Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions
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Babe (1995, Australia)

In director Chris Noonan's Best Picture-nominated storybook animal tale and family film, with remarkable talking animals (including Fly the sheepdog, Ferdinand the duck (who thought he was a rooster to spare being eaten), the elderly ewe Maa, the trio of singing mice, and of course, Babe):

  • the film's opening - a harrowing account (by off-screen narrator Roscoe Lee Browne) at a gigantic hog farm where pigs were being loaded up into a truck to be taken away to market ("They lived their whole lives in a cruel and sunless world. In those days, pigs believed that the sooner they grew large and fat, the sooner they'd be taken into pig paradise...A place so wonderful that no pig had ever thought to come back...So when the day came for their parents to go to that other world of endless pleasures, it was not a time for young pigs to be sad. Just another step towards the day when they, too, would make the journey"); one runty little piglet who appeared alone and sad was randomly selected - to be used for a Lion's Club guessing contest at the local fair
  • the scene of Farmer Hoggett's (James Cromwell) winning entry in the fair contest - accurately guessing a piglet's weight and bringing it to his farm - where the farm animals spoke to the disconsolate pig; he was given the name of Babe (voice of Christine Cavanaugh): ("Our mom called us all the same...She called us all Babe"); Fly the Sheepdog (voice of Miriam Margolyes) tried to comfort Babe who piteously cried out: "I want my Mom!" -- "There, there, You've got to be a brave boy now. I left my mother when I was your age, and my pups will have to leave me soon. But I'll keep an eye on you, if you like, just 'til you find your feet. The little pig's a bit low. He's going to sleep with us just 'til he finds his feet"
  • the hilarious sequence (titled "Crime and Punishment") of Ferdinand (voice of Danny Mann) convincing Babe to engage in a secret mission for him - to sneak into the farmhouse, avoid disturbing the nasty cat Duchess (voice of Russi Taylor), and abscond with a "mechanical rooster" - Mrs. Esme Hoggett's (Magda Szubanski) new alarm clock -- Ferdinand watched through the window as Babe began to botch the theft; the two ended up covered with paint in the destroyed living room, and the duck became a fugitive
  • the scene of the animals commenting upon Christmas festivities at the Hoggett's farmhouse as the relatives arrived, including Ferdinand sitting on the weathervane and quacking: "Christmas dinner, yeah. Dinner means death. Death means carnage! Christmas means carnage!"
  • the film's first indications that Babe was capable of something beyond his 'pig nature' - his first attempt at sheep-herding (by treating the animals with politeness), and his timely alert to Farmer Hoggett that sheep rustlers were stealing some of his flock; Babe also demonstrated that he could sort brown hens from white ones
  • the sequence of the death of Maa from marauding wild dogs, and although Farmer Hoggett first suspected Babe and aimed his double-barreled shotgun at the pig, the Farmer abruptly changed his mind when he heard from his wife that other neighbors had also experienced problems with feral dogs ("That was the police on the telephone. Said there are wild dogs about. Apparently the Mitchells lost six lambs this morning")
  • the scene of the jealous and begrudging cat Duchess seeking revenge on Babe by cruelly telling him he was scoffed by the other animals for wanting to be a sheep-herding pig, and that humans ate pigs: "I probably shouldn't say this, but I'm not sure if you realize how much the other animals are laughing at you for this sheepdog business...Well, they say that you've forgotten that you're a pig. Isn't that silly? They even say that you don't know what pigs are for....You know, why pigs are here...Well, the cow's here to be milked. The dogs are here to help the boss's husband with the sheep. And I'm here to be beautiful and affectionate to the boss...The fact is that pigs don't have a purpose. Just like ducks don't have a purpose...All right, for you own sake, I'll be blunt. Why do the bosses keep ducks? To eat them. So why do the bosses keep a pig? The fact is that animals that don't seem to have a purpose really do have a purpose. The bosses have to eat. It's probably the most noble purpose of all when you come to think about it...Pork, they call it. Or bacon. They only call them pigs when they're alive....The boss's husband's just playing a little game with you. Believe me, sooner or later, every pig gets eaten. That's the way the world works" - in fear, Babe ran away
  • Farmer Hoggett's response to Babe's demoralized state and refusal to eat after hearing that humans ate pigs - he fed Babe from a baby bottle, sang the song "If I Had Words", and danced a jig to enliven his spirits
  • the rousing finale in which sheep-herding Babe was victorious with a perfect score of 100 from all the judges (Babe used the secret password Baah Ram Ewe, relayed by sheepdog Rex (voice of Hugo Weaving), to control the sheep and follow his commands) in the prestigious National Grand Challenge Sheepdog Championships contest, entered with the name "PIG"; in two side stories, Mrs. Hoggett watched the competition on TV - and nearly fainted, as did the animals at the farmhouse
  • amidst wild applause and cheers from the human audience in the grand-stands, the narrator described the tremendous accomplishment: ("And so it was, that in all the celebration, in all the hubbub of noise and excitement, there were two figures who stood silent and still, side by side...And though every single human in the stands or in the commentary boxes was at a complete loss for words, the man who in his life had uttered fewer words than any of them, knew exactly what to say") - the congratulatory words of kind-hearted, prideful owner Farmer Hoggett were simply: "That'll do, pig, that'll do"; Babe looked up and sighed












