Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions
Screenshots

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

In John Ford's nostalgic and memorable last Western with John Wayne (in a quintessential role):

  • the opening scene in which elderly and revered US Senator Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart) arrived in the year 1910 in the small western town of Shinbone, Arizona with his wife Hallie Stoddard (Vera Miles) to attend the funeral of Tom Doniphon (John Wayne); he told newspaperman Maxwell Scott (Carleton Young), in the film's lengthy flashback, about how he became a legend and was known as "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance"
  • Stoddard's look back on his past, beginning 25 years earlier when he first arrived in the small frontier town of Shinbone as a young, idealistic pacifistic attorney at law from the East Coast: ("l was just a youngster, fresh out of law school, bag full of law books and my father's gold watch, $14.80 in cash. l had taken Horace Greeley's advice literally: Go west, young man, go west, and seek fame, fortune, adventure")
  • and the Senator's continuing description of his relationship with tough and rugged homesteader and gunslinger Tom Doniphon - who had protected Ransom (famously referred to as "Pilgrim") from continual taunting, including taking care of him after he was beaten up by outlaw Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin) during a stagecoach robbery; when Doniphon urged: ("You better start packin' a handgun"), Stoddard vowed that he was non-violent, and was relying on his law books to bring justice to the town: ("A gun? l don't want a gun. I don't want a gun. l don't want to kill him. l want to put him in jail")
  • the character of drunken, abusive, violent, silver-knobbed whip-wielding villain and gun-man Liberty Valance and his conflict with Ransom - especially their memorable confrontation scene when Valance deliberately tripped saloon cafe dishwasher/waiter employee Ransom while serving a steak dinner to Doniphon - who then threatened Valance: "That was my steak, Valance!"
  • the scene in which Doniphon taught Ransom to shoot - when Doniphon deliberately splattered Ransom with paint from three paint cans: ("l hate tricks, Pilgrim, but that's what you're up against with Valance. He's almost as fast as l am") - and Ransom's growling response and slugging of Doniphon in the jaw that sent him to the ground: "I don't like tricks myself, so that makes us even"
  • the climactic shootout-showdown on the dusty street in which Valance taunted and then wounded Ransom in his right arm; and then Valance aimed his gun and vowed: ("This time, right between the eyes"); miraculously, Random - left-handed - appeared to shoot Valance dead
  • Doniphon's private confrontation with Ransom when he informed him about the real truth of the legendary gunfight - Ransom never shot Liberty; it was told with an ensuing 'flashback-within-a-flashback' introduced with a swirl of smoke from Doniphon's cigarette: ("You didn't kill Liberty Valance...Think back, Pilgrim. Valance came out of the saloon. You were walking toward him when he fired his first shot. Remember?"); Doniphon revealed how he was hidden on a side street with sidekick Pompey (Woody Strode) when the showdown occurred; Pompey threw him a rifle and at the exact moment of the shooting, Doniphon killed Valance; he had shot Liberty to sacrificially protect the love of his life Hallie from heartbreak (knowing Stoddard would die in a face-off), and also for the greater good of the territory poised for statehood: (Doniphon: "Cold-blooded murder, but l can live with it. Hallie's happy. She wanted you alive"); Doniphon was regretful for saving Ransom's life: "I wish I hadn't. Hallie's your girl now. Go on back in there and take that nomination. You taught her how to read and write. Now give her somethin' to read and write about!"
Flashback: The Truth About Who Shot Liberty Valance
  • the bitter sad, and tragic result of Doniphon's killing of Liberty Valance, allowing Ransom to take Hallie away as his wife - the woman Doniphon had loved in silence and had hoped to marry; a drunken Doniphon staggered home and set his own house on fire by tossing an oil lamp into it; it had an extra addition that he had built - planned to be the residence for his bride-to-be Hallie; Doniphon (and his horses) were saved only by Pompey's intervention
  • for the remainder of his life as a politician ("Three terms as governor, two terms in the Senate, Ambassador to the Court of St. James, back again to the Senate, and a man who, with the snap of his fingers, could be the next Vice President of the United States"), Stoddard was mistakenly known as "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance"; at the end of Stoddard's flashback after finishing the true tale about his past, local newspaper editor Maxwell Scott (Carleton Young) delivered a famous line of dialogue in the film's conclusion as he ripped up his notes and refused to publish the truth of the story: (Ransom: "You're not going to use the story, Mr. Scott?" Scott: "No, sir. This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend")
  • the complex (and melancholic) reactions of Ransom and Hallie when the conductor on their train back to Washington DC, after their visit, enthusiastically told them: "Nothing's too good for the Man Who Shot Liberty Valance"










The Man Who Would Be King (1975, UK)

In John Huston's revered and rollicking adventure film based upon the short story by Rudyard Kipling, with realistic site locations used for remote Kafiristan (in Afghanistan):

  • the camaraderie of the two British adventurers seeking wealth: Daniel Dravot (Sean Connery) and Peachy Carnehan (Michael Caine)
  • the battle scene in which Daniel pulled an arrow from his chest (without bleeding) because the arrow had struck his bandolier underneath, giving the impression that he was immortal and a god; he was convinced by Peachy that he should keep up the deception that he was a god, even though it was blasphemous: ("Supposing you was an ignorant Kafiri. Who would you rather follow, a god or a man? Now, we're here to conquer this country, ain't we? Well, with you as a god, it would take half the time and half the trouble.... Blaspheming is when you take his name in vain, God Almighty's"); after Daniel asked: ("What if they found out we was having them on?"), Peachy replied confidently: ("Why should they? We won't tell them")
  • the ritualistic wedding scene revealing Dravot's humanity and mortality when he received a bloody bite on the cheek from his bride-to-be Roxanne (Shakira Caine): ("The slut bit me") - causing an angry reaction from the natives ("Not god, not devil, but man!") and Peachy's assessment: "The jig's up"; Dravot apologized to Peachy and asked for his forgiveness: ("Peachy, I'm heartily ashamed for gettin' you killed instead of goin' home rich like you deserve to, on account of me bein' so bleedin' high and bloody mighty! Can you forgive me?"); Peachy responded positively: ("That I can, and that I do, Danny. Free and full and without let or hindrance"), satisfying Dravot: ("Everything's all right, then")
  • although they made a run for it, the two were caught and surrounded - and the courageous and resolute Daniel (wearing his crown) was forced to walk to the center of a rope bridge high above a canyon gorge; when the ropes were cut - he suffered a spectacular death scene, falling deep into the gorge while singing a few bars of the inspirational and stirring 1812 Irish hymn by Reginald Heber: "The Son of God Goes Forth to War": ("...A glorious band, the chosen few, On whom the spirit came. While valiant saints that hope they knew, And mocked the cross and flame. He met the tyrant's brandished steel, The lion's gory mane. He bowed his head, his death to feel, (the rope bridge was cut through, sending Daniel plummeting down) -- Who followed in his train?")
  • the final image of Daniel's severed head, still wearing the crown - presented by Peachy Carnehan to the Narrator/Kipling (Christopher Plummer) as confirmation of his tall tale - and revealing his identity as Peachy: ("And Peachy never let go of Daniel's head...You knew Danny, sir?...(Peachy reached in his bag) You knew most worshipful Brother, Daniel Dravot, Esquire. Well, he became the king of Kafiristan with a crown on his head. And that's all there is to tell. I'll be on my way now, sir. I've got urgent business in the South. I have to meet a man at Marwar Junction")








The Man With a Movie Camera (1929, Soviet Union) (aka Chelovek S Kinoapparatom, or Человек C Kино-Aппаратом)

In Soviet director Dziga Vertov's quintessential experimental, avante-garde film - an excellent example of a "city symphony" documentary, and regarded as "pure" visual cinema without a plot, action, setting or dialogue (or intertitles); the use of radical hyper-editing techniques, variable camera speeds, dissolves, special visual effects, stop-motion, wild juxtapositions of images, freeze frames, split-screens, and super-imposed double exposures - a precursor of Koyaanisqatsi (1982) and MTV videos:

  • the many day-in-Soviet-life views of Moscow, Kiev, and Odessa, of Russian workers and machines, after the arrival of a camera man (Mikhail Kaufman) (with an old-styled hand-cranked camera with a tripod) in a very-static and dead city, that suddenly became enlivened and energized by his arrival
  • the film's opening - an empty film theatre, where the seats folded down by themselves, and the audience entered to watch a film (this film!)
  • the double-exposure, camera-trickery shot of a cameraman setting up his camera atop another camera
  • the fast-moving, free-association of images (over 1,700 shots and scenes of everyday life), all presented with an average of 2.3 seconds per shot length - was wholly unprecedented in the late 1920s
  • the images: street scenes, close-ups of machinery, architecture, nature, beaches and beach crowds, workers, birth/wedding/death-funeral, static shots (a typewriter keyboard, a store window display), etc
  • the best example of stop-motion were the playful views of the tripod-camera acting anthropomorphically, by rotating its camera-head around, and then beginning to walk away on its three legs
  • the ending, including some views of the actual process of the editing of the film by the cameraman, accentuated by the super-imposed image of a human eye looking out of a camera lens






The Man With the Golden Arm (1955)

In director Otto Preminger's code-defying, ground-breaking, powerful drama about heroin addiction - the first major Hollywood film about the subject:

