Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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

Lolita (1997)

In director Adrian Lyne's controversial version of Vladimir Nabokov's novel about the aberrant, still-taboo and touchy topic of underage sexuality and incestual pedophilia:

  • the first view by obsessed professor and step-father Humbert Humbert (Jeremy Irons) of young nymphet Lolita (14 year-old Dominique Swain) sunbathing in the garden where a lawn sprinkler soaked her pale sundress
  • in one very controversial love-making scene in a hotel, their sharing of a double bed, when she French-kissed him on the mouth and told him about sexual games she had learned with a boy at camp, and then decided to demonstrate: ("I guess I'm gonna have to show you everything"); as a prelude to oral sex, she started to remove his pajama bottoms (and her own retainer), before a fade-out
  • Humbert explained in voice-over: "Gentlewomen of the jury, I was not even her first lover"
  • in the film's most provocative scene, Lolita rocked pleasurably on Humbert's lap while reading the newspaper comic pages
  • in another scene, Lolita stroked his thigh with her bare foot ("You want more, don't you?"), then nuzzled next to his crotch, inched her hand up his inner thigh, and bargained for $2 (instead of her usual $1/week allowance)
  • the symbolism was obvious when Lolita was eating a banana and wearing a two-piece outfit

The Long, Hot Summer (1958)

In Martin Ritt's sultry southern romantic melodrama that adapted a melange of William Faulkner stories - a film that was made during the passionate courtship of the two main performers (in their first film together):

  • the character of sexy, determined and virile drifter-sharecropper Ben Quick (Paul Newman) in Frenchman's Bend, Mississippi, who introduced himself to the town's influential patriarch Will Varner (Orson Welles) and claimed he had a "reputation for being a dangerous man" as a disreputable, suspected barnburner; the domineering Varner replied: ("You're a young, dangerous man. I'm an old one. You don't know who I am. I better introduce myself. I'm the big landowner and chief moneylender in these parts. I'm commissioner of the elections and veterinarian. I own the store and the cotton gin and the grist mill, and the blacksmith shop, and it's considered unlucky for a man to do his tradin' or gin his cotton or grind his meal or shoe his stock anywhere else. Now, that's who I am"); Quick responded: "You talk a lot"; Varner threatened Quick, knowing of his father's reputation of being an arsonist: ("Well, yes, I do, son. But I'm done talkin' to you except for passing you on this piece of information. I built me a new jail in my courthouse this year, and if during the course of your stay here, something, anything at all should happen to catch fire, I think you oughta know that in my jail, we never heard of the words 'habeas corpus.' You'd rot"); Quick asked instead for a decent job: ("Well, a smart man, he'd give me a job...None of this weed-scratchin'. I'm talkin' about a job that'll give me a white shirt and a black tie and three squares. You've got a place in your store and several other spots where you could use me. And you'd be writing yourself a fire insurance policy into the bargain"); when Quick wanted a yes or no answer right away, Varner called him "mighty bushy-tailed for a beginner"
  • the sequences of the reckless Quick's many unsubtle advances toward 23 year-old old-maid schoolteacher Clara Varner (Joanne Woodward), the daughter of Quick's rich boss Will, with Clara's repeated turn-downs and Ben's seductive come-ons; on the porch after dinner, she called herself "just plain skittish" - he suggested that she loosen up: ("Let's go get in that old Lincoln car of yours and we'll go and plow up the countryside. Let's go holler off a bridge good and loud") - or if she just wanted quiet: ("You want quiet? Let's go find us a needle in a haystack"); she demurely declined: ("Mr. Quick, those are all lovely, colorful suggestions, but I'm afraid if I started out to follow you, I would hear the starch in my petticoat begin to rustle and I'd know I was out of character"); he challenged her and then became impertinent about her genteel Southern beau Alan Stewart (Richard Anderson): ("Get out of character, lady. Come on. Get way out....You'll never know till you try...But if you're savin' it all for him, honey, you've got your account in the wrong bank")
  • in a department store after closing time, with lots of on-screen chemistry, Quick was able to successfully proposition Clara for a kiss: ("Aw, school is out, Miss Clara. Them blinds are drawn, night's fallen. Nobody here to see if you make a mistake. You put them things down, Miss Clara, 'cause I'm gonna kiss you. I'm gonna show you how simple it is. You please me, and I'll please you. (She slapped him) Oh, I know what's troublin' you. It's all those boys hollerin' for Eula every night. And Eula with her hair hangin' down and Jody with his shirt off, chasin' her. And your old man at 60 and he's callin' on his lady love"); she submitted to a kiss and a close hug
  • after their kiss, she reluctantly admitted: ("All right. You proved it. I'm human"); he replied: ("Yes, ma'am, you're human all right"); and then he sarcastically talked about his bad reputation when she angrily accused him of being a barn burner: ("Well, you hit on it. I can see my white shirt and my black tie and my Sunday manners didn't fool you for a minute. Well, that's right, ma'am. I'm a menace to the countryside. All a man's gotta do is just look at me sideways, and his house goes up in fire. And here I am, livin' right here in the middle of your peaceable little town. Right in your backyard, you might say. Guess that oughta keep you awake at night"); she turned and ran out of the store
  • and slightly later, Quick's shirtless delivery of a speech to Clara from her porch, as she lay in bed within view: ("You look mighty pretty with them readin' glasses on. You look pretty with them off. You look mighty young there, Miss Clara all curled up in your bed like you just washed your hands and brushed your teeth and said your prayers like a little girl. I'll bet you was a mighty appealin' little girl. I'll bet your hair hung in a tangle down your back. I'll bet you knew where to look for robins' eggs and blackberries. I'll bet you had a doll with no head on it. There's a church bazaar comin' up next week. Now, you wear a white dress and a ribbon in your hair and I'll waltz you around under the moon. (She turned out her light) Clara? Clara. Clar-ar-ar-a")
  • the scene "in the woods" (at a picnic table away from the crowds) after the romantically-persistent and aggressive Quick bid on Clara's boxed chicken supper basket and won it for an exorbitant $50 dollars, after which she made a memorable speech to him about not wanting him for marriage: ("You got some foolish ideas about me, Mr. Quick. I am no tremblin' little rabbit full of smolderin', unsatisfied desires... I'm a woman, full-grown, very smart and not at all bad to look at... And I expect to live at the top of my bent with no help from you....You are barkin' up the wrong girl, Mr. Quick, because it will never be you.... I don't know what arrangement you think you have with my father, but you'll find you have no bargain with me.... You have been hoodwinked, Mr. Quick. For once in your crafty life, you have been had...You're too much like my father to suit me, and I'm an authority on him....I gave up on him when I was nine years old and I gave up on you the first time I ever looked into those cold blue eyes.... I've got everything right, Mr. Quick....Mr. Quick, I am a human being. Do you know what that means? It means I set a price on myself, a high, high price. You may be surprised to know it, but I've got quite a lot to give. I've got things I have been savin' up my whole life, things like love and understanding and, and jokes and good times and good cooking. I'm prepared to be the queen of Sheba for some lucky man or at the very least, the best wife that any man could hope for. Now, that's my human history, and it's not gonna be bought and sold and it's certainly not gonna be given away to any passin' stranger"); he spitefully replied with some hostility: ("All right. Then run, lady. And you keep on runnin'! Buy yourself a bus ticket and disappear. Change your name, dye your hair, get lost! And then maybe, just maybe, you're gonna be safe from me")