Baby Doll (1956)

In director Elia Kazan's scandalous, pot-boiling, condemned and censored film (for its time) by the Legion of Decency:

  • the first sensational image of white-trash, 19 year-old 'baby doll' child bride "Baby Doll" Meighan (Oscar-nominated Carroll Baker) sucking her thumb in a childlike crib while being spied upon through a hole in the adjoining wall by sexually-frustrated husband Archie (Karl Malden)
  • vengeful Sicilian Silva Vacarro's (Eli Wallach in his screen debut) numerous seduction scenes of Baby Doll - in the back seat of a rusty, wheel-less Pierce-Arrow, in a double-seated swing in the yard, in an adjoining room where he kissed her under a switched-off bare bulb as Archie spoke on the phone nearby, and at the stark dinner table when they shared hunks of bread dipped in raw greens
  • Baby Doll's trip to town with Archie and her demands for an ice cream cone
  • in the child's nursery - the memorably lewd sight of Vacarro mounting and sitting astride a small wooden hobby horse - rhythmically rocking back and forth on the tiny toy whose head was hardly visible between his legs - he playfully gyrated back and forth to the raunchy accompaniment of the rock song "Shame on You"
  • Vacarro's attempt in the attic to get Baby Doll to sign papers against her husband regarding arson




Back Street (1932)

In director John Stahl's romantic, pre-Code 'weepie' melodrama of an ill-fated romance, extra-marital and sacrificial love, based upon Fannie Hurst's best-selling (and scandalous) 1931 novel (and remade in 1941 with Charles Boyer and Margaret Sullavan, and in 1961 with Susan Hayward and John Gavin):

  • the long-lasting relationship and steadfast love and devotion between 'mistress' Ray Schmidt (Irene Dunne) and her 'taken' man Walter Saxel (John Boles), a successful financier-banker, that lasted for their entire lifetimes
  • the early scenes depicted Ray's character as wild, flirtatious, free, independent and carefree (a "good-time girl" with multiple suitors); but after her initial romantic hook-up with Walter in turn of the century Cincinnati and subsequent separation (and a missed chance to meet his mother), they accidentally remet again five years later in New York when she surrendered to love, gave up her career and financial independence, and became the married man's permanent 'back street mistress' or make-believe wife - she was an alienated heroine outcast and kept tucked away joylessly in a cheap and tiny apartment while he was married to wife Corinne (Doris Lloyd) with two children
  • the pleasant visits when Walter enjoyed chocolate and gingerbread in Ray's apartment, although she mostly experienced shame, loneliness, anguish and the negation of her potential motherhood
  • the closing death sequence in Paris after Walter had suffered a stroke, and his last thoughts turned to Ray - he could only say her name during his requested final phone call with her before he died; she replied to him: "Walter... yes, I'm here! I'm listening...I can't hear you, dear. What are you trying to say to me?"; she intently listened (the phone receiver was set down) as Walter's son Richard "Dick (William Bakewell) reacted to the death: ("Dad, Dad! Nurse! Doctor!") and she heard the doctor's somber pronouncement: ("He's passed on"); Ray screamed out Walter's name in shock and begged: "Don't leave me!" and then collapsed to the floor
  • following Walter's death, the tearful Ray sat in mourning in her shabby Parisian apartment, next to Walter's portrait; Walter's son visited Ray, and was now very sympathetic to Ray's feelings of true love and her dire plight; he explained: "His last thoughts were of you, Mrs. Schmidt"; he was astonished to learn that she had been sustained or provided for by only $200/month ("You mean everything? Good heavens!"); because she was not in Walter's will, he promised to continue to provide for her well-being
  • the film's powerful visualization of a direct connection between Walter (represented by a head-shot of his portrait next to her) and Ray when she spoke to him about how nice Richard had been to her, and their missed opportunities together: "Your son is going to take care of me. He was so nice. He might have been my son, our son. I wonder, Walter, what would have happened if I'd met your mother that day in the park"; desperate to be with Walter, she retreated into fantasy and replayed in her mind that she had actually met his mother (Maude Turner Gordon) at a local band concert in the park, who greeted her warmly: "So you are Ray Schmidt. You are nice. My dear, you are all he said you were. And I hope you both will be very happy"
  • in the film's final moments, Ray was able to transcend time and any other barriers (social and physical) that stood between them -- she murmured: "I'm coming, Walter, I'm coming" and succumbed (by slowly bowing her head onto the table holding Walter's portrait)








Back to the Future (1985)

In director Robert Zemeckis' witty science fiction adventure comedy/fantasy film:

  • the scene of madly-eccentric, wild-eyed, crackpot scientist Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and his first testing of his time-travel car at Twin Pines Mall in the early morning of October 26, 1985
  • the frizzy-haired Doc's unveiling of his time machine invention to "Marty" Seamus McFly (Michael J. Fox), his silver DeLorean car, powered up to 1.21 gigawatts of electricity with plutonium, stolen from Libyan terrorists
  • after witnessing Doc's dog Einstein's short one-minute time-travel trip into the future ("temporal displacement") in the parking lot (at 88 mph), Doc's ecstatic reaction
  • the scene of Doc Brown dangling from the courthouse-town hall in front of the clock face, when he attempted to reconnect the wires so that a bolt of electricity would flow into the flux capacitor of the speedy DeLorean, to send Marty back to the future
    [Note: the sequence paid obvious homage to the similar scene in Harold Lloyd's Safety Last (1923). Many did not notice the foreshadowing of the scene, in the film's opening, during a panning view of Doc's workshop, when there was a quick snapshot of a straw-hatted man holding onto the minute-hand of an AXIS clock-timepiece reading 7:53]





The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

In director Vincente Minnelli's acerbic show-business related drama:

  • the night of the sneak preview of the B-grade horror film The Doom of the Cat Men, by egotistical film producer Jonathan Shields (Kirk Douglas) for studio executive Harry Pebbel (Walter Pidgeon), and the close-up view of the words on one of the patron's reaction-comment cards: "It Stinks"
  • following the premiere of her debut performance in a film, the scene of movie star Georgia Lorrison's (Lana Turner) entry, still wearing white mink and a white, rhinestone-encrusted dress, into producer Jonathan's mansion with a giant bottle of champagne, to celebrate - and then Georgia's shocking discovery of her betrayal by producer Jonathan's affair with starlet magazine cover-model Lila (Elaine Stewart), who was wearing a strapless gown; as she descended the staircase from the upper bedroom, the young vamp's shadow crossed over Georgia while she was hugging Jonathan, and she added a stinging critique: "The picture's finished, Georgia. You're business. I'm company"
  • Jonathan's hateful diatribe against the very vulnerable Georgia - viciously lashing out and berating her: ("Stop looking like that. Remember, I didn't ask you here. You couldn't stay where you belong, could you? You couldn't enjoy what I made possible for you. No. You'd rather have this. Well, congratulations, you've got it all laid out for you so you can wallow in pity for yourself. The betrayed woman. The wounded doe with all the drivel that goes with it going through your mind right now. Oh, he doesn't love me at all. He was lying. All those lovely moments, those tender words. He's lying. He's cheap and cruel. That low-woman Lila. Well, maybe I like Lilas. Maybe I like to be cheap once in a while. Maybe everybody does, or don't you remember? (She recoiled.) Get that look off your face! Who gave you the right to dig into me and turn me inside out and decide what I'm like. (He grabbed her by the hair.) How do you know how I feel about you, how deep it goes? Maybe I don't want anybody to own me. You or anybody. Get out! Get out! Get out!")
  • the incredible freak-out scene following Georgia's suicidal reaction to Jonathan's insults - she ran from the luxury mansion, entered her car, and recklessly drove off in a raging downpour; the hysterical, screaming out-of-control car sequence occurred as she drove faster and faster while headlights flashed past her from oncoming traffic; in one miraculous take, the camera rocked uncontrollably back and forth, swirling next to her in small concentric arcs as she became disoriented and flailed about; after a truck horn blasted at her car, she spun out of control when she released her grip on the wheel (the steering wheel rotated wildly as she let go); she slammed on the brakes (an inset close-up of her high-heeled shoe) and screamed, as her automobile lurched and hurtled around and finally came to rest on the side of the road; emotionally broken and in agony, she bent her head into the steering wheel where she dissolved into tears - and the car was cleansed by the deluge
  • the final image of director Fred Amiel (Barry Sullivan), actress Georgia and screenwriter James Lee Bartlow (Dick Powell) eavesdropping together on one telephone receiver, listening to the trans-atlantic call between Pebbel and Shields





Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

In John Sturges' masterpiece about racial prejudice:

  • the credits sequence with the Streamliner diesel train racing across the arid desert
  • the image of well-dressed Macreedy (Spencer Tracy) as a one-armed unwelcome stranger in a hostile, claustrophobic Western town
  • his visit to Adobe Flat (home of a Japanese farmer/war hero named Komoko)
  • thug Coley's (Ernest Borgnine) daredevil pursuit of Macreedy's Jeep in the desert
  • the fight scene in Sam's greasy-spoon Bar and Grill when a taunted and fed-up Macreedy, who was called "a yellow-bellied Jap lover" retorted back: ("You're not only wrong, you're wrong at the top of your voice") and then subdued Coley with one swift karate-chop across the neck, and further chops
  • after fighting Coley, Macreedy took the downed man's knife and confronted ringleader Reno Smith (Robert Ryan): ("You killed Komoko, Smith, and sooner or later you're gonna go up for it. Not because you killed him, because I think in a town like this, you can get away with it. But because you didn't have guts enough to do it alone. You put your trust in guys like this - and Hector here - not the most dependable of God's creatures. And one of these days, they're gonna catch on that you're playin' 'em for a sap. And then what are ya gonna do? Peel 'em off, one by one? And in the meantime, one of 'em's gonna crack and when they do, you're gonna go down - but hard. 'Cause they got somethin' on ya, Smith. Something to use when the goin' gets tough. (He tossed the switchblade at Smith.) And it's gettin' tougher every minute")
  • the night-time deadly struggle between Macreedy and Reno Smith and Macreedy's inventive making of a Molotov cocktail, thrown at Reno and setting him on fire