  • the revolutionary, artistic opening Saul Bass Title Credits sequence (animated) with a cut-out of a jagged, twisted and deconstructed forearm that moved (a symbol of heroin addiction)
  • the character role of Frankie Machine (Academy Award-nominated Frank Sinatra) (known for having "arms of pure gold") as both a jazz drummer and a professional poker dealer (with a knack for lucrative card-dealing) - he was also a rehabilitated prison-hospital ex-con returning to his slummy and squalid Chicago neighborhood
  • the assortment of characters surrounding Frankie's demise into using drugs again: oily and smarmy, dandified drug dealer Louie (Darren McGavin), Frankie's small-time hoodlum Schwiefka (Robert Strauss) and illicit card-game manager, and Frankie's mentally-challenged comic sidekick Sparrow (Arnold Stang)
  • the character of lying and deceiving Sophia "Zosch" Machine (an over-the-top performance from Eleanor Parker), Frankie's dependent, neurotic and nagging wife - allegedly crippled and wheelchair bound after a car accident (when DUI Frankie was at the wheel)
  • the scene of the marathon, all-weekend poker game, culminating with strung-out Frankie pressured to resort to cheating
  • the close-ups of Frankie's eyes - revealing whether he was high or not
  • Frankie's devastating breakdown during a Monday audition when he tried out to be a jazz drummer in a band
  • the sensational and painful sequence of Frankie going "cold turkey" ("Here we go, down and dirty") after strip-club/bar hostess mistress/friend Molly (Kim Novak) (with a heart of gold) sarcastically challenged him: ("Why should you hurt like other people hurt? Yes, so you had a dog's life with never a break. Why try to face it like most people do? No, just roll up all your pains into one big hurt, and then flatten it with a fix"); she promised to keep him locked in her apartment (after bundling up all sharp objects), to help him beat his habit (by keeping him from quivering, writhing, and feeling cold with blankets and the warmth of her own body)
  • the final twists - (1) the revelation that Zosch was actually able to walk and only pretending to be an invalid, (2) the death of Louie when Zosch pushed him to his death down the stairwell (he had just discovered that she was a fraud, and she feared that he would ruin her life by divulging the truth), and (3) Zosch's incrimination of Frankie for the crime, but then Zosch's suicide by throwing herself off the balcony onto the brick street below after she had again shown she was stringing everyone along






The Man With Two Brains (1983)

In director Carl Reiner's sci-fi comedy:

  • the opening car interview of brilliant brain neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr (Steve Martin), a widower and the inventor of the easy-access "Screw-Top Brain" surgery technique explaining his choice of science for his career: ("I don't know if I was interested so much in the science as I was the slime that goes along with it. Snakes and frogs. And when I saw how slimy the human brain was, I-I knew that's what I wanted to do with the rest of my life")
  • the accident that claimed the life of gold-digger Dolores Benedict (Kathleen Turner), and then Dr. Hfuhruhurr's series of long, complicated instructions to a little-girl bystander to call paramedics to an accident scene, who repeated or recited back his detailed directions perfectly, and then added her own medical diagnosis and criticism: ("ER, North Bank General Hospital, 932-1000. Set up O.R. 6, contact anesthesiologist Isadore Tourick, 472-2112, beep 12. Ambulance with paramedics and light IV, D-5, and W, KVO...Sounds like a subdural hematoma to me"); incensed, Hfuhruhurr barked back: "Three years of nursery school and you think you know it all. Well, you're still wet behind the ears. It's not a subdural hematoma. It's epidural. Ha!"
  • the pubic-hair shaving scene in the hospitl operating room , when Dr. Hfuhruhurr questioned his assistant orderly, who was shaving or grooming the genital area of his patient Dolores before brain surgery, in honor of Valentine's Day: ("- What is that? - It's a vagina. - I know what it is. I mean, what are you doing? - Shaving her. - This is a brain operation. - I know. - What's that supposed to be - a heart? - Yes, sir. Clive and I thought that since it's Valentine's Day, that... - You don't have to shave her anywhere. We'll be using my Cranial Screwtop method of entry into the brain. - Fine. Yes, sir. - I never wanna see that again. I suppose if it were Christmas, you'd hang ornaments on it.")
  • Hfuhruhrr's gift of a book of poems written by John Lilyson to his hospitalized wife Dolores Benedict, including "Pointy Birds": ("Oh pointy birds, oh pointy pointy, anoint my head, anointy-nointy...") - Lilyson "died in 1894. He was the first person ever to be hit by a car"; as she activated the mechanical bed's lower portion to rise - to bring him closer for their lips to kiss, he lovingly spoke: ("Poor little bird. So fragile. So naive. So childlike. So shy. So chaste. So innocent") - and they were soon married, bedside
  • the scene of seductive, gold-digging, teasing femme fatale Dolores in a skimpy nightgown with Dr. Hfuhruhrr's before their first anticipated night of sex together: ("Does this do anything for you?...Good. I want our first night together to be exciting....I hope the waiting hasn't been too hard on you. There's something I have to tell you. This fits very snug. And you may have some trouble getting it off me. You may have to tear it off my body") - he was cooperatively ready: "I can tear. I like tearing"; however, Dr. Hfuhruhurr had frustrated reactions to her feigned illness (of debilitating headaches) to delay the consummation of her marriage to him (causing him to erotically tongue an X-ray of her skull, run up walls and break doorknobs off from pent-up tension)
  • the "citizen's divorce" scene during a European business trip, when Dr. Hfuhruhurr caught his wife propositioning a client in their Viennese hotel bedroom for $15,000 to just touch her rear-end; after throwing the man out, he claimed that she was ruining their marriage, and she retorted: ("Why? Because you don't want me to work? You don't want me to earn my own money? Have my own career?"); he asserted: ("You call this a career!...Dolores, I'm making a citizen's divorce...By the powers vested in me, I hereby declare our marriage null and void. E pluribus unum")
  • the classic scene of widowed Dr. Hfuhruhurr driving with his dead ("dead drunk") wife Dolores Benedict in the seat next to him, when he was stopped by a Viennese Austrian policeman (Warwick Sims) for speeding; he was required to pass an impossible drunk-driving test with these instructions: ("Get out of the car. Stretch out your arms and touch your nose with your finger. Now walk this white line. Come back. On your hands. One hand. Now, roll over, turn over and flip-flop. All right. Now juggle these, do a tap dance and sing the 'Catalina Magdalena Hoopensteiner Wallendiner' song"); Dr. Hfuhruhurr passed and was not suspected of being drunk, but complained: "God damn, your drug tests are hard!"
  • Hfuhruhurr's love affair after he realized he could communicate telepathically with pickled disembodied brain # 21 (inside a jar in a Vienna doctor's laboratory), named Anne Uumellmahaye (voice of Sissy Spacek), who at first introduced herself: ("Anne. Anne Uumellmahaye"); he spelled it out for confirmation: ("U-U-M-E-L-L-M-A-H-A-Y-E") - and soon, he placed a pair of wax rubber lips on her to kiss
  • also the funny encounter, in his search for a body for his 'brain' soulmate, with a dumb, big-breasted, aggravatingly-voiced American hooker named Fran (Randi Brooks) and her reaction to being injected with window cleaner in her behind so that he could insert Anne's brain into her body: "I don't mind!"
  • the revelation of the identity of the serial Elevator Killer who killed Dolores: Merv Griffin (Himself) in a cameo role, who explained: ("I've always just loved to kill. I've really enjoyed it. But then I got famous, and - it's just too hard for me. And so many witnesses. I mean, everybody recognized me. I couldn't even work anymore. I'd hear: 'Who's that lurking over there? Isn't that Merv Griffin?'")
  • and the funny ending in which Anne's compulsive overeating (Anne's brain had been transplanted into Dolores' body) caused Dolores' body to inflate - Hfuhruhurr sweetly overlooked her weight problem (although he struggled to carry her over the threshold after their wedding -- with his knees buckling) during the end credits, with the statement: ("Merv Griffin did not turn himself in and is at large. If you have any information as to his whereabouts, call your local theatre manager")













The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

In John Frankenheimer's classic, paranoid political conspiracy thriller:

  • the fitful and haunting nightmares experienced by Major Bennett Marco (Frank Sinatra) after returning from wartime ("Night after night, the Major was plagued by the same re-occurring nightmare") - terrible, unconscious memories of his experiences in Manchuria when he was subjected to successful brainwashing; he often woke up in a cold sweat
  • the famous brainwashing/dream sequence in which Sgt. Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) and then Captain Marco and their platoon were present onstage at a ladies' garden club auxiliary meeting in a small hotel; they had been conditioned, programmed, and manipulated by a Pavlovian Chinese brainwasher to imagine attendance at a ladies' auxiliary meeting/tea party; the images switched between the imagined, delusionary, conditioned point of view within the brainwashed soldiers' heads and actual reality
  • the camera began a slow, 360 degree, all-encompassing circular tracking shot around the meeting to reveal that they were part of a brain-washing demonstration within Manchuria - it began with an elderly white woman, Mrs. Henry Whittaker, speaking tediously from the stage on the topic of "Fun With Hydrangeas" to an audience of about two dozen elderly ladies in floral hats who were taking in the lecture on horticulture; when the camera returned to the stage 360 degrees later after the cyclical camera movement, a tall, bald Communist Chinese/Korean doctor-spylord Yen Lo (Khigh Dhiegh) was actually in charge and had taken the woman's place and voice - he introduced the captured, passive and impotent men, all drugged and hypnotized, who were seated in front of giant poster/photographs of Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse Tung, and watched from an amphitheatre of ominous-looking foreign Asians
  • the sequence of puppet-master Yen Lo calmly demonstrating Raymond's emotionless killing capacity through the technique of programming - by instructing Shaw to "strangle...to death" with a white scarf Ed Mavole (Richard La Pore); the men sat placidly and bored with no emotion, while Mavole was dutifully killed
  • the odd completely positive phrase used by all of the brainwashed Korean war veterans for describing their commander, a Congressional Medal of Honor winner: ("Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life")
  • the scene of a televised press conference during which Raymond's bitchy mother Mrs. Eleanor Shaw Iselin (Angela Lansbury) watched her 'Josephy McCarthy-ite' husband Senator John Iselin's (James Gregory) diminutive image on a TV monitor, a Vice-Presidential candidate, as he provoked his rival Secretary of Defense (Barry Kelley) for making cuts in defense spending: ("I have here a list of the names of 207 persons who are known by the Secretary of Defense as being members of the Communist Party...I demand an answer, Mr. Secretary. There will be no covering up, sir, no covering up. You are not going to get your hands on this list. And I deeply regret having to say...")
  • the similar nightmarish dreams of another young Korean War vet - former black Corporal Al Melvin (James Edwards) - who was also startled awake after another horrendous dream involving the garden party; in a second demonstration, the brainwashed Raymond Shaw was also calmly directed to shoot - "through the forehead" - the platoon's favorite, youngest member and "mascot" Bobby Lembeck (Tom Lowell); so without hesitation or even a second thought, Raymond pointed the gun at the camera - the smiling, trusting face of the young soldier - and blew his brains out, and blood splattered on the huge portrait of Stalin behind him
  • the intriguing scene in the space between railcars when Marco met and spoke to the mysterious, beguiling and attractive Eugenie Rose Chaney (Janet Leigh) - during their weird, oblique conversation, they talked about four US states, Columbus' football team, railroad lines, and her two names (Eugenie and nickname Rosie) - were they speaking in cryptic code?
  • the transition from Senator Iselin's use of a bottle of Heinz 57 Varieties ketchup bottle at dinner on his steak to his public testimony in the Senate in the next scene that there were definitely 57 card-carrying Communists in the Defense Department
  • Marco's reaction when he saw Chunjin (Henry Silva) at Shaw's apartment door - Chunjin was an "Oriental gentleman" who served with Shaw in the Army and was now Shaw's houseboy - Shaw suddenly recalled recessed memories that Chunjin was the guide who had led the platoon into an ambush, and they engaged in a lengthy karate fight
  • in the Jillys NYC bar sequence, Shaw heard the triggering words: "Why don't you pass the time by playing a little solitaire?" - and after asking for a deck of cards, he turned over the Queen of Diamonds at the same time that he coincidentally overheard another conversation: "Why don't you go and take yourself a cab and go up to Central Park and go jump in the lake?" - and Shaw, now an automated, brain-washed zombie, proceeded to carry out the order in the middle of winter
  • at the costume party/ball at the Iselin's summer house on Long Island, the opening image of a large American flag suddenly having caviar scooped from its star pattern by Senator Iselin (dressed as Abe Lincoln)
  • the brilliantly-photographed, late-night assassination sequence of Raymond's killing of his own father-in-law (Iselin's political rival for VP) - left-leaning Senator Thomas Jordan (John McGiver) (standing in front of the refrigerator, he bled milk from a punctured milk carton instead of blood) and of his own new wife Jocie Jordan (Leslie Parrish)
  • the scene in which Marco attempted to de-program Shaw by fanning an entire deck of 52 Queens of Diamonds in front of his face: ("So the red Queen is our baby. Well, take a look at this, kid. Fifty-two of them. Take a good look at 'em, Raymond. Look at 'em...The links, the beautifully-conditioned links are smashed. They're smashed as of now because we say so, because we say they oughta be smashed. We're bustin' up the joint, we're tearin' out all the wires, we're bustin' it up so good all the Queen's horses and all the Queen's men will never put ol' Raymond back together again. You don't work anymore. That's an order. Anybody invites you to a game of solitaire - you tell 'em: 'Sorry, buster, the ball-game is over!'")
  • the sequence of Shaw's corrupt, monstrous and perverse maternal figure, Mrs. Iselin, with an insatiable lust for power, describing the task and arrangements for him while seated next to Jocie's giant Queen of Diamonds costume - his mission was to assassinate the Presidential nominee Benjamin K. Arthur (Robert Riordan) during the political convention - a catastrophe that would advance Raymond's step-father's political career and pave the way for a legal takeover of the White House; as a symbol of her sincerity and love, she held both sides of his face with her claw-like fingers while smothering him with kisses on his forehead and right cheek - she ended with a seductive, incestuous warm kiss on his lips
  • the final climactic sequence during the political rally-convention in Madison Square Garden with Shaw disguised as a priest, carrying a sniper rifle, and positioned in an upper, unused spotlight booth at the convention center - and Marco's desperate sprint to the top of the arena to prevent an assassination in the making - arriving too late to prevent Shaw from firing on his own step-father and mother (whether it was because of Marco's 'deprogramming' effort or because of his own realization of his parents' evil was left unclear); he then donned his own Congressional Medal of Honor around his neck, and spoke to a stunned Marco who had just arrived ("You couldn't have stopped them, the Army couldn't have stopped them. So I had to"); he turned his rifle on himself and suicidally blew his brains out - Marco witnessed the blast (offscreen)
  • the dissolve from the gunshot blast to crackling lightning/thunder claps at film's end - an epilogue, when Marco looked out a rain-spattered window, and then read from a History of the US Army book filled with citations for other heroic Congressional Medal of Honor winners, including his own posthumous citation of bravery for Shaw's sacrifice in stopping the Iselins; Marco pondered on the meaning of Shaw's life/death: ("Made to commit acts too unspeakable to be cited here by an enemy who had captured his mind and his soul. He freed himself at last and in the end heroically and unhesitatingly gave his life to save his country. Raymond Shaw. Hell! Hell!")



















Manhattan (1979)

In co-writer/director Woody Allen's classic comedy, accentuated by Gordon Willis' exquisite soft-focus B/W cinematography, shot in 35 mm Panavision:

  • one of the greatest cinematic opening montages ever with Gershwin's music ("Rhapsody in Blue") accompanying the beautiful black-and-white photography of New York City by day and then night (including fireworks) starting with the skyline, then buildings and streets
  • television author/joke writer Isaac Davis' (Woody Allen) voice-over monologue/narration of various failed attempts and versions of "Chapter One" of his planned novel he aspired to write, ending with: ("'Chapter One. He was as tough and romantic as the city he loved. Behind his black-rimmed glasses was the coiled sexual power of a jungle cat.' Oh, I love this! 'New York was his town, and it always would be'")
  • Isaac's meeting with neurotic Mary Wilke (Diane Keaton) at an Equal Rights Amendment fund-raising event at the Museum of Modern Art, and afterwards, taking an after-hours cab ride home, stroll, and sitting on a park bench (silhouetted) against the sight of the 59th Street Queensboro Bridge - to the sounds of the Gershwin tune: "Someone to Watch Over Me"
  • the famous one-liners: Mary: "I'm beautiful, I'm bright and I deserve better!"; and Isaac: "I think there's something wrong with me because I've never had a relationship with a woman that's lasted longer than the one Hitler had with Eva Braun"
  • the Elaine's restaurant scene, when Isaac bragged about his appearance with a cigarette to 17 year-old Tracy (Oscar-nominated Mariel Hemingway): ("I know I don't smoke. I don't inhale because it gives you cancer, but I look so incredibly handsome with a cigarette, that I can't not hold one. You like the way I look?...Gettin' through to ya, right?"); when Tracy left for a few moments, Isaac continued: ("I'm older than her father. Can you believe that? I'm dating a girl wherein I can beat up her father. That's the first time that phenomenon ever occurred in my life")
  • the carriage ride scene through Central Park, when Isaac told Tracy - after kissing her: ("You're...you're God's answer to Job. You know, you would have ended all, all argument between them. I mean, he would've pointed at you and said, you know: 'I do a lot of terrible things but I can also make one of these.' You know? And then Job would've said: 'OK, well, you win.'")
  • the heartbreaking malt shop scene when Isaac suggested breaking up with his radiant girlfriend Tracy: ("Listen, I don't, I-I don't think we should keep seeing each other...Because I think you're getting too hung up on me, you know? 'Hung up on me.' I'm starting to sound like you when I talk.... You can't be in love with me. We've been over this. You're a kid. You don't know what love means. I don't know what it means. Nobody out there knows what the hell's going on.... but you're 17 years old. By the time you're 21, you're gonna have, you'll have a dozen relationships, believe me, far more passionate than this one")
  • Isaac's "why is life worth living" dictation into his tape recorder (he mentioned jazz, sports, and entertainment heroes such as Groucho Marx, Willie Mays, Louis Armstrong, and concluded with the smile on Tracy's face): ("My idea for a short story about, uhm, people in Manhattan, who, uh, are constantly creating these real, unnecessary neurotic problems for themselves, 'cause it keeps them from dealing with more unsolvable, terrifying problems about the universe. Uhm, let's, uh, well, it has to be optimistic. All right, why is life worth living? That's a very good question. Uhm, well, there are certain things I-I guess that make it worthwhile. Uh, like what? Okay. Uhm, for me, ah, ooh, I would say - what, Groucho Marx, to name one thing. Uh, uhmm, and Willie Mays, and uhm, uh, the Second Movement of the Jupiter Symphony. And uhm, Louis Armstrong recording Potatohead Blues. Uhm, Swedish movies, naturally, Sentimental Education by Flaubert, uh, Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra. Uhm, those incredible apples and pears by Cézanne. Uh, the crabs at Sam Wo's. Uhm, Tracy's face...")
  • his breathless run through NY streets to stop his (now) eighteen year-old drama student/girlfriend Tracy's departure by plane for London to study at the Academy and their romantically poignant and touching final scene when the young lover consoled Isaac with the bittersweet line that ended the film: ("Six months isn't so long. Everybody gets corrupted. You have to have a little faith in people")
  • the concluding shot of Isaac's face with a wry, resigned smiling expression (a farewell version of The Tramp's (Charlie Chaplin) expression in City Lights (1931)), followed by a reprise of the opening montage featuring the skyline from dawn to dusk to Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue"










Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993)

In Woody Allen's hilarious comedy - his ode to The Thin Man (1934) and Rear Window (1954), again reuniting Allen with frequent star Diane Keaton:

  • the middle-aged couple of Larry (Woody Allen) and Carol Lipton (Diane Keaton) - a married New York couple, whose lives were energized by the 'mystery' death of their neighbor Lillian House (Lynn Cohen), the wife of Mr. Paul House (Jerry Adler); Carol had been stalking Paul in a movie theater and claimed to have discovered a motive - that he might be running off with a young pretty actress named Helen Moss (Melanie Norris): ("He was with this young model type, and they were talking about money....So, that's the motive")
  • in a late-night scene at 1 am, Larry commanded his hyperactive wife, who wanted to investigate and enter their neighbor's apartment by using a key, to go back to bed: ("I'm telling you, I'm your husband. I command you to sleep!. Sleep! I command it!...I command it! Sleep!"); she counter-argued, with obsessive, 'Nancy Drew'-like suspicions that the non-mourning, cheerful husband had murdered his wife: ("Larry, all I can tell you is, if this had been a few years ago, you would have been doing the same thing. 'Cause if you recall, we solved a mystery. Yep, we solved a mystery once. Remember? It was the - it was the noises in the attic mystery")
  • the scene of their sneaky visit into Paul's apartment, where Larry was frantic with worry, while Carol looked for clues and said: ("I think something's very strange, here.... I think the whole thing is really sinister")
  • the many funny, acerbic one-liners by Larry: ("I've reevaluated our lives! I got a 10, you got a 6!", "There's nothing wrong with you that a little Prozac and a polo mallet can't cure!", and "Jesus, save a little craziness for menopause!")
  • the funny moments when a hotel elevator stalled and Larry suddenly became very panicked: ("I'm-I'm-I'm a-a world-renowned claustrophobic...I don't like this, I don't, I don't...It's easy for you to say, but I can't breath, I'm phobic...I'm not panicking, I'm not panicking, I'm...I'm just gonna say the rosary, now...Oh, I don't know, I don't like this...I'm running over a field, I see open meadows. I see a stallion. I'm a stallion...There's a cool breeze passing over me. I see grass. I see dirt...Let's go, my life is passing in front of my eyes. The worst part of it is, I'm driving a used car"); and then, their shocking discovery of a corpse - Lillian's body - inside an emergency exit panel above them, with her arm dangling down: ("Oh, my God. It's her....Oh, Jesus! Claustrophobia AND a dead body - this is a neurotic's jackpot!")
  • the character of sultry writer Marcia Fox (Anjelica Huston) who helped Larry, Carol and single playwright friend Ted (Alan Alda) devise a trap to ensnare Mr. House
  • the clever recreation of the climax of The Lady From Shanghai (1948) in the back of an old revival theatre (the characters reenacted the mirror scene - life imitating art - as it played behind them on the screen); when House's spiteful paramour-accomplice Mrs. Gladys Dalton (Marge Redmond) appeared, confronted him with a gun, and shot him: ("Hello Paul. Didn't you expect me?...You made a lot of promises to me, over the years. And then, you decided to dump me for that young model...It's late for excuses...I'm aiming at you, lover. Of course, killing you is killing myself...But you know, I'm pretty tired of both of us")
  • the concluding scene of Marcia's recap of the entire mystery to Ted as they left police headquarters: ("Oh, listen. I'll give it to you one more time. Mrs. House had a sister who moved to England many years ago. She changed her name when she married. Her husband died. She moved back to New York recently, a very, very rich widow, but a recluse. Mr. and Mrs. House knew they weren't in her will. They have her over to dinner, she accidentally keels over. I guessed right there. She has a reasonable resemblance to her sister, so they fake it. Pretend Lillian House died. They cremate the sister. Lillian checks into a fleabag joint and for several weeks she pretends to be her sister, closing her accounts, liquidating her assets, accumulating big money. What she didn't realize was that her husband was two-timing her with Helen Moss, this pretty model. So, he decides not to cut her in and go off to, I don't know --- with his mistress and, uh, keep all the dough. So, he kills Lillian. He cremates her, or pours molten steel all over her or something, and, uh, that's when we came along and tripped him up...Mrs. Dalton? She covered for him. She loved him. Not that she dreamed he was a murderer")
  • the final exchange after the mystery was solved, when Larry and Carol were walking down a NY street discussing where they would go for dinner and talking about some of their mutual jealousies, when Carol happened to mention their friend Ted: (Larry: "You've got to be kiddin'. Take away his-his-his elevator shoes, and his fake sun tan and his capped teeth and what do you have?" Carol: "You!" Larry: "Right! I like that..." )








Manhunter (1986)

In Michael Mann's original version of Red Dragon - the prequel to The Silence of the Lambs (1991):

  • the skin-crawlingly creepy prologue in which a hand-held videocamera "stalked" a family and then cut to titles shortly after one of the victims awakened in her bedroom
  • retired FBI forensic expert Will Graham's (William L. Petersen - later starring in CSI onTV) vivid description of a macabre crime scene (by entering the mind-set of the killer), including details of the killer's features: ("blonde hair, strong, size 12 shoe imprint, blood AB positive")
  • his tense interview with the first incarnation of "insane" Dr. Hannibal "Lecktor" (Brian Cox) in a stark, antiseptic, harshly-lit white cell where Graham was reminded when Lecktor asked: ("Do you know how you caught me? The reason you caught me, Will, because we're just alike. Do you understand? Smell yourself")
  • the 'eureka moment' profiler Graham had about the serial killer's modus operandi as he climbed a tree outside the Jacobi house: ("When night came, you saw them pass by their bright windows. You watched the shades go down, and you saw the lights go out one by one. And after a while, you climbed down and you went into them, didn't you? (shouting) DIDN'T YOU, YOU SON OF A BITCH! YOU WATCHED THEM ALL GODDAMN DAY LONG!! That's why houses with big yards")
  • the character of tall, crazed, near-albino serial killer Francis "Tooth Fairy" Dollarhyde (Tom Noonan) with a cleft-palate and scraggly white hair, and wearing a ladies' sheer stocking mask over his head and eyes - who ambushed pushy tabloid reporter Freddy Lounds (Stephen Lang) in an underground parking garage, and then forced Lounds to watch a slideshow - beginning with a painting of William Blake's The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in the Rays of the Sun, with further pictures of his transformed female victims (Mrs. Leeds, Mrs. Jacobi); he delivered a scary speech: ("Before me, you are a slug in the sun. You are privy to a great becoming, and you recognize nothing. You are an ant in the afterbirth. It is your nature to do one thing correctly, tremble. But fear is not what you owe me. No, Lounds, you and the others, you owe me awe")
  • the spectacular murder scene - when Lounds was set ablaze in a wheelchair and rolled down a steep underground parking garage ramp towards the camera - and died later in a hospital
  • the sexually-charged scene in which Dollarhyde took a blind, fiercely independent lab technician co-worker Reba McClane (Joan Allen) to feel an anesthetized tiger
  • Graham's scene with his son Kevin (David Seaman) while grocery shopping when he had to answer questions about his job and what he did for a living (including how he had been inducted into a mental institution due to his association with Lektor): ("I tried to build feelings in my imagination like the killer had so that I would know why he did what he did, because that would help me find him...But after my body got okay, I still had his thoughts going around in my head")
  • the climactic scene in which Graham explosively burst through a glass doorway to save Reba from the Tooth Fairy, as Iron Butterfly's In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida throbbed rhythmically; Graham revived and emptied his gun with six shots into Dollarhyde, who fell down dead on the kitchen floor, with his blood spread out under his body (like the wings of the demon in the Blake painting)
  • the concluding scene when Graham returned to his Florida home after the nightmarish ordeal had ended, to see his pretty blonde wife Molly (Kim Greist) and admit: "I thought I had to work things out and call you after." She responded: "I thought I wouldn't wait"; they stood at the ocean shore together, as he asked about the turtles: "How many of them made it?" - as Red 7's tune "Heartbeat" played








Marathon Man (1976)

In John Schlesinger's paranoid suspense thriller:

  • the early scene of the Parisian hotel room attack on Henry "Doc" Levy (Roy Scheider), a globe-trotting, covert American government agent (in a group known as "the Division") working to foil aging, fugitive, ex-Nazi war criminals; while standing on his balcony with a view of the Eiffel Tower, Doc was garrotted from behind by an assailant, but was able to fight off his brutal attacker and break his neck
  • the character of Dr. Christian Szell (Laurence Olivier), who was known for selling stolen contraband diamonds for his own profit (derived from gold taken from Jews' teeth during WWII when he was at Auschwitz, known as "The White Angel, Der Weie Engel, due to his white hair")
  • the break-in scene, when doctoral student Thomas "Babe" Levy (Dustin Hoffman), "Doc's" brother, was taking a bath in his tub in his NYC apartment, when two mysterious intruders entered - he screamed for help, but was seized, dunked head-first into his bathtub, and abducted
  • the first session of death camp dentist Szell's sadistic, grim torture of "Babe", in a window-less room, when he calmly asked the baffling question: "Is it safe?", unrolled a collection of probing, ominous-looking dental instruments, and began to torture him; "Babe" stubbornly refused to divulge any information; after causing intense pain, Szell applied a dab of a medicinal liquid on his little finger to the affected tooth: ("Is it not remarkable? Simple oil of cloves and how amazing the results. Life can be that simple; relief - discomfort. Now, which of these I next apply, that decision is in your hands, so, take your time and tell me. Is it safe?")
"Is it safe?"
  • the second session of interrogation, when Szell spoke about how "Doc" had possibly relayed information to "Babe" before his death, and he would now use further torture to extract assurances of safety: ("Your brother was incredibly strong. Strength is often inherited. He died in your arms. He travelled far and in great pain to do that. There has to be a reason....Please don't worry. I'm not going into that cavity. That nerve's already dying. A live, freshly-cut nerve is infinitely more sensitive, so I'll just drill into a healthy tooth until I reach the pulp. Unless, of course, you can tell me that it's safe"); "Babe" screamed as the pain increased and then passed out; Szell spoke to his thugs: "He knew nothing. If he'd known, he would have told. Get rid of him"
  • the scene of Babe's marathon run-escape across town to get back to his Manhattan apartment
  • the confrontation scene in a country house between "Doc's" double-agent boss Peter Janeway (William Devane), "Babe's" duplicitous girlfriend Elsa Opel (Marthe Keller), and Janeway's agents, ending with everyone shot and dead except for "Babe"
  • the scene of Szell's return to NYC from his hideout in Uruguay, South America, in order to retrieve a valuable cache of diamonds, when he was recognized by a jewelry shop assistant clerk (an Auschwitz survivor and former victim) in a Jewish section of town, although Szell claimed his name was "Christopher Hess"; as he calmly but quickly left the shop and walked down a Manhattan street, he was also identified by a Jewish woman, who spoke out and cried after him: ("I know that man. It can't be Szell? Szell. Szell! Szell! Szell! My God! Stop him! Szell! Stop Szell! It's Szell. Der Weie Engel! Der Weie Engel is here. Oh, my God. Stop him. Stop him! Der Weie Engel! Der Weie Engel. He has to be stopped. My God! He gets away. Der Weie Engel is here! Szell. Stop him! Oh, please help me. He's a beast. He's a murderer. You must stop him. Oh, my God, there he goes! He's getting away!...Der Weie Engel is here! Stop him! Stop him! I will stop him! I will stop him! The beast! The beast!") - as she ran after him into the street, she was struck by a taxi, but continued to cry out, as he ducked away in the crowd; however, the shop-owner had been following and tapped Szell on his shoulder: ("I know who you are, you murderer. I know who you are!"); he was swiftly slashed across the throat by Szell, who then fled in a taxi from the scene
  • the final scene - Babe's confrontation with Szell in NYC's Central Park, when he told the ex-Nazi diamond hunter that he could keep whatever diamonds he could swallow from his briefcase: ("You can keep as many as you can swallow...Yeah, swallow, eat. Essen...I'm not joking. Essen!"); when Szell taunted and accused Babe of being weak: ("You'll have to shoot me. Come on. Shoot. You won't. You can't. You're too weak. Your father was weak in his way, your brother in his, now you in yours. You are all so predictable"), they fought and Szell fatally fell down a circular metal staircase onto his own knife blade as he went to retrieve the diamonds, and then tumbled into the water










