Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



M (continued)

Mulan (1998)

In Disney's animated adaptation of the Chinese folk fable of Mulan:

  • the scene in which young Mulan (voice of Ming-Na Wen) decides to take her father Fa Zhou's (voice of Soon-Tek Oh) place in the war against the Mongols as his disguised "son" Ping in order to save her family's honor
  • the conversion of an incense burner into the 18 inch high, wise-cracking sidekick dragon Mushu (voice of Eddie Murphy, who would later voice the similar character of Donkey in Shrek (2001)) to join Mulan
  • the scene in which Mulan cunningly causes an avalanche with a rocket to wipe out the Mongol army
  • the scene in which thousands of people in Shanghai bow in thanks for saving the Emperor of China (voice of Pat Morita)

Mulholland Dr. (2001)

In Best Director-nominated David Lynch's surreal, mystifying, mind-twisting, dream-like modern noir about Hollywood fame:

  • the twisting and turning dual characterizations of the two female protagonists: dark-haired brunette, full-bodied amnesiac and femme fatale Rita/Camilla Rhodes (Laura Elena Harring) and wholesome, pert blonde ingenue Betty Elms/Diane Selwyn (Naomi Watts) in the film's first 3/4ths
  • it was basically Diane's romanticized dream sequence (later learned) in which she imagined herself as successful blonde ingenue and wannabe LA actress-newcomer Betty - ending when a blue box found in Betty's purse was opened with a blue key that a now-blonde Rita found in her purse (after Betty disappeared) -- a clue that the two identities of Betty and Rita were somehow integrally inter-connected
  • also the creepy but masterfully-acted audition scene in which naive wannabe starlet Betty performs a sexually-tainted script with a tanned and aging lothario Jimmy 'Woody' Katz (Chad Everett) - when she whispers into his ear and bites his lip ("I hate you. I hate us both")
  • the two memorable, hesitant and exploratory lesbian love scenes between Betty and Rita
  • and the scene of Betty remaking Rita to look more like her as a blonde in order to be transformed into her ideal
  • the very strange scene in the nightclub called Club Silencio in which Rebekah Del Rio (as Herself) sang a Spanish version of Roy Orbison's "Crying"
  • the mysterious blue 'Pandora's' box with a blue key that signified the break between the first part's dream and the second part's reality (including Diane's suicidal death)

The Mummy (1932)

In director Karl Freund's classic horror film:

  • the awakening and coming to life of the Mummy - Egyptian high priest Im-ho-tep (Boris Karloff in his second horror starring role)

The Muppet Movie (1979)

In director James Frawley's great children's film:

  • the film's deliberately cheesy puns and jokes (i.e. the literal fork in the road)
  • the astonishing puppetry featuring such tricks as Kermit the Frog (voice of Jim Henson) riding a bicycle without any visible means of support
  • the enchanting opening (a film-within-a-film) that tells of the origins of Kermit in the swamp and the image of Kermit strumming a banjo and singing the Oscar-nominated "The Rainbow Connection"
  • all the friendships formed between Kermit and the other bizarre Muppet cast of characters met along the way including the unfunny, clownish Fozzie the Bear (voice of Frank Oz), the silly, chicken-loving Great Gonzo (voice of Dave Goelz), the vain, preening and explosively violent Miss Piggy (also Oz) who carries a romantic torch for Kermit, and pianist Rowlf the Dog (also Henson) who sings a duet with Kermit: "I Hope That Something Better Comes Along"
  • with over a dozen celebrity cameos from Hollywood's Golden Age through to hip comedians and actors of the time, including ventriloquist Edgar Bergen (who died shortly after his scene was filmed and to whom the film was dedicated) and his dummy Charlie McCarthy, the brilliantly funny Steve Martin as a sarcastic waiter, the insane German-accented Professor Max Krassman (Mel Brooks)
  • Gonzo's sweetly sung "I'm Going to Go Back There Someday" while the gang is stranded in the desert at night
  • the magical conversation Kermit literally has with himself: ("Well, then...I guess I was wrong when I said I never promised anyone. I promised me...")
  • the deus ex machina ending when Animal grows to giant size after swallowing InstaGrow pills and scares off the villainous Doc Hopper (Charles Durning); Orson Welles' cameo appearance as Lew Lord, who tells his secretary (Cloris Leachman): "Miss Tracy, prepare the standard 'rich-and-famous' contract for Kermit the Frog and company"
  • the climax when a rainbow bursts through the studio set ceiling
  • the entire Muppet cast singing a reprise of "The Rainbow Connection" ("Life's like a movie, write your own ending, keep believing, keep pretending, we did what we set out to do...") - interrupted when Sweetums (voice of Richard Hunt) bursts through the film into the theater where the rest of the Muppet cast is screening the film ("I just KNEW I'd catch up to you guys!")
  • the end credits antics of the Muppets, concluding with Animal telling the audience: "Go home! Go home! Bye-bye!"