Badlands (1973)

In the debut film of 29 year-old director Terrence Malick:

  • the opening voice-over, monotone narration of South Dakotan, magazine-addicted, 15 year-old teenager Holly Sargis (Sissy Spacek), who was baton-twirling in the street: ("My mother died of pneumonia when I was just a kid. My father had kept their wedding cake in the freezer for ten whole years. After the funeral, he gave it to the yardman. He tried to act cheerful, but he could never be consoled by the little stranger he found in his house. Then, one day, hoping to begin a new life away from the scene of all his memories, he moved us from Texas to Ft. Dupree, South Dakota. Little did I realize that what began in the alleys and backways of this quiet town would end in the Badlands of Montana")
  • the introduction to Holly's unstable, garbage collector boyfriend - a charismatic, James Dean look-alike named Kit Carruthers (Martin Sheen)
  • the image-filled torching of Holly's house after the killing of her widowed father (Warren Oates) by Kit, and their faking of a fiery suicide
  • Kit's execution of a basketball
  • their killing spree and flight through the Badlands and into the wild frontier of Montana, and later into Canada
  • their final dance in their Cadillac's headlights (to the tune of Nat King Cole singing A Blossom Fell on the radio), when Kit told Holly: "Boy, if I could sing a song like that, I mean, if I could sing a song about the way I feel right now, it'd be a hit."
  • Kit's leading of troopers and a Sheriff on a chase and his eventual capture and idolization




Baisers Volés (1968, Fr.) (aka Stolen Kisses)

In Francois Truffaut's sweet romantic screwball comedy - the third in the Antoine Doinel series of five films (that began with The 400 Blows (1959, Fr.) and ended with Love On The Run (1979, Fr.)) about Truffaut's own alter-ego:

  • early in the film, in the year 1968, enlisted army soldier Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud) was in a military prison, brought before a judge (François Darbon), and made odd facial expressions as he was chastised and ruled unfit for service due to multiple AWOL incidents ("You're like a dog that goes anywhere but where it's called"), and dishonorably discharged
  • the boyish Antoine's courtship in Paris, within an on-again/off-again relationship, with his prim and proper sweetheart Christine Darbon (Claude Jade), a violin student
  • Antoine's string of jobs (often leading to failure due to his incompetency): as a night clerk at a hotel, as a private-eye detective for the Blady Detective Agency - to investigate (undercover and posing as a stock boy) the dense-minded, neurotic proprietor of a shoe store named Georges Tabard (Michel Lonsdale), and as a TV repairman
  • the sequence of Antoine falling in love at first sight with Tabard's significantly-older, cultured and cool wife, Fabienne (Delphine Seyrig) whom he regarded as magical; when he was asked to describe her on the phone for his detective job, he gave a "declaration of love" rather than a factual accounting - "She's an extraordinary woman. A bit mysterious and very sweet! Her nose is slightly turned up, but straight and full of character...Her skin is radiant as if illuminated from within" She is not a woman, she's an apparition"
The Awkward Coffee-Spilling Scene
  • the "Oui, monsieur" (Yes, sir) scene when Antoine was invited to the Tabards to have coffee; left alone with Fabienne, the flustered and anxious Antoine (who had an intense crush on Fabienne) foolishly answered "Yes, sir" when asked "Do you like music, Antoine?"; totally embarrassed and shamed by his answer, he spilled his coffee and hurriedly fled out the door and down the stairs
  • the happy ending: the next morning, Fabienne barged into Antoine's bedroom and assured him she wasn't a 'magical' apparition: "Besides, I'm not an apparition. I'm a woman, which is the opposite. For example, this morning before I came, I put some makeup on, I powdered my nose, I made up my eyes. And as I came across Paris, I noticed that all the women had done the same thing. For their pleasure, or that of others. You say that I'm exceptional. It's true. I am exceptional. Every woman is exceptional in turn. You over there, you're exceptional, too. Your fingerprints are unique. You are unique. We're both unique and irreplaceable...You don't need to talk, but I wish you'd look at me. You wrote me yesterday, and the answer is - me"; she sat on the side of his bed, leaned forward and seductively propositioned him: "I propose a contract which is fair to both of us. Since we both like what is exceptional, I'll come close to you now. We'll spend a few hours together, and then, whatever happens, we'll never meet again. Do you agree?" (as in the similar American film The Graduate (1967) in the same year); he nodded encouragingly and smiled, as she locked the door before they had sex together (off-screen)
  • the enchanting 'morning after' breakfast table sequence of Antoine's marriage proposal to Christine after sleeping with her the previous night; after she tutored him on how to butter toast, he wrote on a pad of paper, passed it to her, and she read it, then responded in kind on a second piece of paper; they continued to communicate wordlessly; afterwards, he put a heart-shaped bottle opener on Christine's finger
  • the ending scene of newly-engaged Antoine and Christine strolling in the park and sitting on a bench, when Christine noticed a strange, trench-coated male stalker (Serge Rousseau) watching them; he came over and spoke to Christine - ultimately, he declared his "definitive" rather than "temporary" love for her: "I know I'm no stranger to you. I've been watching you. I've been watching you in secret for some time, but these last few days, I've made no effort to hide. And I know now that the moment has come. Before I saw you, I never loved anyone. I hate temporary things. I know life well, that everyone betrays everyone else. But it will be different with you and me. We'll never be apart, not even for a single hour. I don't work and I have no obligations in life. You will be my sole preoccupation. I understand this is all too sudden for you to say yes right away and that you need time to sever the temporary ties that bind you to temporary people. I am definitive. I am very happy"; after he strolled away, Christine asserted: "That man is crazy!"; as they slowly stood and watched the crazed man walk away, Antoine took her arm and agreed with Christine's assessment that the obsessed man must be mad: "Yes, I'm sure he is" - as the film ended