March of the Penguins (2005, Fr.) (aka Le Marche de l'Empereur)

In the highest grossing nature documentary ever made (up to its time), Luc Jacquet's Oscar-winner for Best Documentary Feature, with awe-inspiring visuals of the icy continent of Antarctica, and beautifully narrated by Morgan Freeman:

  • the opening narrated line: ("There are few places hard to get to in this world. But there aren't any where it's harder to live") - about the fight for survival by Emperor penguins, as they live in the center of the harshest place on Earth - Antarctica
  • the miles-long penguin march and their awkward, waddling-walking when not flopping on their bellies to slide forward on the hardened snow, to return to the breeding grounds for the mating season, about 70 miles away: ("To get there, they will walk day and night continuously, sometimes for a week. It is a long, dangerous and seemingly impossible journey, and some of them will not survive it")
  • the clumsy, perilous ballet of handing off eggs (later hatching chicks) between parents, and the difficult efforts of the male penguin parent to keep the fragile penguin egg warm to ensure its incubation over a long period of time: ("As soon as the egg appears, it is instantly hidden from the cold. The tiny beating heart within the shell cannot survive much more than a moment's exposure to the freezing air. From now on, the couple has but a single goal, keeping their egg alive. The hungry mother must return at once to the sea to eat. But before she leaves, she must entrust the egg to its father. Some, young couples perhaps, are too impulsive or rushed. And within moments, their affair comes to an end. They can only watch as the ice claims their egg and the life within it. This couple's partnership is now over. The long march in vain....And now begins one of nature's most incredible and endearing role reversals. It is the penguin male who will tend the couple's single egg....it is the father who will shield the egg from the violent winds and cold")
  • the graceful underwater swimming by the female penguins, who return to the water to eat ("to fill their empty bellies")
  • the crowd-pleasing sequence of a young chick reunited with its mother for the first time: ("To find each other in the enormous crowd, the penguins must rely on sound, not sight. As they circle, the returning mothers trumpet loudly and wait for their mates to call back. The sound is deafening, and yet, somehow, each of them will hear their mate's song. The couple has found one another. The mother sees her chick for the first time. And, at last, the family is together")
  • the view of the adolescent penguin chicks learning to walk, and then diving into the water -- (in voice-over): "Going home for the first time"
  • the film's final voice-over line: ("And they will march just as they have done for centuries, ever since the Emperor Penguin decided to stay, to live and love in the harshest place on Earth")






Margie (1946)

In Henry King's Technicolored, nostalgic and sentimental romantic comedy (with some musical numbers) - a Fox box-office smash about the coming-of-age of a teenaged girl in the Roaring 1920s; it was told in flashback from a generation later - with the tagline: "Youth was 'Flaming!' Everyone danced the 'Charleston!' College boys sat on flagpoles... and gulped goldfish! 'Sheiks' toted their 'Shebas' in 'Tin Lizzies!' 'Flappers' rolled their stockings...and rouged their knees... and the whole nation was singing":

  • the opening sequence: an uninterrupted tracking shot from outside a house, through an open window and into the attic, where post-war, middle-aged housewife Mrs. "Margie" MacDuff (Jeanne Crain) shared her life as a teenager with her daughter Joyce (Ann E. Todd), who had just located Margie's photo album
  • the beautiful flashback transition from 1946 back to 1928, the social milieu of Mrs. MacDuff as bookish, innocently boy-crazy, shy-bashful, and accident-prone Central High School student Marjorie 'Margie' MacDuff (Jeanne Crain also) in Ohio, almost always in pigtails or a knit stocking cap and sailor suits
  • the soundtrack pairing of Rudy Vallee's singing of 'My Time is Your Time' (on a wind-up Victrola phonograph in the attic) - back to the same song that was playing in the past in two instances: (1) from a speaker on a Herbert Hoover campaign truck, and (2) from the singing voice of Marybelle Tenor (Barbara Lawrence), Margie's popular, blonde, leggy and fashionable neighbor girlfriend, who was in front of the school waiting for her boyfriend - letter-sweatered, raccoon-coated Johnny 'Johnikins' Green (Conrad Janis)
  • the development of Margie's crush on her new French teacher Professor Ralph Fontayne (Glenn Langan), while she was seeing her same-aged nerdy, poetry reading suitor Roy Hornsdale (Alan Young in his film debut)
  • the continuing embarrassing problem of Margie's bloomers falling down at inopportune moments - in the school library, during ice skating, and at the Senior Prom
  • the scene of Margie's debate of US foreign policy in the late 1920s, when she gave a passionate argument about removing US Marines from Nicaragua - she debated that freedom was more valuable than American capitalism (selling Nicaragua plumbing): "Ladies and gentlemen, would you turn in liberty for a bathtub?", after which she was wildly applauded by her widowed, mortician father Angus MacDuff (Hobart Cavanaugh)
  • the ending scene with Margie heartbroken that Roy became sick and couldn't take her to the Senior Prom, followed by the mix-up about who would be taking Margie to the dance - Mr. MacDuff had been recruited to surprise her, although Margie was misled into believing that Fontayne would be taking her (instead, he was taking the school librarian Miss Isabel Palmer (Lynn Bari)); at the dance, however, Fontayne told her as they danced: "I'd rather dance with you than anyone in this room - and I meant it...Anyone!"
  • the film's plot surprise - Margie's husband was Mr. Fontayne, the school's principal, and Angus MacDuff was announced as the new ambassador to Nicaragua


Marius (1931, Fr.)

In director Alexander Korda's romantic comedy, characterized by the authentic-sounding vernacular dialect and rolling Southern France accents, in its story adapted from Marcel Pagnol's 1929 stage play; it was noted as the first installment of Marcel Pagnol's Fanny (or Marseille) trilogy (followed by Fanny (1932) and Cesar (1936)):

  • the title character: restless and unfulfilled 22 year-old Marius (Pierre Fresnay) living in the port city of Marseilles helping his doting and overbearing widowed father, bar owner Cesar Olivier (Raimu); Marius had two conflicting loves: his troubled romance with 18 year-old childhood sweetheart Fanny (Orane Demazi, scriptwriter Pagnol's wife), the daughter of the local widowed fishmonger Honorine Cabanis (Alida Rouffe), who ran a shellfish concession, and Marius' adventurous and yearning desire to travel and sail away ("a madness for the sea") from his provincial community
  • Marius' jealous dilemma when Fanny announced that she would marry the 50 year-old recently-widowed Honoré Panisse (Fernand Charpin), a lonely yet prosperous, local sailmaker
  • the comic bridge card-game sequence (full of obvious cheating, for instance: "You break my heart!"), starting with four card players, including Cesar and cuckolding ferryboat captain Félix Escartefigue (Paul Dullac), with the famous accusatory quotes: "You'd treat an old school chum like a cheat?...If friends can't cheat, why bother to play?", and "The French Navy tells you to go to hell"
  • in the highly-dramatic ending, the self-sacrificing Fanny encouraged Marius to leave on a ship for an extended expedition, and then distracted his father while the sailing vessel was departing from the harbor




The Mark of Zorro (1940)

In director Rouben Mamoulian's adventure-swashbuckler (a remake of UA's silent 1920 version with Douglas Fairbanks) about "El Zorro" ("The Fox") - a defender of the rights of the people:

  • the character of the tyrannical Don Luis Quintero (J. Edward Bromberg), the ruling Alcalde, who had ousted power from Diego's father Don Alejandro Vega (Montagu Love)
  • the placard in Los Angeles' village square, signed by El Zorro / aka foppish Diego de Vega (Tyrone Power) by day, threatening the corrupt ruler: ("SPECIAL NOTICE: To All Men in the District of Los Angeles. Be it known that Luis Quintero is a Thief and an Enemy of the People, and Cannot Long Escape My Vengeance - ZORRO")
  • Quintero's beautiful niece Lolita Quintero (Linda Darnell) - the love interest of black-costumed, dashing and masked Zorro by night
  • the thrilling, magnificent fencing-dueling scene between Zorro and cruel villain Capt. Esteban Pasquale (Basil Rathbone), the governor's henchman; it was one of the best swashbuckler fights of its kind in cinematic history; when Zorro pierced Pasquale's chest and he fell back against a wall, he dislodged a framed picture, and revealed a "Z" etched in the wall earlier by Zorro - the Mark of Zorro
  • Diego's concluding escape from jail (where he was soon to face a firing squad) after being arrested by Quintero for the death of Capt. Pasquale, and his leadership of a successful peasant/soldier rebellion, and the re-instatement of Alcade power to Diego's father




Marlowe (1969)

In Paul Bogart's version of private detective Philip Marlowe, an adaptation of Raymond Chandler's 1949 source novel "The Little Sister", with James Garner in a pre-The Rockford Files role:

  • the opening title sequence, using a dynamic camera aperture motif related to the plot, and Orpheus' upbeat jazzy performance of the theme song: "Little Sister"
  • the twisting path that sardonic, private eye sleuth Marlowe (James Garner) followed - in a tale about a set of incriminating photographs of a love affair between popular TV sit-com actress Mavis Wald (Gayle Hunnicut) and transplanted Brooklyn mob-gangster Mr. Sonny Steelgrave (H. W. Wynant), taken for blackmail purposes by Orrin Quest (Roger Newman) (revealed later to be Mavis' brother)
  • the off-screen ice-pick neck stabbings of two men (by Orrin) - the drug-addicted 'Infinite Pad' flophouse hotel manager (Warren Finnerty) in the lobby, and low-life, toupeed con-man Grant W. Hicks (Jackie Coogan) in his room in the Hotel Alvarado
  • the three-way split-screen sequence, of Marlowe on crossed telephones speaking to his DMV office girlfriend Julie (Corinne Camacho) (on the right), and the photo-processing camera store clerk (Jason Wingreen) (on the left)
  • the revelation that the young blonde Kansas girl, Midwesterner Orfamay Quest (Sharon Farrell), who attempted to hire Marlowe to find her missing brother Orrin Quest, was actually the "little sister" of Mavis [Spoiler: both Orfamay and Orrin were planning to blackmail their sibling Mavis with the photographs]
  • the office trashing scene - when destructive karate expert/bodyguard Winslow Wong (Bruce Lee in his first appearance in a Hollywood film, speaking English), Steelgrave's thug, appeared in Marlowe's office and offered pay-off money - that Marlowe refused; then he began punching and kicking out walls, a clothes-rack, the door glass, the overhead light shade fixture, an entire bookcase, and Marlowe's desk
  • the death of Wong on a restaurant balcony on a skyscraper, when Marlowe called him gay, then sidestepped and grabbed a ladder on a support column, while Wong went over the side and plummeted to the street far below
  • the sequence of the attempted ice-pick murder of Marlowe by lethally-wounded Orrin Quest, who was shot (off-screen) a few minutes earlier by drug-dealing child psychologist Dr. Vincent Lagardie (Paul Stevens), who had just drugged Marlowe with a spiked hallucinogenic cigarette
  • the scene in Steelgrave's luxury home overlooking LA, where Marlowe found Mavis with a gun, and Steelgrave dead in a nearby chair, although Marlowe concluded that Mavis was not-guilty (Marlowe concluded that she was innocent - she claimed to be protecting her sister - because no gun residue was on her hand; the likely killer was Mavis' friend Dolores); and the sequence of Marlowe's attempt to make Steelgrave's murder look like a suicide to protect Mavis
  • the Union Station (downtown LA) sequence of Marlowe and Orfamay talking at a lunch counter, when he told her about ice-pick killer Orrin's death by gunshot, and all the other nefarious plots occurring - with a woman seated between them
  • the fight between Mavis and Orfamay in Marlowe's ransacked apartment, ending with Marlowe sending the treacherous Orfamay back to Kansas: ("Kansas is due East")
  • the final scene in a LA strip club: Marlowe's questioning of blonde-wigged exotic stripper Dolores Gonzáles (Rita Moreno), Mavis' old friend and Lagardie's ex-wife, as she was performing a sexy half-naked strip-tease on stage (at LA's Club Largo on Sunset Blvd.), and confessing her involvement; from backstage, Marlowe figured out that Dolores was Lagardie's ex-wife from Brooklyn when she admitted: ("The streets are paved with forgotten husbands") - and then deduced that she was Steelgrave's moll before being dumped for Mavis, and that the jealous Dolores was Steelgrave's killer: (Marlowe: "It had to be somebody that knew both Steelgrave and Mavis. Somebody who could come and go in her apartment as they pleased. Who had access to the gun Steelgrave gave her. It comes up you!" Dolores: "Like I said, Mavis is a nice girl, but why should she get all the goodies?" Marlowe: "You went to a lot of trouble." Dolores: "And there's nothing you can do about it, is there, unless you want to destroy her? And you wouldn't do that, would you? You dream of those great big eyes of hers")
  • the shocking murder of Dolores - to Marlowe's horror as he was phoning the police department in the club; Dr. Lagardie, in cahoots with mobster Steelgrave, shot her from the left wing of the stage, and then committed suicide backstage








Marnie (1964)

In Alfred Hitchcock's psychological thriller - a tale of sexual perversity and obsession - and a 'sex mystery' with the questioning tagline: "Would his touch end Marnie's unnatural fears or start them again?"

  • the opening title credits - a slide-show of 19 cards, revealed as pages turning from the right of the screen to the left
  • an initial set of four brief sequences cleverly and economically introduced clues to the main character's identity and appearance: (1) the camera trailed behind a dark-haired woman with a yellow plastic-leather handbag (under her arm), who was carrying one suitcase while walking down an empty, outdoor train station platform, (2) the witnessing of the theft of $10,000 from an office safe - discovered empty - by tax consultant Sidney Strutt (Martin Gabel), who yelled out: "Robbed! Cleaned out! $9,967!" - presumably taken by his pretty female employee Marion Holland - who had not provided references, (3) again, a rear view of the alleged female thief walking down a hotel corridor (with a bellhop carrying lots of packages of recent purchases of clothing) and into a room; she packed up two bags of luggage (one to discard evidence of her old identity, and one with her new clothes and possessions), and replaced her old Social Security ID card (Marion Holland) with a new and different fake Social Security card (Margaret Edgar); she washed the black dye from her hair in the sink, and revealed her natural blonde hair with a closeup of her face - memorably seen for the first time - as she tossed her hair back, and (4) she deposited her old suitcase in a transportation storage locker and discarded the key down a drain
  • in a few short moments, the title character Margaret 'Marnie' Edgar (Tippi Hedren) had been introduced as a blonde con artist, liar and compulsive thief (kleptomaniac)
  • the second main character -- wealthy widower and playboy Mark Rutland (Sean Connery), was the owner of a Philadelphia publishing firm where Marnie was hired as a typist; during her romantic involvement with Mark, Marnie was experiencing nightmares, severe panic attacks (occurring during a thunderstorm), and a phobic fear of the color red; after Mark discovered Marnie's theft of funds from his company, he strangely blackmailed her into marrying him
  • in a much-debated rape scene, Marnie's newly-wed husband was with her during their honeymoon cruise to Fiji; he kissed her, ripped off her nightgown (the silky garment fell to her feet), embraced her, laid on top of her on the bed and took her (his face filling the entire screen); the sexually-frigid Marnie stared upward in a frozen, paralyzed catatonic state - completely lacking any passion or emotion, but then the scene cut away to a porthole
  • the sequence of the traumatically-recalled nightmarish flashback - Marnie's recollection when she described the source of her deep-seated problems occurring during a thunder and lightning storm; as a young 5 year-old (Melody Thomas Scott), she had witnessed her 20 year-old prostitute mother Bernice Edgar (Louise Latham) attacked by sex partner and pedophile sailor (Bruce Dern); the client had begun to kiss and molest young Marnie ("Make him go, Mama. I-I don't like him to kiss me. Make him go, Mama!"), and Bernice had tried to protect her daughter; when her mother screamed out: "Marnie, help me," young Marnie defensively delivered a blow to his head with a fireplace poker ("I hit him, I hit him with a stick, I hurt him") - and murdered him ("There, there now"), and crimson blood ran down the white T-shirt of the mortally-wounded seaman; Marnie's mother was the one who took the blame and stood trial for the self-defense murder
  • these events were revealed to be the source of all of Marnie's phobias, prudishness, recurring nightmares and fear of the colors red and white - she was desperate for love, but couldn't allow a man to be intimately close to her; she had subconsciously attempted to 'repay' (with monetary gifts) her mother for standing up for her, although she had almost entirely erased the memory of the killing; mentally-ill, cheating, lying and disturbed Marnie had secretly feared that she wasn't loved, and would never be loved or have children, so she compensated by stealing and cramming robbed goods into her purse or suitcases (a symbol of her empty womb)
  • while comforting Marnie, her mother also confessed how Marnie had been conceived at the age of 15, after having sex with a boy named Billy in exchange for his basketball sweater; she steadfastly vowed her love for Marnie by adopting her
  • in the conclusion, Mark provided assurances when he spoke to Marnie to convince her to think more highly of herself, and not regard herself as a cheat, a liar and a thief: "Marnie, it's time to have a little compassion for yourself. When a child, a child of any age, Marnie, can't get love, well, it takes what it can get, any way it can get it. It's not so hard to understand"; he also vowed to help defend her, told her that she wouldn't go to jail, and that they would work out their mutual marital problems















The Marrying Kind (1952)

In George Cukor's bittersweet marriage comedy/drama:

  • the tale of two middle-class New Yorkers -- Florence (Judy Holliday) and Chet Keefer (Aldo Ray in his film debut) and their marriage difficulties
  • the initial, revelatory and reflective flashbacks of the ups and downs of their relationship while in divorce court (in various "he said/she said" scenes), encouraged by the court's Judge Anne B. Carroll (Madge Kennedy)
  • the flashback of the life-changing, tragic Decoration Day family picnic scene in which Joey (Christopher Olsen), their six-year-old son, accidentally drowned in a park pond while nearby, an oblivious Florence was singing on a ukelele to her husband - "How I Love the Kisses of Dolores" - the scene returned to the courtroom where Florence began to sob uncontrollably




Marty (1955)

In director Delbert Mann's Best Picture-winning heartwarming romance drama:

  • overweight butcher Marty's (Ernest Borgnine) recurring conversation with friend Angie (Joe Mantell): Angie: "What do you feel like doing tonight?" Marty: "I don't know, Ange. What do you feel like doing?"
  • the scene of Marty's classic phone conversation with a potential date: ("Oh, hello there. Is this Mary Feeney? Hello, there. This is Marty Pilletti. I-I wonder if you recall me. Well, I'm kind of a stocky guy. The last time we met was in the RKO Chester. You was with a friend of yours, and I-I was with a friend of mine, name of Angie. This was about a month ago") - but then realizing that he was receiving the typical brush-off, he gave up: ("Why, I know it's a little late to call for a date, but I didn't know myself till - yeah, I know. Yeah, well, what about - well, how about next Saturday night? Are - are you free next Saturday night? Well, what about the Saturday after that? Yeah. Yeah, I know. Well, I mean, I understand that. Yeah. Yeah")
  • Marty's frustrating confession to his widowed Italian Catholic mother, Mrs. Theresa Piletti (Esther Minciotti), who kept pressuring him to get married: ("Ma, sooner or later, there comes a point in a man's life when he's gotta face some facts. And one fact I gotta face is that, whatever it is that women like, I ain't got it. I chased after enough girls in my life. I-I went to enough dances. I got hurt enough. I don't wanna get hurt no more. I just called up a girl this afternoon, and I got a real brush-off, boy! I figured I was past the point of being hurt, but that hurt. Some stupid woman who I didn't even want to call up. She gave me the brush. No, Ma, I don't wanna go to Stardust Ballroom because all that ever happened to me there was girls made me feel like I was a-a-a bug. I got feelings, you know. I-I had enough pain. No thanks, Ma!...Blue suit, gray suit, I'm just a fat, little man. A fat ugly man...Ma, leave me alone. Ma, whaddaya want from me? Whaddaya want from me? I'm miserable enough as it is"), but then he relented: ("All right, so I'll go to the Stardust Ballroom. I'll put on a blue suit, and I'll go. And you know what I'm gonna get for my trouble? Heartache. A big night of heartache")
  • the realistic depiction of the developing relationship between Marty and wallflower Clara (Betsy Blair) at the Stardust Ballroom, where she had been abandoned by her own date
  • Marty's empathic reactions to like-minded Clara, including admitting that he cried all the time: ("I cry a lot too. I'm a big crier...I cry all the time. Any little thing. All my brothers, my brothers-in-law - they're - they're always telling me what a good-hearted guy I am. You don't get to be good-hearted by accident. You get kicked around long enough, you get to be a - a real professor of pain. I know exactly how you feel. And I also want you to know that I'm having a very good time with you right now and really enjoyin' myself. You see, you're not such a dog as you think you are"), and then he repeated his assertion about her, and referred to his own rejections and ugliness: ("Dogs like us, we ain't such dogs as we think we are")
  • the painful sequence of Clara's rejection of Marty's good-night kiss after their evening together, and his response to her: ("All right, all right, I'll take ya home. All I wanted was a lousy kiss"), but then she smoothed his feelings by admitting that she liked him: ("I'd like to see you again - very much. The reason I didn't let you kiss me was because I just didn't know how to handle the situation. You're the kindest man I ever met. The reason I tell you this is because I want to see you again - very much. I know that when you take me home I'm just going to lie on my bed and think about you. I want very much to see you again")
  • the concluding sequence of Marty's courageous and defiant defense of his love for Clara to his friends: ("You don't like her. My mother don't like her. She's a dog. And I'm a fat, ugly man. Well, all I know is I had a good time last night. I'm gonna have a good time tonight. If we have enough good times together, I'm gonna get down on my knees. I'm gonna beg that girl to marry me. If we make a party on New Year's, I got a date for that party. You don't like her? That's too bad")
  • and his promised phone call to Clara for another date, in a phone booth, as he shut the door on his friend Angie as the film ended: ("Hello...Hello, Clara?")







Mary Poppins (1964)

In Disney's fantasy adaptation of the beloved P. L. Travers children's books with an Oscar for Best Original Score, with an amazing blending of live action with animated cartoon characters - and audio animatronics (the robin) - winning a Special Effects Academy Award:

  • the title sequence in which Mary Poppins (Oscar-winner Julie Andrews in her film debut) sat on a cloud over London with her talking parrot-headed umbrella while applying makeup, and then was summoned to the Banks household after the children wrote their own advertisement for a kind and sweet nanny: ("Wanted, a nanny for two adorable children...(sung) If you want this choice position, have a cheery disposition...Rosy cheeks, no warts, play games, all sort. You must be kind, you must be witty, very sweet and fairly pretty, take us on outings, give us treats, sing songs, bring sweets...")
  • Poppins dropped down to 17 Cherry Tree Lane to be the new Banks family nanny, by entering in at the window (the children exclaimed: "It's her. It's the person. She's answered our advertisement. Rosy cheeks and everything") - about 20 minutes into the film
  • the character of Mary's love interest - the carefree Cockney sidewalk street artist (screever) Bert (Dick Van Dyke)
  • the jump into a chalk sketch on the pavement that took Mary, Dick and the Banks children into a cartoon world, where they sang the catchy classic tune about a nonsense word: "Super-califragilistic-expialidocious"
  • the poignant singing of "Feed the Birds" (pigeons) by Mary - with Jane Darwell (in her final screen appearance) as the old bird woman at St. Paul's Cathedral
  • the manic, fireworks-filled rooftops dance "Step In Time" by Bert and his fellow chimney-sweeps
  • the scene in which stodgy father Mr. George W. Banks (David Tomlinson) told off his bank founder boss, the ancient Mr. Dawes, Sr. (also Van Dyke): "Go fly a kite!"
  • the other memorable songs including "Chim-Chim-Cher-ee" (which won the Best Song Oscar), "A Spoonful of Sugar" and the triumphant finale: "Let's Go Fly a Kite"






M*A*S*H (1970)

In director Robert Altman's subversive and irreverent anti-war comedy set in Korea in 1951, with the dark humor of bloody wartime surgeries and other pranks and shenanigans in the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH):

  • "Suicide is Painless" - the anti-war film's theme song playing on the soundtrack during the opening credits sequence, including scenes of blood-spurting surgery with casual dialogue carried on by the iconoclastic doctors (Captain Hawkeye Pierce (Donald Sutherland) and Captain "Trapper" John McIntyre (Elliott Gould)), and their golf-playing on the helicopter landing pad
  • the scene of Hawkeye and Trapper saving the life of a Korean infant in Tokyo
  • the celebrated scenes of the pranks played by the members of a free-wheeling camp, including listening in to uptight chief nurse Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan's (Sally Kellerman) love-making tryst with hypocritical tee-totaler Maj. Frank Burns (Robert Duvall), while a microphone was hidden under their cot picking up their voices: (Frank asserted: "God meant us to find each other," she enthusiastically opened her blouse: "His will be done," and then invited him: "Oh, Frank, my lips are hot. Kiss my hot lips"), and wisecracking surgeon Trapper John McIntyre's decision to broadcast everything on loudspeakers over the camp's PA system: ("We have got to share this with the rest of the camp")
  • the practical joke of pulling up pulling away the front tent wall flaps of her shower stall and exposing her to an audience of jeering spectators while 'Hot Lips' was taking a shower with everyone lined up as spectators - to determine if she was a natural blonde or not (a $20 bet), and her hysterical complaint to commanding officer Lt. Col. Henry Blake (Roger Bowen) (who was in bed with one of the nurses), including 'Hot Lips' threat to resign: ("This isn't a hospital! lt's an insane asylum! And it's your fault because you don't do anything to discourage them!...Put them under arrest! See what a court-martial thinks of their drunken hooliganism! First, they called me Hot Lips, and you let them get away with it! And then you let them get away with everything! And if you don't turn them over to the MP this minute, l-l'm gonna resign my commission!")
  • the scene of surgeon Hawkeye asking questions of Major Burns ("Does that big ass of hers move around a lot, Frank, or does it sort of lie there flaccid? What would you say about that?...Would you say that she was a moaner, Frank?...Seriously, Frank. I mean, does she go ooohhh or does she just sort of lie there quiet and not do anything at all?...- causing him to go "nuts", be placed in a strait-jacket, and forcibly removed from the unit by a military police Jeep -- (a recording of a Japanese lady singing a 'Sayonara' song was broadcast throughout the camp: "The time has come for us to say Sayonara, My heart will always be yours for eternity l knew sometime we'd have to say Sayonara...l'll remember our romance until the day that l die, l'll see your face ln the moon and stars in the sky")
  • the company dentist Walter "Painless Pole" Waldowski's (John Schuck) mock 'Last Supper' scene and phony funeral during his assisted suicide (with a full guitar-accompanied rendition of the film's theme song: "Through early morning fog l see visions of the things to be, the pains that are withheld for me, l realize and l can see. That suicide is painless, it brings on many changes, and l can take or leave it if l please. The game of life is hard to play, l'm going to lose it anyway. The losing card l'll someday lay, so this is all l have to say, that suicide is painless..."), as a cure for his temporary erectile dysfunction, by taking a black "suicide" capsule for "certain death": ("Now then, you've all come here to say your final farewell to ol' Walt here... Dear ol' Walt. You know, l got an idea that maybe it's not such a final farewell after all. l think maybe ol' Walt's goin' on into the unknown to do a little recon work for us all. Huh?")
  • the climactic slapstick inter-M*A*S*H football game against a rival unit, in which "Hot Lips" cheered with pom-poms and gasped: "Oh my God, they've shot him" when the end-of-quarter gun went off, and the unique closing credits of the cast, read by the loudspeaker announcer - and ending with "Goddamn army" - and "That is all"









Masculine-Feminine (1966, Fr.) (aka Masculin Féminin)

In Jean-Luc Godard's New Wave romantic drama of sexual politics, taglined: "A Swinging Look at Youth and Love in Paris Today!" - a peek at the city's youth culture in the mid-1960s, alternatively inter-titled: "The Children of Marx and Coca-Cola" - told in 15 chapters, episodes, or vignettes:

  • the two main characters in a developing romantic and sexual relationship in Paris - Paul (Jean-Pierre Léaud), a self-indulgent, idealistic, rebellious, left-wing pseudo-intellectual, 21 years old, angry, unstable, and a skeptical anti-Vietnam War protester, pro-Communist and labor activist, with Madeleine Zimmer (Chantal Goya), a self-centered, vain ingenue model and aspiring pop singer who cared little about world affairs, but more about shopping, magazines and looks
  • the sequence titled: "INTERVIEW WITH A CONSUMER PRODUCT" - a lengthy interview scene (filmed for 6 1/2 minutes in an unbroken take in front of a window) in which unidentified teen idol named Miss 19 (Elsa Leroy, the real-life 'Miss 19' - the winner of a glamour teen magazine contest), displaying her extreme ignorance about politics and world events; she answered off-screen questions proposed by a misogynistic Paul (who was employed by an opinion poll); he painfully grilled her about cultural issues (i.e., socialism, birth control): "Do you think socialism still has a future?...What is socialism to you?...Do you know what birth control is?...Do you know practical ways not to have kids?...Can you tell me where there are wars going on now?"
  • the ménage à quatre between Paul, Madeleine, and her two roommates Elisabeth (Marlene Jobert) and Catherine (Catherine-Isabel Duport) - all co-habitating together
  • the cameo appearance of Brigitte Bardot, seen in a cafe reading a movie script for her next film
  • the sequence titled: "MIS-PROJECTION" - Paul, Madeleine, and her two roommates' attendance at a Swedish film (a parody of Bergman's The Silence (1963, Swe.)), where Paul spoke (in voice-over): "At movies, the screen would light up, and we'd shiver. But more often, we'd be disappointed, Madeline and I. The images seemed old and flickery. Marilyn Monroe had aged terribly. We were sad. This wasn't the film we'd imagined, the perfect film each of us carried within, the film we would like to have made, or perhaps even to have lived"; during the screening, Paul ran to the outside entry to the projection booth, where he complained about the projected film's aspect ratio, and the erotic content of the subtitled movie
  • the dilemma of Madeleine's unwanted pregnancy, forcing Paul to lose his life when he jumped or fell from a building window to his death