Murder, My Sweet (1944), (aka Farewell, My Lovely)

In director Edward Dmytryk's film noir detective classic:

  • the opening shot of a blinding ceiling light and sounds of accusatory voices, and then a pull-back camera to the side of detective Philip Marlowe (Dick Powell), with bandaged eyes as he is interrogated by police and then begins to relate his story - in flashback
  • the brooding appearance of a figure in Marlowe's office windowpane (flashing city lights reflect onto the face of brutish Moose Malloy (Mike Mazurki) standing behind him in the darkness)
  • the two amusing instances when Marlowe strikes his match on a marble Cupid's back-end, and when he plays hopskotch (recalling Powell's days as a dancer) on the black/white checkered-tiled floor of millionaire Mr. Grayle's (Miles Mander) mansion
  • the memorable narrated dialogue ("I caught the blackjack behind my ear. A black pool opened up at my feet. It had no bottom")
  • and the nightmare ("a crazy, coked-up dream") he experiences when pursued through a series of identical doors by a doctor with a giant hypodermic needle - and further scenes of his drug-induced hallucinations
  • also the final shoot-out in the Grayles' beachhouse, where mysterious, flirtatious, gold-digging double-identity, femme fatale vamp Mrs. Helen Grayle/Velma Valento (Claire Trevor), who had set up numerous individuals over the theft of jade jewelry, is killed by her husband (who in turn kills and is killed by Moose - who had already murdered underworld kingpin Jules Amthor (Otto Kruger))

Murmur of the Heart (1971, Fr/It/W.Ger.) (aka Le Souffle Au Coeur)

In director Louis Malle's controversial examination of desire and love:

  • the sensitively-rendered scene of incestuous love between 14 year old Laurent Chevalier (Benoit Ferreux) and his adoring mother Clara (Lea Massari)

The Music Box (1932)

In this 29-minute Oscar-winning Best Short film from director James Parrott:

  • the scenes of Stan (Stan Laurel) and Ollie (Oliver Hardy) laboriously moving an uncooperative crated upright piano up a steep set of stairs to a house
  • "the music box" continually wanted to find its way to the bottom of the steps, although they were eventually able to hoist it up using a block and tackle into the second story window
  • they encountered an angry customer (The Professor played by Billy Gilbert), an irate cop (Sam Lufkin), a curious postman (Charlie Hall) and a sassy Nursemaid (Lilyan Irene) with a baby carriage who asked to pass - when the two obliged and moved aside, the piano bounced back down the steps
  • when she chuckled, Stan kicked her backside, and she retaliated with a punch to the face - then, when Ollie laughed, she smashed a large baby bottle on his head

Mutiny On the Bounty (1935)

In Frank Lloyd's Best Picture-winning historical seafaring drama based on the novel by Nordhoff and Hall:

  • the character of tyrannical Captain William Bligh (Charles Laughton) ordering floggings, keelhaulings and other cruel disciplines, and his oft-repeated call: "Mr. Christian!"
  • Fletcher Christian's (Clark Gable) love scene with native girl Maimiti in the jungle
  • the famous confrontational mutiny scene when Christian decides to rebel - and Captain Bligh is forced into a small boat with limited supplies where he threatens: ("I'll live to see you - all of ya - hanging from the highest yardarm in the British fleet")
  • Roger Byam's (Franchot Tone) stirring speech at his court-martial trial in England in the conclusion ("These men don't ask for comfort. They don't ask for safety...They ask only (for) the freedom that England expects for every man. If one man among you believed that - one man! - he could command the fleets of England. He could sweep the seas for England if he called his men to their duty, not by flaying their backs but by lifting their hearts - their..., that's all")

My Darling Clementine (1946)

In John Ford's western classic:

  • the early scene of Wyatt Earp's haircut (Henry Fonda) being interrupted by a shooting outdoors by drunken Indian Charlie
  • Wyatt's visit to brother James' grave after he was killed by the Clantons
  • Wyatt balancing himself on the two hind legs of his chair on the porch in Tombstone
  • the scene of a half-drunk Shakespearean actor (Alan Mowbray) humiliated and forced to deliver the famous Hamlet soliloquy atop a saloon table
  • the town's open-air dance social with Earp majestically escorting schoolteacher Clementine (Cathy Downs) there to dance
  • the historic OK Corral shootout climax against the Clantons led by Old Man Clanton (Walter Brennan) when Doc Holliday's (Victor Mature) affliction weakens him and makes him vulnerable
  • and at film's end -- Earp's goodbye to Clementine ("Ma'am, I sure like that name - Clementine") before riding off away from the camera toward the rock monuments in the distance in the last image

My Fair Lady (1964)

In George Cukor's Best Picture-winning screen musical (from the Lerner & Loewe Broadway play of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion):

  • arrogant linguistic professor Henry Higgins (Oscar-winning Rex Harrison) with tremendous style and wit as he both talks-sings his lines
  • Eliza Doolittle's (Audrey Hepburn) poignant transformation from a waif to a well-dressed and refined lady with proper diction
  • Eliza's initial reaction to Higgins' proposition: "I'm a good girl, I am!", and her reconsideration of his offer by singing: "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?"
  • Eliza's vengeful fantasy song "Just You Wait"
  • the joyous celebration when she finally makes a real breakthrough, singing "The Rain In Spain/I Think She's Got It"
  • the Ascot races scene when Eliza's dignified English lapses into colorful street language ("Done her in") - and it is humorously interpreted as the "new small talk"
  • her yell at a faltering horse: "Come on, Dover! Move yer bloomin' arse!"
  • her descent down the staircase in a beautiful gown
  • Eliza's successful attendance at the ball when socialite Freddy Eynsford-Hill's (Jeremy Brett) becomes infatuated with Eliza, singing "On the Street Where You Live" (and Eliza's later, frustrated sung response "Show Me" ("...Tell me no dreams filled with desire. If you're on fire, show me!...")
  • Eliza's tell-off of Higgins, singing "Without You" ("There'll be spring every year without you. England still will be here without you")
  • Higgins' spiteful rejection of Eliza while walking home, and his slow realization song/speech: "I've grown accostomed to her face...She almost makes the day begin..."
  • the film's contrary, misogynistic closing line by Higgins: "Where the devil are my slippers?"

My Left Foot (1989)

In Jim Sheridan's biopic based on Brown's autobiography:

  • the character of disabled working-class Dubliner Christy Brown (Oscar-winning Daniel Day-Lewis) - a gifted painter and writer in spite of his affliction with cerebral palsy
  • the opening scene just before adult Christy is to receive an award at a benefit and his request of a reluctant nurse to provide him with a light for his cigarette - and his tirade: "I didn't ask for a f--king psychological lecture. I only asked for a f--king light"
  • the moving scene in his childhood when young Christy (Hugh O'Conor) painfully scratches the word MOTHER on the parlor floor with a piece of chalk wedged between his toes
  • the scene in which he struggles to get down the stairs to save his unconscious mother (Brenda Fricker)
  • the scenes of his participation in soccer and other games with his peers - often carted around in a wooden wheelbarrow
  • the devastating heartbreaking scene in a restaurant when a drunken, angry and hurt Christy reacts (with a blurted out "Con-grat-u-lations") to news that his love interest - his speech therapy teacher Dr. Eileen Cole (Fiona Shaw) - has become engaged to someone else
  • Christy's tortured suicidal attempt with a razor held between his toes

My Little Chickadee (1940)

In Edward Cline's western comedy:

  • the few classic scenes between Flower Belle Lee (Mae West) and con-man/husband of convenience Cuthbert J. Twillie (W. C. Fields) in their only film together
  • his best lines:
    (1) when told that there is nothing good about Flower Belle by prudish Mrs. Gideon (Margaret Hamilton), he responds: "I can see what's good. Tell me the rest"
    (2) holding and kissing her hand on the train, he exclaims: "What symmetrical digits!"
    (3) and Twillie's proposal of marriage: "Will you take me?" and Flower Belle's reply as she rolls her eyes: "I'll take you, and how"
  • the scene of their phony sham marriage aboard the train
  • Flower Belle's assurance that she will be a good schoolmarm teaching math: "I was always good at figures"
  • also her famous line to two suitors: "Any time you got nothin' to do and lots of time to do it, come up"
  • Twillie's last line to Flower Belle as he leaves town to attend to his "hair" oil wells: " must come up and see me sometime"
  • the camera's last image -- Flower Belle sashaying her bottom as she ascends the stairs