The Longest Day (1962)

In 20th Century-Fox studio chief/producer Darryl F. Zanuck's semi-documentary war epic, with over three dozen international stars (including John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Henry Fonda, Sean Connery, Rod Steiger, Robert Wagner, Richard Burton, etc.) and three directors (Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, and Bernhard Wicki):

  • the recreation of the Allied invasion of Normandy Beach (D-Day, June 6, 1944) from five separate invasion points, with sweeping B/W Cinemascopic views of the assault as the troops left their gunships and advanced onto the beachhead
  • the spectacular POV sequence of the beach being hit by strafing gunfire from Luftwaffe planes
  • the U.S. Ranger Assault Group's ascent up the steep cliffs of Pointe du Hoc
  • the counter-attack sequence of US 505th group of infantry paratroopers parachuting into Sainte-Mère-Église, where one of the soldiers, Pvt. John Steele (Red Buttons) - who was caught in a high church steeple, watched in horror as his fellow paratroopers were gunned down on the ground by the Germans when they landed

Longtime Companion (1990)

In Norman Rene's sensitively-told AIDS film:

  • the story of white Manhattanites in the 80s decade, including David (Bruce Davison in an Oscar-nominated performance) as the lover of a deteriorating AIDS patient, soap opera scriptwriter Sean (Mark Lamos); the scene of David's loving, calm advice to his dying partner and 'longtime companion' Sean: ("It's OK, you can go. Let go now, baby. It's all right. Don't be afraid. I'm here...You let go of everything. Don't hold on...Let go. Just relax, let everything go. Let go. Let go...I know you're tired. Just let go. I've got ya. Now nothin' bad's gonna happen. Let go of everything. Don't worry. Let go. All your pain. Just let it all go. Just let go. There you go")
  • the famous closing "Fire Island Fantasy" in which the three surviving friends Willy (Campbell Scott), Alan/Fuzzy (Stephen Caffrey) and Lisa (Mary-Louise Parker) strolled on an empty Fire Island beach when Willy wistfully mused: ("It seems inconceivable, doesn't it... there was ever a time before all this, when we didn't wake up every day wondering who's sick now, who else is gone?...I just want to be there if they ever do find a cure") - as bluegrass singer Zane Campbell's haunting Post-Mortem Bar was heard in the background
  • the heart-breaking fantasy of the joyous reunion/party of the three survivors and their dead loved ones, when all of the dead reverted back to their healthy selves for a few moments and were greeted by the threesome before cutting back to them on the beach alone, as Willy repeated: "I just want to be there" - the film's last line