The Mask (1994)

In Charles Russell's live-action comedy (with CGI-effects) reminiscent of Tex Avery's best cartoons:

  • Jim Carrey's tour-de-force of animated zany-ness, in a dual role as the mild-mannered and nerdy bank teller Stanley Ipkiss, and - after donning a magical mask - his metamorphosis into a zoot-suited (in bright yellow), green-faced, flamboyant and manic super-hero tornado and lady-killer, with the style of Tex Avery cartoons of the 40s
  • the scene of Stanley's first jaw-dropping sighting of bank customer Tina Carlyle (Cameron Diaz in her screen debut) after entering the lobby from a rainstorm
  • and then Tina's second entrance as a sexy blonde night-club singer at the Coco Bongo Club that caused Stanley to drool over her (with his eyes popping, mouth/jaw dropping and tongue hanging out), and motivated him to engage in a frenzied, drum-accented dance ("Let's rock this joint") with her - to the sounds of Cab Calloway's "Hi De Ho"
  • during the physically-impossible dance sequence in the Coco Bongo nightclub, Stanely's smooch, when he leaned her down, gave her a toothy and lascivious grin, and descended for the kiss, shot in close-up
  • Stanley's scene-stealing dog Milo (Max, a Jack Russell terrier)
  • with lots of quotable lines and familiar one-liners, such as: "OOO, somebody stop me" and "SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS-MOKIN!", or sight-gags ("Sorry, wrong pocket" when he pulled out a condom)
  • the image of Stanley with gigantic guns pulled out - a la Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry with referential humor: "You gotta ask yourself one question. 'Do I feel lucky?' Well do ya? Punks!"
  • the image of Stanley with gigantic guns pulled out - a la Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry: "You gotta ask yourself one question. 'Do I feel lucky?' Well do ya? Punks!"




The Mask of Zorro (1998)

In Martin Campbell's action-filled film about the legendary masked swordsman and outlaw:

  • the scene in a training circle inside a cave where nobleman Don Diego de la Vega (aka Zorro) (Anthony Hopkins) was training Mexican thief-outlaw Alejandro Murrieta (Antonio Banderas) to duel and be his apprentice or successor as the new Zorro, to seek revenge against his rival and corrupt enemy, governor Don Raphael Montero (Stuart Wilson), :for the killing of his wife: ("Do you know how to use that thing?...This is going to take a lot of work. This is called a training circle. The master's wheel. This circle will be your world, your whole life. Till I tell you otherwise, there is nothing outside of it....There is nothing outside of it!...As your skill with a sword improves, you will progress to a smaller circle. With each new circle, your world contracts, bringing you that much closer to your adversary, that much closer to retribution")
  • the humorous confessional scene, in which Don Diego's beautiful grown-up daughter Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who was taken as a young child by Montero and raised as his daughter, thought she was confessing her sins to a padre in the "house of the Lord", although Alejandro was posing inside the booth and listening to her impure thoughts about himself: ("Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been three days since my last confession....I have broken the Fourth Commandment, padre...I dishonored my father...Well, I try to behave properly, the way my father would like me to. But I'm afraid my heart is too wild...I had impure thoughts about a man. I did. I think he was a bandit or something. He wore a black mask...His face was half-covered, but something in his eyes captured me....I felt warm and feverish...Yes, lustful. Forgive me"); Zorro assured her: ("Senorita, you have done nothing wrong. The only sin would be to deny what your heart truly feels. Now, go")
  • the scene of the provocative dance at Montero's hacienda between Elena and Alejandro (posing as visiting nobleman Don Alejandro del Castillo y García), and afterwards, his words to an apologetic Don Raphael Montero: ("Well, that is the way they are dancing in Madrid these days. Excuse me, Don Rafael, I need to catch my breath. Your daughter is a very spirited dancer...She is young and impulsive, but her beauty is beyond compare. And she has her father's commanding presence")
  • the action-packed sword-play scene in the hacienda between Alejandro - dressed as Zorro (who was attempting to steal a gold-mine map), Montero, and many of his guards, including right-hand man Captain Harrison Love (Matt Letscher)
  • the classic moment that Alejandro/Zorro, during his escape from the hacienda, used his sword to seductively duel against and undress Elena, who was attempting to acquire Montero's map for him; before they began their duel, she bragged about her sword prowess: ("I have had the proper instruction since I was 4"); after some swordplay, he stripped her of her top with a few swipes of his sword after warning: "Don't move" - and then after she covered herself, he asked: "Do you surrender?"; when she replied: "Never, but I may scream" - he joked: "I understand. Sometimes I have that effect" - and she hungrily accepted a kiss from him as his reward for winning
  • the conclusion, in which Alejandro/new Zorro and Diego/old Zorro both found their revenge against their enemies: Alejandro defeated Love by impaling him through the mid-section with his sword and then showering him with heavy gold bars, while Diego killed Montero by causing him to be dragged behind a wagon off a tall mining platform to his death, but then he found himself mortally wounded









The Masseurs and a Woman (1938, Jp.) (aka Anma to onna)

In writer/director Hiroshi Shimizu's light, slow-paced, hour-long drama about 'blind' human interactions among guests and workers at a resort spa:

  • the opening sequence of the main characters: two eccentric, blind masseurs - Toku (Shin Tokudaiji) and Fuku (Shinichi Himori), hiking up a mountain road toward a resort spa, where they worked during the high season (spring and summer); they made an enjoyable game of keeping track of the number of people that passed
  • the sequence of their first brush with a mysterious and enigmatic Tokyo guest - an unnamed female client credited as Michiho Misawa (Mieko Takamine), who was driven by in a carriage on the road; Toku noted: "A nice woman aboard...A Tokyo woman....She smelled of Tokyo"
  • in the town: the two groups of hiking students (one entirely male, one female)
  • and the street scene when Toku (again with his extra-sensory skills) stopped, turned, and wordlessly identified the Tokyo female as a city inhabitant by her perfume smell as she walked by him
  • Toku's fascination with the "strange woman" Michiho, but also his suspicions that she was responsible for a rash of thefts at the resort after her arrival; to protect her from police checking all of the inn guests, Toku warned her ("Run! They're looking everywhere for you...It's a dragnet...You can't stay here. Hurry!"), grabbed her and ran away with her (the camera angle was on their shuffling, running feet at an increasingly faster tempo)
  • the revelation scene when he accused her of being the thief: ("I knew from the start. Tokyo lady, you may fool those who can see. But you can't fool me. Though blind, I've been watching you. It's been hard. Run, quick! Go somewhere I don't know. When the thefts occurred at Whale Inn and Goddess Inn, I tried hard to trust you. The more I tried to trust you, the more certain I became of it. So please run to somewhere I don't know"); she revealed that she wasn't the thief, but was a fugitive from her lecherous city patron: "You're making a terrible mistake...The whole thing is ridiculous. But I appreciate your kindness. So I'll talk. I ran away from Tokyo to these mountains. But not because of what you said...I got disgusted with my patron. No, I should say, I felt sorry for his wife and daughter. I'm sure he's looking for me. He'll look everywhere for me. That's how he is. That's why footsteps frighten me. Your eyes that could not see were too keen. You see too well....You tried to help me run away, I appreciate it...I'll run somewhere. My lecherous patron won't find me. I'll keep running"; he sank to his knees and bowed his head to apologize for the false accusation
  • in the conclusion, Michiho boarded a carriage to depart from the resort - there were two quick cuts: her look back over her left shoulder, and a view of Toku's sad face under his umbrella; he ran down to the end of the street where the carriage had turned right, and then he stopped; there was a paradoxical, shaky, hand-held POV, unusual traveling shot from his perspective as he followed (with his blind eyesight) the carriage as it turned left around a bend in the road - for one last goodbye glimpse (the film's final image)









The Master (2012)

In Paul Thomas Anderson's well-crafted, visually-compelling, intelligent, R-rated psychological drama, that spawned considerable controversy for its similarities to the leader of the Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard:

  • the gripping scene of an informal technique called "processing" proposed by the "Master": Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the opportunistic, charismatic cult leader of "The Cause," to be used on sex-obsessed, rogue drifter Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) - a series of lengthy, free-association sessions (that required one not to blink) to help relive past traumatic events and eliminate toxicity, negative emotional impulses, and inner turmoil; the series of disturbing psychological questions seemed to conquer Freddie's past traumas and exorcise his demons in a frightening way
  • the startling scene of Freddie's twisted, zany, hallucinated sexual dream-fantasy - of Dodd singing and dancing among many naked (full-frontal) female disciples at the Philadelphia home of one of the Master's devotees
  • the concluding scene between Dodd and Freddie, when Dodd offered an ultimatum to Freddie - to remain and be devoted to "The Cause," or to leave it forever and never return; Freddie was silent - an implicit answer that he would leave; Dodd also added that if Freddie could figure out a way "to live without serving a master" - it would be a first: ("Free winds and no tyranny for you? Freddie, sailor of the seas. You pay no rent. Free to go where you please. Then go. Go to that landless latitude, and good luck. For if you figure a way to live without serving a master, any master, then let the rest us know, will you? For you'd be the first person in the history of the world...If you leave here, I don't ever want to see you again. Or you can stay... If we meet again in the next life, you will be my sworn enemy, and I will show you no mercy"); before Freddie left, Dodd serenaded him with the 1948 popular song: Slow Boat to China





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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