Bambi (1942)

In Disney's classic feature-length animation:

  • the visually-beautiful and musically-expressive animated Disney classic based on the Felix Salten story, with cute and lovable rabbit Thumper and bashful, loveable skunk Flower
  • the coming-of-age scene of young stripling Bambi stumbling over his shadow and having trouble with his footing when taught how to walk/run/hurdle by Thumper
  • Bambi's first visit to the meadow
  • his lesson on how to slide across the ice - and ending up spread-eagled
  • wise old Owl's humorous sex-education speech on the power of falling in love ("twitterpatted")
  • the traumatic, off-screen (sound of gunshot) death of Bambi's mother by Man - a hunter in a snow-covered meadow and the small fawn's fearful cries of "Mother, where are you?" during a raging snowstorm
  • the buck's fateful message about her death to Bambi: ("Your mother can't be with you anymore") - one of the saddest sequences in film history
  • Bambi's fight with a rival deer for doe Faline
  • the scene of protecting Faline from a pack of mad dogs
  • the scene of the hunters' return, when three fearful pheasants cornered in the tall grass were worried about their predicament; the most scared one exclaimed: "Listen, he's coming...He's coming closer!...We'd better fly"; others whispered: "Hush. Be quiet...Be calm. Don't get excited"; there was a warning and a plea: "No, no, don't fly. Whatever you do, don't fly!" - but the fearful pheasant did fly upwards as it shouted out: ("He's almost here. I can't stand it any longer!") - and was shot down; the lifeless body tumbled to the ground, followed by a flurry of feathers - and scattering of all the other animals
  • the chaotic destruction of the forest by fire, and the portrayal of the helplessness of the animals caught in the conflagration
  • the final scene of a grown Bambi proudly taking his place and standing with his 'Prince of the Forest' father, silhouetted against the sky





Bananas (1971)

In actor/director Woody Allen's early anarchic slapstick comedy:

  • the opening scene of the play-by-play commentary of a Latin-American president's "live, on-the-spot assassination", in the Republic of San Marcos, on the outdoor palace steps for ABC's Wide World of Sports - provided by sportscaster announcer Howard Cosell (Himself), as he asked the dying leader: "Well, of course, you're upset, and that's understandable under the circumstances. l guess now you'll have to announce your retirement"
  • the scenes of clumsy, anxiety-ridden nerd Fielding Mellish (Woody Allen) serving as a guinea-pig for his company's strange inventions as a consumer product tester with a malfunctioning, sedentary exercise-machine ("The Execu-cisor")
  • aspiring playboy Fielding's nervous purchase of a porno magazine (camouflaged by other more intellectual publications such as Time Magazine, Commentary, Saturday Review, and Newsweek) and his embarrassment when a shop dealer made it obvious to other respectable, disapproving customers that he was purchasing a pornographic magazine and his cringing when his order was screamed out by the clerk: ("Hey Ralph? How much is a copy of Orgasm?...Orgasm. This man wants to buy a copy. How much is it?"); Fielding stuttered: "Doing a sociological study on perversion. l'm up to advanced child molesting"
  • Fielding's unsuccessful attempt and cowardice to protect an old woman during a subway mugging by two thugs (including a young Sylvester Stallone in his screen debut)
  • his breakup with red-headed radical Nancy (Louise Lasser) and his whining: (Fielding: "How am I immature?" Nancy: "Well...intellectually, emotionally and sexually." Fielding: "Yeah, but in what other ways?")
  • the scenes of Fielding's involvement as a fake-bearded revolutionary guerrilla in a tiny Latin American banana republic of San Marcos as the guest of dictator Gen. Emilio M. Vargas (Carlos Montalban)
  • the scene of nebbish Fielding viewing a half-naked woman clutching her left breast and crying out: "I got bitten by a snake" - after he had learned about first-aid treatment for snakebite: ("In the event of snake-bite, you make an incision and you suck out the poison - remember, you suck out the poison"); with a huge grin on his face, he pursued her greedily and lasciviously, and was followed by the rest of the rebel camp
  • the scene of a dinner toast when he tensely began chewing on his glass
  • his to-go ordering of almost one thousand grilled cheese sandwiches and seven hundred cups of coffee for his troops at a lunch counter during a South American revolution before being installed as El Presidente
  • the grossly inappropriate speech to upper class dignitaries given by Fielding, now El Presidente of San Marcos and wearing a ridiculous fake red beard, at a high society fundraiser: "Uh, we have more locusts than...uh, locusts of all races and creeds. These, these locusts, incidentally, are available at popular prices. And so, by the way, are most of the women of San Marcos..."
  • his US trial scene in which he cross-examined himself and objected to the judge during his trial for treason in the US: ("l object, Your Honor. This trial is a travesty. lt's a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham. l move for a mistrial. Do you realize there's not a single homosexual on that jury")
  • the closing televised Fielding Mellish Honeymoon Night broadcast (on Wide World of Sports) that was viewed as a boxing match by commentator Howard Cosell, in which Nancy admitted: "Well, Howard, it all went by so fast. I just had no idea that it would be so quick, really. I was expecting a longer bout... Well, as you know, l'm extraordinarily ticklish so l had a kind of a rough time there. l couldn't stop laughing...And you know, l thought it would really get in my way. But l really trained well for this and l think it sort of held me, so there really wasn't any time that l didn't feel in complete control." Then she added: "The timing was a little off, but l think he'll be fine. I mean, he's not the worst l've had. Not the best, but not the worst."