Lord of the Flies (1963, UK)

In Peter Brook's adaptation of William Golding's dark novel - a nightmarish and pessimistic story of about 30 English schoolboys (all non-professionals) stranded on a deserted tropical island following a plane crash, who became savages and murderers - [Note: also remade in color as Lord of the Flies (1990) by director Harry Hook]:

  • the scene of the castaways devouring a pig after roasting it
  • the scene of the hunt by the leaders in the group, led by Roger (Roger Elwin) to kill the pudgy and bespectacled Piggy (Hugh Edwards) (who had lost his glasses) by crushing him with a large rock boulder shoved from a cliff above
  • and later, the scene of a naval officer (dressed in white) discovering to his shock the exiled, democratic leader Ralph (James Aubrey) who had crawled up to his feet while being hunted by the more sinister and savage rival Jack Merridew (Tom Chapin)
  • in the concluding scene, the island burned while the body-painted boys rushed to the beach - and one of them was unable to speak his name to the officer; Ralph sobbed as the film ended (with flames and smoke behind him)

Lost Horizon (1937)

In director Frank Capra's classic adventure and romantic fantasy about Shangri-La:

  • the opening scene of a refugee evacuation as bullets flew about an airfield in war-torn China in 1935, and the introduction of the main character: courageous British diplomat (Foreign Secretary-designate), Far Eastern writer and idealistic dreamer Robert Conway (Ronald Colman)
  • the plane's crash-landing in the Himalayas, followed soon by the first views of the idyllic valley of Shangri-La - a paradise on Earth
  • Robert Conway's spying on young Sondra (Jane Wyatt in her film debut) skinny-dipping in a mountain pool, and his growing romance with her
  • the High Lama's (Sam Jaffe) discussion with Conway about the reason and purpose for the establishment of Shangri-La: ("It came to me in a vision long, long ago. I saw all the nations strengthening, not in wisdom, but in the vulgar passions and the will to destroy. I saw their machine power multiplying until a single weaponed man might match a whole army. I foresaw a time when man exulting in the technique of murder, would rage so hotly over the world, that every book, every treasure would be doomed to destruction. This vision was so vivid and so moving that I determined to gather together all things of beauty and culture that I could and preserve them here against the doom toward which the world is rushing. Look at the world today. Is there anything more pitiful? What madness there is! What blindness! What unintelligent leadership! A scurrying mass of bewildered humanity crashing headlong against each other, compelled by an orgy of greed and brutality. The time must come, my friend, when this orgy will spend itself, when brutality and the lust for power must perish by its own sword. Against that time is why I avoided death and am here and why you were brought here. For when that day comes, the world must begin to look for a new life. And it is our hope that they may find it here. For here, we shall be with their books and their music and the way of life based on one simple rule: Be kind. When that day comes, it is our hope that the brotherly love of Shangri-La will spread throughout the world")
  • the sequence of the High Priest's designation of Robert Conway as his successor before peacefully expiring at about 200 years of age: ("I am placing in your hands the future and destiny of Shangri-La, for I am going to die. I knew my work was done when I first set eyes upon you. I've waited for you, my son, for a long time. I've sat in this room and seen the faces of newcomers. I've looked into their eyes and heard their voices, always in hope that I might find you. My friend, it is not an arduous task that I bequeath, for our order knows only silken bonds. To be gentle and patient, to care for the riches of the mind, to preside in wisdom while the storm rages without...You, my son, will live through the storm. You will preserve the fragrance of our history and add to it a touch of your own mind. Beyond that, my vision weakens but I see at a great distance a new world stirring in the ruins, stirring clumsily but in hopefulness, seeking its lost and legendary treasures, and they will all be here, my son, hidden behind the mountains in the Valley of the Blue Moon, preserved as by a miracle")
  • Robert's one last look back, in a closeup image, for a final tearful and anguished view of the paradise refuge - one of the film's most memorable and powerful moments - as he departed from Shangri-La
  • the withered aging of Maria's (Margo) face after leaving the idyllic paradise where she had grown up, as Robert's impulsive younger brother George (John Howard) screamed at his brother who was carrying Maria slung on his back: ("Look at her face! Her face! Look at her face!") and then committed suicide by throwing himself off the cliff
  • the scene of Lord Gainsford's toast and salute to the missing Robert Conway, who was making an attempt to return to Shangri-La: ("Yes. Yes, I believe it. I believe it because I want to believe it. Gentlemen, I give you a toast. Here's my hope that Robert Conway will find his Shangri-La. Here's my hope that we all find our Shangri-La")
  • the film's final image - a bearded and fatigued Robert Conway struggled through the snow to regain and recapture his lost dream - he viewed the sanctuary of the lost valley through an elusive mountain entrance, and the bells pealed again

