without Human Beings has no center to it....It is a good day to die! Thank you for making me a Human Being! Thank you for helping me to become a warrior. Thank you for my victories and for my defeats. Thank you for my vision and the blindness in which I saw further. You make all things and direct them in their ways, oh Grandfather. And now, you have to silence the Human Beings! We'll soon walk a road that leads nowhere. I am going to die now, unless death wants to fight. And I ask you for the last time to grant me my old power to make things happen. Take care of my son, here. See that he doesn't go crazy."); but then when it started to rain, the Chief remarked as he sat up: ("Am I still in this world?...Well, sometimes the magic works, sometimes it doesn't")












Little Caesar (1930)

In director Mervyn LeRoy's crime/gangster film - one of the first "talkie" gangster movies:

  • the opening scene introducing the small-town petty thug title character: wide-mouthed, squat-faced Enrico "Rico" Bandello (Edward G. Robinson) with his friend Joe Massara (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.) in a seamy, run-down diner, boasting: "Shoot first and argue afterwards. You know, this game ain't for guys that's soft!"
  • vain Caesar Enrico or Rico "Little Caesar" Bandello at a testimonial dinner banquet at the Palermo Club - and vainly agreeing to have his picture taken by newspaper photographers (he reflexively combed his hair), ignoring the fact that it would create negative publicity - "What do I care when I want folks to see what the boys think of me."
  • Rico's threat to rival gangster Little Arnie Lorch (Maurice Black) as he rose to the top: ("If you ain't out of town by tomorrow morning, you won't ever leave it except in a pine box. I'm takin' over this territory")
  • the scene after Rico had killed the new crime commissioner and had taken over as boss of the gang - and his threat about cowardly members: ("There's a rope around my neck right now and they only hang ya once. If anybody turns yella and squeals, my gun's gonna speak its piece")
  • the memorable ending as Rico hid behind a billboard with a gigantic poster (advertising Joe Massara and Olga Strassoff starring in a new dance show at the Grand Theatre: Tipsy, Topsy, Turvy - A Laughing Singing Dancing Success) when he saw a police car approaching; police Sgt. Flaherty (Thomas Jackson) yelled out: "You'd better give up, Rico. You haven't got a chance," although Rico resisted: "You want me, you'll have to come and get me."
  • Rico's death scene when he was shot down by machine-gun fire behind the roadside billboard, and his final cry - his final epitaph - as he was lying sprawled on the ground: ("Mother of Mercy! Is this the end of Rico?")




The Little Colonel (1935)

In Shirley Temple's first costume picture, she performed her first tap-dance pairing with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson - their tap dancing duet was reprised with their competitive "challenge dance" up and down wooden apartment steps in The Littlest Rebel (1935) (see below):

  • the celebrated stairway dance scene in which young Lloyd Sherman (Shirley Temple) tapped side-by-side down and then up a staircase with Walker (Bill Robinson), her grandfather Colonel Lloyd’s butler




The Little Foxes (1941)

In director William Wyler's family melodrama based upon Lillian Hellman's work:

  • the scene of the lengthy conversation between ruthless wife Regina (Bette Davis) and her invalid husband Horace Giddens (Herbert Marshall) when he revealed his disgust at the exploitative family's dirty dealings, and she declared that she was waiting for him to die: (Horace: "Maybe it's easy for the dying to be honest. I'm sick of you, sick of this house, sick of my unhappy life with you. I'm sick of your brothers and their dirty tricks to make a dime. There must be better ways of getting rich than building sweatshops and pounding the bones of the town to make dividends for you to spend. You'll wreck the town, you and your brothers. You'll wreck the country, you and your kind, if they let you. But not me, I'll die my own way, and I'll do it without making the world any worse. I leave that to you." Regina: "I hope you die! I hope you die soon!...I'll be waiting for you to die!")
  • the famous, impressively-filmed, deep-focus scene of the coronary seizure of Horace Giddens who was pleading for help as he struggled upstairs to get his heart medicine - behind his expressionless, unmoving, and stone-faced wife Regina who sat impassively on a sofa in the foreground; Horace collapsed into unconsciousness as he climbed the stairs behind her and suffered a fatal heart attack (without her deliberate lack of help)



Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

In Frank Oz' comedy/sci-fi musical (a remake of the original 1960 film by director Roger Corman), about a flower-shop worker in Mushnik's Floral Shop located in "Skid Row":