My Man Godfrey (1936)

In director Gregory La Cava's landmark sophisticated screwball comedy:

  • the famous scene of Carlo (Mischa Auer) imitating a monkey
  • the bathroom scene in which "forgotten man" Godfrey Parke (William Powell) tosses spoiled, swooning socialite Irene Bullock (Carole Lombard) under the shower fully clothed

Mysterious Island (1961)

In Cy Endfield's family-oriented sci-fi adventure (a sequel to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)), based on Jules Verne's 1874 classic science-fiction novel:

  • the escape scene, during the American Civil War, from a stockade of a group of three Union POW soldiers Captain Cyrus Harding (Michael Craig), black soldier Neb (Dan Jackson) and young Herbert (Michael Callan), a Confederate rebel Sgt. Pencroft (Percy Herbert), and observing civilian newspaperman from the North Gideon Spilitt (Gary Merrill), in a hot-air balloon
  • the scenes of being stranded on a 'mysterious island' somewhere near New Zealand in the South Pacific
  • the discovery of two British shipwrecked castaways on the beach: the aristocratic Lady Mary Fairchild (Joan Greenwood) and her sexy niece Elena (Beth Rogan)
  • Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion animation of creatures, including a giant crab, a colossal chicken, and an oversized bee sealing two of the survivors into a honeycomb cell, and an underwater squid sequence
  • the score by famed Bernard Herrmann
  • the revelation of infamous pacifist Captain Nemo (Herbert Lom), a secret benefactor in his shell-shaped diving gear, and his legendary but crippled submarine Nautilus (with a fancy and plush hi-tech interior), who appears just in time to blow-up a cutthroat pirate ship and save everyone (except himself) from volcanic destruction

Mystic River (2003)

In Clint Eastwood's intense adult crime drama:

  • the scene of disturbed, violated, and haunted Dave Boyle (Oscar-winning Best Supporting Actor Tim Robbins) with his young son Michael (Cayden Boyd) remembering an incident 25 years earlier when he was a young boy (Cameron Bowen) and ordered to "Get in" a car -- during an abduction by two pedophiles (who assaulted him over a 4-day period in a cellar after driving him away in the back seat of a black Ford sedan)
  • the scene of grieving ex-con and corner patriarchal grocery-store owner Jimmy Markum (Oscar-winning Best Actor Sean Penn) learning of the discovery of a body in the local park - belonging to his 19 year-old daughter Katie (Emmy Rossum) and screaming out to Massachusetts State homicide detective Sean Devine (Kevin Bacon) as he was restrained: "Sean, is that my daughter in there?!"
  • the powerfully-acted scene of Jimmy on the back porch with Dave struggling to grieve and let go with his wrenching tears over the hurtful loss of Katie (Jimmy: "There's one thing you could say about Katie even when she was little. That girl was neat...I loved her..most....And it's really starting to piss me off, Dave, because I can't cry for her. My own little daughter, and I can't even cry for her." Dave: "Jimmy. You're crying now." Jimmy: "Yeah, damn. I just want to hug her one more time. She was 19 f--king years old")
  • the scene of an emotionally-scarred Dave with his untrusting, panicked wife Celeste (Marcia Gay Harden) when he recalled his childhood's 4-day abuse and felt like an undead vampire ("Maybe one day you wake up and you forget what it's like to be human...Dave's dead. I don't know who came out of that cellar, but it sure as shit wasn't Dave...It's like vampires. Once it's in you, it stays...")
  • shortly afterwards, the scene of a tormented Celeste telling Jimmy that she suspected her husband as the killer (although Dave claimed he beat up a pedophile behind McGill's bar the same night that Katie died)
  • the scene of Jimmy forcing Dave to falsely admit that he killed Katie by repeatedly demanding: "Admit what you did, Dave, and I'll let you live" - before stabbing him and finishing him off with a gunshot to the head and throwing his body in the Mystic River
  • and the next scene, the following day when Sean told Jimmy that they had found the real killers in the case, with Jimmy's reaction: "If only you had been a little faster" and Sean's observation: "Sometimes I think, I think all three of us got in that car...The reality is we're still 11 year old boys locked in a cellar imagining what our lives would have been if we'd escaped"
  • the ending superimposed shot of the concrete sidewalk with the three boys' names permanently carved into it and views of the Mystic River and the Tobin Bridge

(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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