Lost in America (1985)

In Albert Brooks' funny road-trip comedy about Los Angeles yuppies finding the 'American dream' - a couple gave up their upwardly mobile, workaholic lives to 'drop-out' in exchange for a free-spirited, Easy Rider-inspired road-trip in a Winnebago motorhome:

  • the scene of neurotic adman David Howard's (writer/director Albert Brooks) last day at work when he had a long telephone conversation with a Mercedes dealer about buying one of the luxury vehicles: ("Mercedes leather? What's that?" --"Thick vinyl")
  • the scene of David's firing in executive Paul Dunn's (Michael Greene) office, after eight years of service, when he was offered a transfer to New York rather than a promotion to the position of senior vice-president, and he audaciously told his boss: ("F--k you!...Fired? Oh, I'm fired! Oh, this is great. How dare you? I want my eight years back! I've wasted my youth for you. I'm wasted! I'm over. Come on. I want it back! I'm gonna stand here until you give them back! Better yet, I'll take things home. I want your clock, behind you. Give it to me")
  • the sequence of David's conversation immediately after with ditzy wife Linda (Julie Hagerty) about his firing, and his urging of her to quit her job too: ("Quit your job...I did, you do it!...Well, I didn't really quit, but I got fired but it was the same thing. Linda, you were right! No more 'Responsible David'. I'm free. I was responsibly blind, honey. I was a dead man...I'm giving you credit for saving my life. I was on the road to nowhere")
  • the couple's dropping out of society after selling their house, and combining their assets to create a comfortable 'nest-egg' of $100,000; and their drive out of Los Angeles to Las Vegas in a recreational vehicle Winnebago, while David chowed-down on a toasted cheese sandwich: ("The further we get from LA, the better it tastes") - and his nervousness about their plan to remarry: ("I'm nervous, but I can't wait to marry you....Clara says that the Silver Bell Chapel is the cutest one...Las Vegas here we come!")
  • the sequence of Linda's disastrous night-long experience at a roulette table in Las Vegas' Desert Inn casino (gambling on # 22: "Twenty-two, twenty-two, come on back to me, come on back to me!") when she had gambled away their nest-egg - to David's dismay: ("Say it! Say it! Say 'I lost the nest-egg.' Go on, say it!")
  • David's painful begging and unconvincing proposal to the casino manager (Garry Marshall) to get their money back: ("As the boldest experiment in advertising history, you give us our money back....Give us our money back. Think of the publicity...You gave my wife and I our money back because you reviewed our situation, and you realized that we dropped out of society, and we, we, we weren't just gamblers. And we made a mistake and you gave our money back. Do you know -- you couldn't get a room in this place in ten years....You keep all the money. It's just that, that that my wife and I aren't gamblers. That's what I'm saying. That's the distinction....We represent the people who have taken the chance and we made a mistake. And the Desert Inn corrects it and gives it back. There's a warm feeling here...In the campaign, you make a clear distinction between the bold - who would be my wife and I - and then all the other schmucks who come here to see Wayne Newton....This costs you nothing. To give us our money back is nothing. You would be the one who would benefit")
  • the central scene of the couple's complete and utter meltdown and self-destruction at the Hoover Dam, when they both stood on the edge of the railing looking down, and David suggested: ("Nice dam, huh? Do you want to go first, or should I?") - and then he ranted and raved at her about their impoverishment: ("You took our nest-egg and broke it all over the Desert Inn. You filled up the casino with yolk....I was sleeping....We live here. Get used to the cement, honey. This is our house, forever! This is it. We found ourselves. Boy, did we find ourselves in the middle of nowhere, with nothing!")
  • inside the recreational vehicle, David's lengthy description of the concept of the sacred 'nest-egg' to Linda: ("Oh, God. I guess this was my fault. That’s what I’m thinking. Maybe I just didn’t explain the nest egg well enough. If you had understood, you know, it’s a very sacred thing, the nest egg, and if you’d understood the Nest Egg Principle, as we will now call it, in the first of many lectures that you will have to get, because if we are to ever acquire another nest egg, we both have to understand what it means. The egg is a protector, like a god, and we sit under the nest egg, and we are protected by it. Without it? No protection! Want me to go on? It pours rain. Hey, the rain drops on the egg and falls off the side. Without the egg? Wet! It’s over. But you didn’t understand it and that’s why we’re where we are"); Linda briefly responded: ("I understood the nest egg"); David continued: ("Oh, please. Do me a favor. Don’t use the word. You may not use that word. It’s off limits to you! Only those in this house who understand nest egg may use it! And don’t use any part of it, either. Don’t use 'nest.' Don’t use 'egg.' You’re out in the forest you can point: 'The bird lives in a round stick.' And, and, and you have things over easy with toast!")
  • David's interview with an employment agency in a small Arizona town for a job, when the obnoxious counselor reminded him he had already been fired from a high-paying $100,000 job, and that he wouldn't be interested in a lowly job: ("You couldn't change your life on a $100 thousand dollars?...What I do have, you wouldn't be interested in....Coming from your position and your salary you wouldn't be interested in it"); when David asked about the salary, the counselor joked: ("A hundred thousand dollars!...It pays $5.50 an hour plus benefits"); David persisted, asking about the existence of "a box of higher-paying jobs," when the counselor sarcastically replied: ("Oh, I know, you mean the $100,000 box!")
  • the view of David working as a school crossing guard and being taunted by school kids