  • nerdy flower-shop worker Seymour Krelborn's (Rick Moranis) fast-growing Venus Fly-Trap-type plant, voraciously requesting: "Feed me, Seymour"
  • the many appearances of the doo-wop Greek chorus trio
  • the song "Dentist!" that introduced sadistically abusive, motorcycle-riding and torturing dentist Orin Scrivello D.D.S. (Steve Martin): ("When I was younger, just a bad little kid, My momma noticed funny things I did, Like shootin' puppies with a BB gun, I'd poison guppies And when I was done, I'd find a pussy cat and bash in its head. That's when my momma said... She said My boy, I think someday, You'll find a way To make your natural tendencies pay. You'll be a dentist, You have a talent for causing things pain. Son, be a dentist. People will pay you to be inhumane. Your temperament's wrong for the priesthood, And teaching would suit you still less. Aah! Son, be a dentist, You'll be a success...")
  • the scene of Dr. Scrivello's appointment with masochistic patient Arthur Denton (Bill Murray) with a "history of dental problems" who needed "a long, slow root canal"; as he got into the dentist's chair, he delivered a long and nervous monologue about his past experiences with dentists before and during the painful procedure: ("I went to a terrible dentist Wednesday, who was recommended to me by somebody that I saw on Monday who is the brother of a man that I usually see on Sundays. And their mother actually taught them everything that they know. She's incredibly gifted, but quite elderly. And a lot of people think she shouldn't be working. But I go to her because I'm just incredibly devoted to her strength. She can't really see who you are, but she knows, she knows the sound of your voice. And if you tell her where it is, the problem, she eventually works her way back and she finds the trouble and she does it. I wish I had that stamina, 'cause I can only go so long. That's how I want to be. I don't ever want to have to be just... I remember the first time I went to a dentist. I thought, 'Gosh, What a neat job! If only I were a dentist.' The dentist I went to had the greatest car. He had a Corvette. I thought, 'My gosh. Everybody calls him 'Doctor, ' and he's not really a doctor.' Oh, my God. 'If only I got out of here okay.' But then after everything was all finished, they gave me a candy bar. I thought, 'This is what I get? A candy bar?' This is what you do. You go through a little thing and get chocolate out of it. Getting to work with incredible professionals who use incredibly, incredibly wonderful equipment...Ahhh! Ahhh! Candy bar! Ohh! Candy bar! Candy bar! Gosh! Oh, God. Do it again. Oh, God, doctor. Whoo! Yeah, aw, great! Oh, you are something special. You are something special! Come on! Come on! Come on! Mm, aw, oh! Thank you! Oh, y eah, thank you! Oh, my God. It's your professionalism that I respect. Oh, God! Don't stop, doc! Don't stop! Come on! More! Yeah! Yeah, come on! Yeah!..."); when the dentist was finished, he ordered Arthur out of the office, and then mumbled to himself: ("God-damn sicko!")
  • the dentist's own lethal addiction to nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
  • the buxom bimbo and shrill-voiced flower arranger Audrey (Ellen Greene) - the object of Seymour's infatuated crush - and Seymour's duet "Suddenly Seymour" with Audrey: ("...Audrey, that's all behind you now. You got nothin' to be ashamed of. You're a very nice person. I always knew you were. Underneath the bruises and the handcuffs, you know what I saw? A girl I respected. I still do. (singing) Lift up your head. Wash off your mascara. Here, take my Kleenex. Wipe that lipstick away. Show me your face. Clean as the morning. I know things were bad. But now they're okay...")
  • the concluding scene of the giant, carnivorous fly-trap plant Audrey II menacing Seymour and singing: ("I'm just a mean green mother from outer space. And I'm bad - mean, green, bad. I'm just a mean green mother from outer space, and it looks like you've been had. I'm just a mean green mother from outer space, so get off my back and get out my face. 'Cause I'm mean and green and I am bad, I'm bad")
  • the demise of Audrey II (in the theatrical ending) when Seymour electrocuted it with an electrical cable, and the giant plant exploded, although it might return - a small plant bud was viewed in the front yard flower bed of the idyllic, dream-like suburban home of Seymour and Audrey (now a married couple)











Little Women (1933)

In director George Cukor's classic adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's novel:

  • the snowy opening title credits
  • the amusing malapropisms by daughter Amy March (Joan Bennett): ("I know what I mean, and you needn't be 'statirical' about it! It's proper to use good words and improve your 'vocabilary'")
  • the scene of the March sisters discussing what they would each do with their Christmas present of $1 from their beloved mother Marmee (Spring Byington)
  • Marmee's reading of a letter to her daughters from their father fighting in the Civil War: ("Give them all my dear love and a kiss. Tell them I know they will remember all I said to them: that they will be loving children to you, they will do their duty faithfully, fight their bosom enemies bravely and conquer themselves so beautifully that when I come back to them, I may be fonder and prouder than ever of my little women")
  • Jo's (Katharine Hepburn) enthusiastic favorite expression: "Christopher Columbus!"
  • the reassuring words of dying Beth March (Jean Parker) to older sister Jo: ("I'm not afraid anymore! I'm learning that I don't lose you, that you'll be more to me than ever, and NOTHING can part us, though it seems to. Oh, Jo! I think I'll be homesick for you - even in heaven")
  • Jo's written ode to her sister titled "My Beth": ("Oh my sister, passing from me / Out of human care and strife / Leave me, as a gift those virtues / Which have beautified your life / By that deep and solemn river / Where your willing feet now stand")
  • Beth's last words: ("I think I can sleep now. Oh look, Jo. My birds. They got back in time") - at the moment of her death when the birds flew off from the window sill




The Littlest Rebel (1935)

In director David Butler's musical comedy (often computer-colorized), a Civil War saga with child star Shirley Temple:

  • the scene of six-year old Southern plantation-dwelling daughter Virginia "Virgie" Cary (Shirley Temple) at her birthday party, where the Cary's black house slave Uncle Billy (vaudeville and musical stage star Bill "Bojangles" Robinson) tap-danced for the young guests in the dining room, to the harmonica-played tune of "Turkey In The Straw"
  • Virgie's defiant, spunky and spiteful shooting of her sling-shot at approaching Union commander Colonel Morrison (Jack Holt), and then bragging to him: "I'm a Confederate" - he responded: "So you're a little rebel, eh?"; she repeated her identity, with her arms firmly resting on her small hips: "I'm not a rebel. My daddy said so. I'm a Confederate"; she also taunted him by marching back and forth while singing the southern tune "(I Wish I Was in) Dixie's Land"
  • her tap-dancing with Uncle Billy in a slave cabin (with a harmonica playing "Turkey in the Straw")
  • her singing of "Polly Wolly Doodle" (with Uncle Billy accompanying her on the banjo) outside the jail where her Confederate officer father Captain Herbert Cary (John Boles) was incarcerated; she also reprised the singing of "Polly Wolly Doodle" as the film concluded
  • also, Virgie's "challenge" tap-dancing in the public square with Uncle Billy to the tune of the song "She and I" - including their tap-dancing up and down a short set of wooden, apartment house steps (reprising the staircase scene in The Little Colonel (1935)), followed by their passing of two caps (one Confederate and one Union) in order to acquire money for "railroad fare"
  • her charming of President Lincoln (Frank McGlynn, Sr.) by sharing slices of an apple with him, and prompting him to pardon both Colonel Morrison and her father







The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935)

In director Henry Hathaway's sweeping, escapist adventure tale of three British officers of the 41st Regiment of the Bengal Lancers stationed in northwest India:

  • the characterization of stubborn and high-ranking commanding officer Colonel Stone (Sir Guy Standing) and his coldness toward his young naive son Lt. Donald Stone (Richard Cromwell) serving in his regiment
  • the scene of arrogant replacement Bengal Lancer Lt. Forsythe (Franchot Tone) playing a snake charmer's pipe to deliberately irritate fellow lancer Lt. McGregor (Gary Cooper) as part of their ongoing friendly rivalry - and inadvertently attracting a swaying cobra to his side
  • the polite words of evil warring chieftain Mohammed Khan's (Douglas Dumbrille) that provided a warning to the three captive lancers: ("Well, gentlemen. We have ways to make men talk")
  • the subsequent scene of torture ("unpleasant extremes") in which bamboo slivers were driven beneath their finger-nails and set afire
  • the prisoners' cure for boredom by betting millions of non-existent rupees on cockroach races within their dungeon cell (the insects were named after their enemies)
  • their suspenseful scheming to escape and heroically defeat Khan (McGregor sacrificed his life by blowing up the ammunition armory, while Lt. Stone redeemed himself by stabbing Khan in the back) during the climactic battle
  • the final scene on the parade ground when the three Lancers were honored for distinguished service with medals - one of which was given posthumously to McGregor