Band of Outsiders (1964, Fr.) (aka Bande à Part)

In Jean-Luc Godard's quirky, low-budget and experimental Nouvelle Vague (French New Wave) heist-crime drama (described by the omniscient Narrator's voice-over pitch: "A few clues for latecomers: Three weeks earlier... A pile of money... An English class... A house by the river... A romantic young girl...") - [Note: the film's title became the name of director Quentin Tarantino's production company]:

  • the title credits: the white letters of the title were super-imposed at eye level, one-by-one; they appeared in semi-random order during quick-cutting (or staccato jump-cuts) upon alternating close-ups of the faces of the three lead characters (sitting next to each other?), creating a stroboscopic effect, while upbeat honky-tonk piano music played on the soundtrack
  • the film's awkward love triangle between two young, aspiring low-life Parisian criminals: sad intellectual dreamer Franz (Sami Frey), vulgar and brutish opportunist Arthur (Claude Brasseur), and beautiful naive ingenue Odile Monod (Anna Karina), who attended classes with Franz
  • the two men's foreshadowing, play-acting or pantomiming of a shootout in the street between Billy the Kid and Sheriff Pat Garrett, after which overacting Arthur rolled around on the pavement pretending painful agony
  • the scene in a classroom in which the English Teacher (Daniele Girard) read French passages from Romeo and Juliet and assigned the students to re-translate back into English - while Arthur kept slipping a sexy love note poorly mis-spelled and referencing Hamlet to the flirtatious Odile ("Tou bi or not tou bi - contre votre poitrine [against your chest], it iz ze question")
  • the lengthy sequence in a Parisian cafe:
    (1) the three characters shifted and maneuvered their chairs locations around a table in a highly choreographed manner, to convey their relationships
    (2) a "minute of silence" (a soundless interlude that was actually 36 seconds) (Franz remarked: "A minute's silence can be very long. A real minute can last an eternity")
    (3) and the impromptu playful scene of the trio of characters each separately line-dancing the non-contact Madison in the half-empty basement of the cafe-restaurant to the recorded music on the jukebox (copied in Tarantino's Pulp Fiction (1994)) - it was a badly executed, hip-swaying dance routine with jumps, turns, finger-snaps and hand-claps; during the sequence, the music was partly cut off (reinforcing the sound of their shoe-tappings on the floor), and the narrator's (Godard himself) voice-over told us what each of the participants was thinking or feeling: "Parenthetically, now's the time to describe their feelings. Arthur watches his feet, but thinks of Odile's mouth and her romantic kisses. Odile wonders if the boys notice her breasts moving as she dances. Franz thinks of everything and nothing, uncertain if reality is becoming dream, or dream reality"
  • the sequence of Franz and Arthur reading aloud gruesome crime stories in a tabloid - ending with an account of tribal slaughter in Rwanda
  • the impromptu scene of Odile's ride on the underground Metro when she reflectively observed and asked: "People on the Metro always look so sad and lonely. Look at him, why does he make that face?...It reminds me of a song. How did it go?"; then, she half-recited and half sang a song - using words and musings about isolation by poet Louis Aragon - and put to the music of Jean Ferrat ("J'entends, J'entends"); the scene was supplemented with shots of sidewalk cafés, lone and anonymous individuals, pedestrians, commuters, city lights, her own sad face, and it concluded with Odile in Arthur's bed:

    I saw so many depart like that / All they’d ask for was a light / They settled for so little / They had so little anger in them / I hear their steps, I hear their voices / Speaking of things quite banal / Like things you read in the papers / Like things you say evenings at home

    What are they doing to you, men and women / You tender stones, worn down too soon / Your appearances broken / My heart goes out at the sight of you / Things are what they are / From time to time, the earth trembles / Misfortune only misfortune resembles / So deep, so deep, so deep