Lost in Translation (2003)

In director/writer Sofia Coppola's award-winning romance-drama:

  • the opening views of a garish-nighttime Tokyo from within a limo after arrival at the Tokyo International Airport, and his transport to the Park Hyatt Tokyo luxury hotel
  • the funny scene of middle-aged, disconnected, aging movie star Bob Harris (Bill Murray) shooting a Suntory whiskey commercial in Tokyo that required many takes due to loss of meaning due to language differences with the director, for a short commercial where his only line was: "For relaxing times, make it Suntory time"; the director insisted through his translator: "Could you do it slower, with more intensity?"
  • the scene of a Japanese call girl (a "Premium fantasy" girl) who entered Bob's room, offered a massage, and then demanded: "Lip my stocking" - when he finally understood, he asked: "You want me to rip your stocking?"
  • the sequence of Bob's problems with the hotel's exercise walking machine, that shouted out computerized Japanese instructions, sped up, and went backwards
  • the awkward hotel lobby encounter between the photographer husband John John (Giovanni Ribisi) on a shooting assignment in Tokyo and married to recent college graduate Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), with Hollywood actress Kelly (Anna Faris) who gushed about her life: ("I'm here promoting that action movie I did. Yeah, you know...I'm doing 20 million interviews a day...It's crazy. It's so good to see you...John, John, you are my favorite photographer. No, you are. I only want you to shoot me. It's true.. Oh my god, I have the worst B.O. right now. I'm so sorry"); she was amazed that he was married when introduced to Charlotte, and afterwards told them she was registered under the name Evelyn Waugh; when Charlotte noted to John: "Evelyn Waugh was a man" - he criticized her: "You know, not everybody went to Yale. It was just a pseudonym, for Christ's sake....Well, why do you have to point out how stupid everybody is all the time?"; and later, Charlotte's overhearing of Kelly's press conference in the hotel about her film "Midnight Velocity" when she spoke about her co-star Keanu Reeves: ("He was always so -- he was always, you know, giving me ideas, and, you know, really helpful. He made me feel really comfortable, so -- and we both have two dogs, and we both live in L.A., so we have all these different things in common. So, you know, we both really like Mexican food and yoga and karate!")
  • Bob's scenes of a growing and intimate friendship with the bored Charlotte after meeting her in the luxury hotel bar; in their first conversation, he introduced himself and told what he was doing after 25 years of marriage: ("Taking a break from my wife, forgetting my son's birthday, and, uh, getting paid $2 million to endorse a whiskey when I could be doing a play somewhere, but the good news is, the whiskey works"); she told a bit about herself, and how she had been married already for two years: ("My husband's a photographer, so he's here working and, uh, I wasn't doing anything, so I came along. And we have some friends that live here"); soon the two spent off hours in various locales within the hotel (the elevator, hallway) and throughout the city (karaoke bars, pachinko parlors, etc.) as they shared their disoriented bewilderment about their married lives and problems
  • the scene of Bob and Charlotte talking while lying on a bed, when she asked about life and marriage: "Does it get easier?" - and his responses in their conversation: ("No, yes. It gets easier...The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you...We used to have a lot of fun. Lydia would come with me when I made the movies, and we would laugh about it all. Now she doesn't want to leave the kids, and she doesn't need me to be there. The kids miss me, but they're fine. It gets a whole lot more complicated when you have kids...It's the most terrifying day of your life the day the first one is born...Your life, as you know it, is gone. Never to return. But they learn how to walk, and they learn how to talk, and, and you want to be with them. And they turn out to be the most delightful people you will ever meet in your life")
  • the enigmatic ending in which there was a whispered secret message (was it? - "I have to be leaving, but I won't let that come between us. OK?") and a kiss between Bob and Charlotte on a busy Tokyo street as they said goodbye to each other - when he was on his way to the airport in a taxi

The Lost Patrol (1934)

In John Ford's bleak war/adventure drama set during WWI, with a stirring Max Steiner musical score:

  • the opening scene of a British patrol commander shot by an unseen Arab sniper ("right through the lung") and the fall off his horse; the "Sergeant" was angered: ("Blasted Arabs. Hide like sand-flies. Never see 'em")
  • the "Sergeant" (Victor McLaglen), now in charge, and his response to finding an abandoned desert oasis with food and water: "And not a ghost of an idea where we're at, what we're here for and where we're going"
  • the drama as the members of the lost patrol were picked off one-by-one by the hidden enemy, until only the Sergeant was left
  • the mirage-like appearance in the desert of a British rescue column (a second rescue party) amidst the sand dunes
  • the sole-surviving and dazed Sergeant's mad machine-gunning of the group of six Arab snipers, and wildly bragged to his fallen comrades after killing them: ("We got 'em, I got 'em")
  • in the memorable film ending of the Sergeant's rescue by another British patrol, his silent answer to the Colonel's question: "Where are your men? Speak up, man. Where's your section?" - the Sergeant pointed to the gleaming row of sabers marking the heads of all the graves of the men who had perished in his patrol group

The Lost Weekend (1945)

In Billy Wilder's social problem film about alcohol addiction:

  • the opening scene with a hidden half-full bottle of whiskey dangling out the window of NY wanna-be writer Don Birnam (Oscar-winning Ray Milland) who was struggling with writer's block, and packing for a short five-day vacation when his devoted brother Wick (Phillip Terry) discovered the bottle and emptied it, while Don falsely vowed: ("I didn't know it was there. Even if I had, I wouldn't have touched it")
  • the memorable dialogue between Birnam and his favorite bartender Nat (Howard da Silva) in a Third Avenue bar near 42nd Street - and his delusion about how drinking improved his mind: ("It shrinks my liver, doesn't it, Nat? It pickles my kidneys. Yes. But what does it do to my mind? It tosses the sandbags overboard so the balloon can soar. Suddenly, I'm above the ordinary. I'm confident, supremely confident. I'm walking a tightrope over Niagara Falls. I'm one of the great ones. I'm Michelangelo molding the beard of Moses. I'm Van Gogh painting pure sunlight. I'm Horowitz playing the Emperor Concerto. I'm John Barrymore before the movies got him by the throat. I'm Jesse James and his two brothers. All three of 'em. I'm W. Shakespeare. And out there, it's not Third Avenue any longer. It's the Nile, Nat - the Nile, and down it floats the barge of Cleopatra. Come here")
  • the scene of aspiring writer Birnam's confession of his drinking problem to girlfriend Helen St. James (Jane Wyman), about how his soaring, creative juices flowed with just a few drinks, but then spiraled down into despair and agony when the booze wore off - he described how he was helplessly and schizophrenically divided between Don the Drunk and Don the Writer: ("That made all the difference. Suddenly, I could see the whole thing. The tragic sweep of the great novel beautifully proportioned. But before I could really grab it and throw it down on paper, the drinks would wear off and everything would be gone like a mirage. Then there was despair, and I'd drink to counter-balance despair. And then one to counter-balance the counter-balance. And I'd sit in front of that typewriter trying to squeeze out one page that was half-way decent...")
  • the shadowy outline of a whiskey bottle in his overhead light fixture
  • alcoholic Birnam's pitiful attempt to sell his typewriter and his desperate search from one closed pawn shop to another along Third Avenue on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur
  • his psychiatric incarceration in the alcoholic ward of Bellevue Hospital where he was mocked by cynical male nurse 'Bim' Nolan (Frank Faylen) and warned of the DT's when detoxifying: ("They'll happen to be a little floor show later on around here. It might get on your nerves...Ever have the DT's?...You will, brother...After all, you're just a freshman. Wait'll you're a sophomore. That's when you start seeing the little animals. You know that stuff about pink elephants? That's the bunk. It's little animals! Little tiny turkeys in straw hats. Midget monkeys coming through the keyholes. See that guy over there? With him it's beetles. Come the night, he sees beetles crawling all over him. Has to be dark though. It's like the doctor was just telling me - delirium is a disease of the night. Good night")
  • his nightmarish hallucinations of a bat and a mouse in his apartment (accompanied by the first major (and effective) use of the spooky-sounding theremin during this and other nightmare sequences)
  • in the final scene, Birnam's rescue by Helen from suicide (by shooting himself in the bathroom)

Love Happy (1949)

In director David Miller's anarchic comedy - the Marx Bros' final starring feature, and noted for Marilyn Monroe's small but early memorable walk-on role:

  • Detective Sam Grunion's (Groucho Marx) beautiful blonde client (Marilyn Monroe), who made a dramatic entrance into Grunion's Detective Agency, while Sam held the door open
  • after she sashayed into the office, Sam asked: "Is there anything I can do for ya?" - followed by a pause, reflection, a glance at the audience, and then an aside: "What a ridiculous statement!"; she put her hand on his right shoulder and responded: "Mr. Grunion. I want you to help me"; Grunion was cooperative: "What seems to be the trouble?"; she told him: "Some men are following me," after which he replied: "Really? I can't understand why" - and then rolled his eyes; he volunteered to accompany her to the bus station when she was asked to leave: "I'll take ya down to the bus station. Oh, if I'm not back tonight, go ahead without me. That's been the history of all my romances"