The Lives of Others (2006, Germ.) (aka Das Leben der Anderen)

In writer/director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's dramatic thriller (his debut feature film and the Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film):

  • the scene of the bugging of suspected but successful Socialist playwright Georg Dreyman's (Sebastian Koch) apartment by the East German Stasi (secret police)
  • the keyhole shot of an apartment neighbor noticing the activity and being threatened to keep silent
  • the continual round-the-clock monitoring of Dreyman's activities by survelliance agent Hauptmann Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe in his final role before his death in a part written specifically for him by the writer/director) who was slowly transformed into being a conflicted but sympathetic 'guardian angel' (in the elevator scene with a young boy)
  • the scene in which Dreyman's devoted lover Christa-Maria Sieland (Martina Gedeck) cleansed herself (both physically and emotionally) in the bathtub/shower of the filth after a forced sexual encounter with Cultural Department head Minister Bruno Hempf (Thomas Thieme) in the backseat of his limousine (in exchange for prescription drugs and protection)
  • the scene of the comforting of Christa-Maria by Dreyman when she was curled up in a fetal position, and she requested: "Just hold me"
  • Wiesler's failed attempt to emulate the tenderness of CMS' and Dreyman's relationship with a rigidly-scheduled prostitute in his drab apartment
  • the heart-breaking scene in which a distressed Christa-Maria committed suicide by running in front of a truck after she thought she had betrayed Dreyman by revealing the location of his incriminating red-ribboned typewriter that he had used to pen an anonymous article (ironically about suicide in East Germany) for West German magazine Der Spiegel - she was unaware that Wiesler had secretly removed the typewriter from under the apartment's doorsill to protect her and Dreyman
  • the scene of Georg's anguish over Christa-Maria's bloody death in the street
  • the final sequence in which Georg discovered that Wielser had protected him when he read the declassified surveillance transcripts on himself, and discovered a thumbprint smudge of red ink (from the red-ribboned typewriter) next to his official notation HGW XX/7
  • the scene of Georg locating Wiesler (now a newspaper deliveryman) and deciding not to introduce himself to the humbled man
  • the final scene two years later when Wiesler saw a bookstore poster advertising a new book written by Dreyman titled "Sonata For a Good Man" and its dedication: "HGW XX/7 gewidmet, in Dankbarkeit. (Dedicated to HGW XX/7, in Gratitude)"
  • the film's final line of dialogue: Wiesler's subdued, double-entendre reply to the cashier's question if he'd like the book he was purchasing gift-wrapped: ("No, it's for me")






Local Hero (1983, UK)

In writer/director Bill Forsyth's whimsical, magically light Scottish comedy:

  • the film's premise: a major Houston oil company (Knox Oil & Gas) wanted to take over the idyllic, fictional Scottish coastal fishing town of Ferness as an oil refinery site - causing the local residents to become ecstatic at the thought of instant wealth: ("They have a right to make what they can of it. You can't eat scenery")
  • the character of straight-laced, ambitious Knox businessman "Mac" MacIntyre (Peter Riegert) who was sent there and transformed into a laid-back, sweater-wearing beachcombing philosopher
  • the funny running gag between eccentric billionaire Knox CEO Felix Happer (Burt Lancaster) and pushy psychiatrist Moritz (Norman Chancer) who was employed to insult him on a regular basis; Moritz used abusive therapy, made hostile phone calls ("I'm still here, Happer! And you're still a useless motherf--ker"), and displayed a hate message on the skyscraper wall: "HAPPER IS A MOTHERF--KER" - causing Happer to growl orders to his secretary: ("And Mrs. Wyatt. There's a madman on the roof. You'd better call the police to get some marksman over here. Shoot him off. Shoot to kill")
  • the scenes of Knox local representative Danny Oldsen's (Peter Capaldi) growing relationship with Knox marine researcher Marina (Jenny Seagrove) as they watched the Aurora Borealis ("It's red all over!") - and his romance with the suspected mermaid - especially after kissing her feet and discovering them to be webbed
  • the bonding between Happer and old, crusty hermit/vagrant Ben Knox (Fulton Mackay) who refused to sell his beach land
  • and the happy ending in which nearly everyone benefited: the town was spared from being destroyed (the refinery was located off-shore instead), the townspeople got rich, Happer found his place in life (remarking: "Oldsen, I could grow to love this place"), Marina had her oceanographic research facility built, Oldsen won over Marina, and Mac was forced to return to the rat-race of Houston despite becoming deeply acclimated to the town life - memorably offering to swap his life with Ferness' local innkeeper-accountant-mayor Gordon Urquhart (Denis Lawson): ("I'm gonna stay here, run the hotel, do little bits of business, you can go to Houston. Take the Porsche, the house, the job. It's a good life there, Gordon")
  • the sad, transcendent ending when Mac was in his apartment and decorated it with the scant mementos from his trip (clam shells and a few photos pinned to his bulletin board)
  • the evocative final long shot of the town and its sole red phone booth, futilely ringing (was Mac trying to call the town? or was it just a memory?)






Lolita (1962, UK/US)

In Stanley Kubrick's once-controversial black comedy version of Vladimir Nabokov's 1955 novel, told mostly in flashback - a dramatic story of juvenile temptation and perverse, late-flowering lust:

  • the erotic pedicure scene under the credits of obsessed, middle-aged boarder and literature professor Humbert Humbert (James Mason) cradling the title character's foot and then lovingly and devotedly painting her toenails with bright enamel
  • in the prologue, the opening mad Ping-Pong match between TV writer/pedophile Quilty (Peter Sellers) and Humbert, who soon after wounded Quilty in the leg and then emptied his gun, as Quilty dragged himself away to find cover behind a Victorian, Gainsborough-type watercolor painting of an 18th century genteel young woman - Quilty screamed with childlike disbelief: "That hurts!" before slumping over dead; the camera's frame lingered on one of the bullet holes ripped through the face of the demure, innocent young woman - a symbol of abuse
  • the first image of skimpy, sultry and nubile bikini-clad nymphet teenager Dolores 'Lolita' Haze (Sue Lyon) sunbathing in the back yard - sporting a broad-brimmed, feathered straw hat and heart-shaped plastic sunglasses - with her "Yi Yi" bubble-gum theme song as Humbert was led through the house by Lolita's blowsy mother Charlotte (Shelley Winters), as she noted: ("My flowers win prizes around here! They're the talk of the neighborhood. Voila!...My yellow roses. My - daughter....I can offer you a comfortable home, a sunny garden, a congenial atmosphere, my cherry pies"); Humbert immediately accepted her offer to rent a room, and explained his decision-making: ("I think it was your cherry pies!")
  • later, Humbert's sly leering at Lolita over the top edge of the book he was pretending to read, as she practiced twirling a hula-hoop around her thrusting, pubescent hips while counting the rotations
  • Lolita's continual teasing (unintentional and intentional) of Humbert, and her words of farewell to Humbert and her half-winking at him as she went away to summer camp: "Well, I guess I won't be seeing you again, huh?...Then I guess this is goodbye....Don't forget me"
  • the scene following Charlotte's accidental vehicular death when Humbert took a hot bath and sipped from a martini glass floating on the water
  • the scene of Humbert's and Lolita's overnight stay at a hotel and Lolita's early morning coquettish suggestion to play a game that she learned at camp (whispered into his ear), while seductively twirling the hair on his head with her finger: ("I-I learned some real good games in camp. One in particular-ly was fun... Well, I played it with Charlie...He's that guy that you met in the office....You sure you can't guess what game I'm talking about?...You mean you never played that game when you were a kid?...All righty then...") -- followed by a discrete fade to black
  • the late sequence in which Humbert saw Lolita once again after she had married, and his greeting: ("So this is what Mrs. Richard T. Schiller looks like!")
  • and her last words to him: ("Hey, well listen, let's keep in touch, huh? I'll write to you when we get to Alaska")
  • the ending shot in the epilogue - a second view of the watercolor painting of a young woman with a bullet hole through her face - symbolic of the irrecoverably-marked life of Lolita
  • the epilogue's title card: "Humbert Humbert died of coronary thrombosis in prison awaiting trial for the murder of Claire Quilty."










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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