Love Story (1970)

In director Arthur Hiller's sentimental and "weepie" romance melodrama:

  • Harvard pre-law hockey player Oliver Barrett IV's (Ryan O'Neal) opening line, thinking back - in flashback - to the love story he experienced with Radcliffe music student Jenny Cavalleri (Ali MacGraw): ("What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died? That she was beautiful and brilliant? That she loved Mozart and Bach, the Beatles, and me?")
  • the first encounter between the two principals at the front desk of the Radcliffe library when the quick-witted Jenny called him a "preppie" ("You look stupid and rich!"), and her own self-description: "I'm smart and poor"; and his invitation to take her out for coffee, where she learned that he was the heir to the Barrett fortune already demonstrated by buildings named after the Barretts on the Harvard campus; when he was incensed by her repeated insults, he asked: ("If you think I'm a loser, why did you bulldoze me into buying you coffee?") - she memorably replied: "I like your body"
  • the major scene of the star-crossed couple walking across the Harvard campus and talking about their relationship, when he delivered an ultimatum for her to give up her emotional defenses: (" Look, Cavalleri, I know your game, and I'm tired of playing it. You are the supreme Radcliffe smart-ass - the best - you can put down anything in pants. But verbal volleyball is not my idea of a relationship. And if that's what you think it's all about, why don't you just go back to your music wonks, and good luck. See, I think you're scared. You put up a big glass wall to keep from getting hurt. But it also keeps you from getting touched. It's a risk, isn't it, Jenny? At least I had the guts to admit what I felt. Someday, you're gonna have to come up with the courage to admit you care"); when she responded that she cared ("I care"), they kissed and were soon making love in his dormitory room
  • in a snowy montage, the loving couple played in the snow, threw snowballs and tossed a football at each other, and wrestled together - as they kissed with flecks of snow on their faces
  • the scene of Oliver's impromptu marriage proposal to Jenny after she told him she had a scholarship to study in Paris the following year -- she had told him it was "inevitable...that we're gonna graduate and go our separate ways, and that you're gonna go on to law school...You're a preppy millionaire and I'm a social zero" -- and then he popped the question: "Don't leave me Jenny. Please...What about our marriage?...I'm saying it, now"; she was astounded: "You want to marry me?...Why?"
  • the marriage ceremony and the exchange of vows (as the camera circled around them) between a very poetic Jenny and Oliver, although their wedding was disapproved by Oliver's rich, snobbish, and powerful father Oliver Barrett III (Ray Milland): Jenny: ("When our two souls stand up erect and strong Face to face, silent, drawing nigh and nigher Until the lengthening wings break into fire at either curved point, What bitter wrong can the earth do to us That we should not long be here contented? Think! In mounting higher, the angels would press on us And aspire to drop some golden orb of perfect song Into our deep, dear silence Let us stay rather on earth, Beloved, Where the unfit contrarious moods of men recoil away And isolate pure spirits And permit a place to stand and love in for a day With darkness and the death-hour rounding it"); Oliver responded: ("I give you my hand! I give you my love more precious than money. I give you myself before preaching or law. Will you give me yourself? Will you come travel with me? Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?")
  • the "Love means never having to say you're sorry" scene (Jenny's original statement), when she was found by Oliver crying on the front porch, and they were making amends with each other after a fight; when he apologized: ("Jenny, I'm sorry"), she cautioned him: ("Don't. Love means never having to say you're sorry")
  • the serious scene of the doctor informing Oliver that his 24 year-old wife Jenny was not only incapable of becoming pregnant - she was also dying of an unnamed disease: ("Jenny is very sick... She's dying"); and Oliver's emotionally-numbing walk back to his apartment
  • Jenny's strong reaction to her own diagnosis, and her steadfast insistence that Oliver remain strong and "merry" in the face of her death: ("I'm counting on you to be strong, you god-damn hockey jock...You, after all, you're gonna be the merry widower... Yes, you will be, I want you to be merry. You'll be merry, OK?")
  • the concluding sequence of Jenny's lengthy, tear-inducing final deathbed conversation with Oliver at the Mount Sinai Hospital when she urged him to be strong and told him her final wishes: ("It doesn't hurt, Ollie, really it doesn't. It's like falling off a cliff in slow-motion, you know. Only after a while, you wish you'd hit the ground already, you know...Now you've gotta stop being sick...that guilty look on your face, it's sick. Would you stop blaming yourself, you god-damn stupid preppy. It's nobody's fault. It's not your fault. That's the only thing I'm gonna ask you. Otherwise, I know you're gonna be OK. (pause) Screw Paris!...Screw Paris and music and all that stuff you thought you stole from me. I don't care, don't you believe that? (He shook his head 'no') Then get the hell out of here. I don't want you at my god-damn deathbed"); when he admitted he really did believe her ("I believe you, I really do"), she made a last request of him: ("That's better. Would you please do something for me, Ollie? (He kissed her hand) Would you please hold me? (He half-heartedly hugged her) No, I mean really hold me. Next to me") - and he reclined next to her on the bed, as she died in his arms
  • at the entrance to Mount Sinai Hospital, Oliver's repetition of his late wife's remark to his apologetic father after her death: ("Love, love means never having to say you're sorry"), followed by Oliver's final silent walk into snowy Central Park before the closing credits

Lust for Life (1956)

In director Vincente Minnelli's CinemaScopic biopic of the famous nineteenth-century Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh:

  • the scene in which impulsive and obsessive artist Vincent Van Gogh (Oscar-nominated Kirk Douglas) agonized over unrequited love and forced himself upon widowed cousin Kay (Jeanette Sterke) - causing her to never talk to him again
  • the various scenes of his life translated to his painted canvas (such as Vincent's Bedroom at Arles)
  • the vicious argument scene and stormy relationship between the tortured painter and his brawling fellow housemate/painter-mentor Paul Gauguin (Oscar-winning Anthony Quinn) about their different art styles: (Gauguin: " paint too fast" -- Van Gogh: "You look too fast"); also Gauguin spiteful criticism of Van Gogh for his easy life: "I didn't have a brother to support me"
  • the dramatic scene of Van Gogh's discussion with his loyal and financially-supportive art dealer/brother Theo (James Donald) about his failed life: ("We've grown apart, Theo. Look, you found what you wanted in Paris and I'm glad for you. I've found nothing - anywhere. I've made one bad start after another. One mess after another. I thought I was on my way here by doing God's work. That was the worst failure of all. But no matter how often I fail, there is something in me. That I am good for something"); when Theo accused him of wasting his time and becoming an idler, Van Gogh replied: ("An idler? Yes. But there are two kinds of idlers. There's the man who's idle because he wants to be, out of laziness. How easy that is. I envy him. There's the other kind, the man who's idle in spite of himself. I want nothing but to work. Only, I can't. I'm in a cage, a cage of shame and self-doubt and failure. Somebody believe me. I'm caged. I'm caged. I'm alone. I'm frightened")
  • the resultant shocking self-mutilation scene of the suffering artist battling his own mirror reflection and his pained head, and then cutting off his part of his own left ear (off-screen) with a straight-edged razor, out of extreme loneliness and despair
  • Van Gogh's increasing madness when painting in a rural area and black crows attacked (and he added them to his painting), and then wrote himself a note about his severe depression: "I am desperate. I can foresee absolutely nothing. I see no way out" before an attempted suicide by shooting himself (off-screen)
  • the final scene of Van Gogh's death with his brother Theo at his bedside, when he asked: ("Theo? I'd like to go home") - and then slumped over dead, with his pipe falling from his hand; Theo cried out: ("My own brother. My poor, poor brother")

Lust in the Dust (1985)

In Paul Bartel's excessively-campy cult Western comedy spoof (whose title was inspired by the nickname given to Selznick's Duel in the Sun (1946)), set in the wild New Mexico western frontier town of Chile Verde:

  • lusty saloon-brothel owner Marguerita Ventura's (Lainie Kazan) bawdy, euphemism-filled song "South of My Border" to lone gunman Abel Wood (Tab Hunter): ("Let me take you south of my border / Just north of my garter / Where everything's on order for you / Where it's sweet like a potion / Feel the heat, feel the motion / Marguerita's hot from head to her shoe /...")
  • the retort sung by corpulent, cat-fighting saloon rival Rosie Velez (transvestite Divine, aka Glenn Milstead): ("Let her take you south of her border / If you think you can afford her")
  • the ending spoof of Gone With the Wind (1939) in which Rosie, thought to have committed suicide, greedily chomped on a buzzard she shot down and said: "Oh well, maybe he'll be back tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day"

(alphabetical by film title)

Intro | Quiz | A1 | A2 | A3 | A4 | B1 | B2 | B3 | B4 | B5 | B6 | B7 | C1 | C2 | C3 | C4 | C5 | D1 | D2 | D3 | D4 | E
F1 | F2 | F3 | F4 | G1 | G2 | G3 | G4 | H1 | H2 | H3 | I1 | I2 | I3 | J | K | L1 | L2 | L3 | L4 | M1 | M2 | M3
| M5 | M6 | N1 | N2 | N3 | O1 | O2 | P1 | P2 | P3 | P4 | P5Q | R1 | R2 | R3 | R4
S1 | S2 | S3 | S4 | S5 | S6 | S7 | S8 | S9 | T1 | T2 | T3 | T4 | T5 | U | V | W1 | W2 | W3 | W4 | YZ

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