    You long to believe in blue skies / It's a feeling I know quite well / I still believe at certain times / I still believe, I must admit / But I can't believe my ears / Oh, yes I'm very much your peer / I am just the same as you

    Like you, like a grain of sand / Like the blood forever spilt / Like the fingers always wounded / Yes, I am your fellow creature
  • the celebrated scene of the three sprinting through the Louvre in nine minutes and 43 seconds, breaking the world record previously set by Jimmy Johnson of San Francisco by two seconds (repeated in Bertolucci's The Dreamers (2003)) (the narrator had set up the scene: "Franz had read about an American who'd done the Louvre in nine minutes 45 seconds. They'd do better. (after the run) Arthur, Franz and Odile beat Jimmy Johnson by two seconds")
  • the sequence of the bungled robbery attempt at the villa of Odile's adoptive Aunt Victoria (Louisa Colpeyn), when the two men wore black face-covering masks, and the intense, 90-second, half-hearted face-off/shootout with drawn guns filmed at mid-distance on the front lawn - resulting in the shooting death of both Arthur's uncle (Ernest Menzer) and Arthur (he was shot at least five times before spinning like a corkscrew to the ground)
  • in the conclusion, as Odile and Franz drove away with some of the money from the robbery, the narrator spoke: "My story ends here like a dime novel. At a superb moment, when everything is going right. Our next episode, this time in Cinemascope and Technicolor: Odile and Franz in the tropics"









The Band Wagon (1953)

In director Vincente Minnelli's great movie musical:

  • the sublime, classic, graceful, and elegant Astaire-Charisse love duet in Central Park titled "Dancing in the Dark" - a "falling-in-love" dance with white-dressed ballerina Gabrielle "Gaby" Gerard (Cyd Charisse) opposite white-suited Tony Hunter (Fred Astaire)
  • the elegant soft-shoe dance of tuxedoed, top-hatted Tony and pretentious producer-director Jeffrey Cordova (Jack Buchanan) to the tune: "I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan"
  • the film's jazzy, balletic 8-minute, dreamy, film-noir, pulp B-movie, jazz-dance "The Girl Hunt Ballet" in the finale by long-legged Gabrielle (as a slinky, red-dressed femme fatale) and Tony Hunter - it functioned as a take-off or spoof on the hard-boiled Mickey Spillane detective novels ("She came at me in sections...more curves than the scenic railway")


The Bank Dick (1940)

In one of W.C. Fields' classic comedies:

  • the words of advice given by Lompoc resident Egbert Souse (W.C. Fields) to his future son-in-law Og Oggilby (Grady Sutton) - "Surely, don't be a luddie-duddie, don't be a moon-calf, don't be a jabbernow, you're not those, are you?"
  • the scene when Egbert was hired as a vigilant bank security dick - he choked a young boy in a cowboy outfit waving a toy gun - believing that he was a holdup man - as the bratty boy walked out of the bank, he ridiculed the guard's shiny, bulbous red nose: "Mommy, doesn't that man have a funny nose?" His mother chided him for making fun: "You mustn't make fun of the gentleman, Clifford. You'd like to have a nose like that full of nickels, wouldn't you?"
  • Egbert's Black Pussy Cat Cafe drinking routine
  • Souse's use of a Mickey Finn to hold off effeminate, inquisitive and persistent bank examiner J. Pinkerton Snoopington (Franklin Pangborn)
  • and his memorable, zany, slapstick getaway car chase scene as a "hostage" with a terrified robber - it was a superbly-timed chase - the cars (Souse's car was followed by the local police, the bank president, and a representative from the movie company) zoomed and circled around, barely avoiding crashing into each other or other obstacles in the path - the getaway car careened through streets, over ditches (over the heads of ditchdiggers), around curves and up a mountainside, missing collisions at every turn with the pursuit vehicles. When asked by the thug in the back seat to give him the wheel, Egbert matter-of-factly pulled it off the steering column and gave it to him; when the robber was struck unconscious and apprehended, Sousè was an unlikely hero once again for thwarting another heist



Barbarella (1968, Fr./It.)

In director Roger Vadim's psychedelic cult classic and sexual satire:

  • the infamous, teasing, slow-motion opening credits sequence that stripped 41st century comic-strip heroine Barbarella (Jane Fonda) of her space-suit outfit, while weightless in space
  • the unusual elbow-sex scene and sexploits with a hairy primitive (her reaction to physical love: "But no one's done it for hundreds of centuries!"), a blind winged angel Pygar (John Phillip Law) ("An angel doesn't make love - an angel is love") and a lesbian evil Black Queen (Anita Pallenberg) ("You are very pretty, Pretty-Pretty")
  • Barbarella's attack by battling mechanical, razor-toothed robot devil dolls
  • Barbarella's escape from being pecked to death by songbirds-parakeets ("This is really a much too poetic way to die!")
  • the "exaltation transference pill" (or sex pill) scene between goofy revolutionary Dildano (David Hemmings) and Barbarella, when he proposed taking the pill rather than the old-fashioned way - (which caused their hair to curl after joining hands for awhile)
  • Durand Durand's (Milo O'Shea) unsuccessful attempt to kill Barbarella with pleasure by orgasmically "playing" her with a euphemistic pipe organ ("Sonata for Execution of Various Young Women"): ("When we reach the crescendo, you will die of pleasure. Your end will be swift, but sweet, very sweet") and his aghast reaction to her defeating the machine by overheating it: ("What is this? I don't believe it. It couldn't be. Wretched girl. What have you done to my excessive machine? You've undone it. You've undone me. Look! Energy cables are shrinking. You've turned them into faggots. You've burned out the excessive machine. You've blown all its fuses....You've exhausted its power. It couldn't keep up with you. Incredible! What kind of girl are you? Have you no shame? Shame! Shame on you! You'll pay for this! I've got something for you. You'll wish you had died of pleasure. Now you shall learn the wisdom of the lash")








The Barefoot Contessa (1954)

In writer/director Joseph L. Mankiewicz's cynical showbiz melodrama about the life of the fictional title character - it was a "Cinderella tale" about a Spanish sex symbol (somewhat based on the life of actress Rita Hayworth and her toxic relationship with Prince Aly Khan):

  • the structure of the film - many flashbacks to three years earlier, to survey the short life and loves of peasant-born flamenco dancer Maria Vargas (Ava Gardner) (aka Maria D'Amata) - noted for often being "barefoot", she had risen from poverty (rags-to-riches)
  • the opening introductory voice-over narration at Maria's rain-soaked funeral, delivered by washed-up American writer/director Harry Dawes (Humphrey Bogart) standing amidst mourners holding umbrellas: "I suppose that when you spend most of your life in one profession, you develop what could be called an occupational point of view. So maybe I can be forgiven for the first thing I thought of that morning. Because I found myself thinking that the staging and the setting - even the lighting of Maria's funeral were just what she would have wanted. My name is Harry Dawes. I've been a writer and director of movies for longer than I like to remember. I go way back, back to when the movies had two dimensions, and one dimension, and sometimes no dimension at all. I wrote and directed all three of the movies Maria D'Amata was in - her short, full career from start to finish - I wrote it and directed it. On the screen, that is. What was I doing there? The Fates or the Furies or whoever wrote and directed her short, full life - they took care of that. Anyway, there I stood halfway around the world from Hollywood and Vine in a little graveyard near Rapallo, Italy watching them bury the Contessa Torlato-Favrini in ground she'd never heard of six months ago, with a stone statue to mark the spot. Life, every now and then, behaves as if it had seen too many bad movies. When everything fits too well: the beginning, the middle and the end, from fade-in to fade-out. And where I faded in, the contessa was not a contessa. She was not even a movie star named Maria D'Amata. Where I faded in, her name was Maria Vargas and she danced in a nightclub in Madrid, Spain"
  • the Madrid cabaret-nightclub flamenco dance performance of Maria Vargas - although completely unseen, and only heard by the clacking of her castanets
  • the introduction of the film's three main characters in the nightclub, who had just missed Maria's sole performance for the night: Dawes, movie tycoon-producer Kirk Edwards (Warren Stevens) - a "Wall Street wizard", and Hollywood studio press agent and PR man Oscar Muldoon (Edmond O'Brien) - they were there to consider Maria as a "new face" for Edwards' first movie: Black Dawn
  • the backstage scene when Dawes saw Maria's barefeet behind a curtain ("Senorita, your bare feet are showing!"); in her first appearance in the film, she drew aside the curtain - standing embarrassingly next to her cousin; soon, Dawes enticed Maria with the opportunity to audition for a 'screen test' - to be a star in his next movie: "Mr. Kirk Edwards is looking for somebody - like you, to play in his first production and he wants to talk to you about it...If you can act, I can help you. If you can't, nobody can teach you"
  • the further lengthy musings (voice-over) of Muldoon at Maria's funeral, about how he didn't really even know the movie star: "If ever a funeral laid an egg, that one did. Standing round the grave, maybe two dozen no-bodies. A great finish. You just don't bury a famous movie star like she was an unidentified body. Well, it figured. It was like that from the minute I laid eyes on her. Nothing worked according to the book. Not my book, anyway. From the minute she waved back at the Statue of Liberty, everybody wanted to know everything about Maria. And they wound up knowing nothing, because there was nothing to know. Believe me, what they said in Madrid was true. This bundle of passion, this hot flame that burned from the screen, was a real untouchable. The columns and the wolves were after me night and day. But how could I tell them who she was with or when, when I didn't even know who she knew?"
  • the outdoor flamenco dance sequence in the open olive grove of a French gypsy camp - wearing a tight yellow sweater, Maria seductively attracted the attention of wealthy Count Vincenzo Torlato-Favrini (Rossano Brazzi), who was entranced by her dancing: (voice-over: "She looked at me for no longer than the beat of a heart and I knew I would remember her as long as I lived. That was my meeting with Maria. It occurs to me just now that, oddly, we have never talked about it. But no more odd, surely, than my driving away that day away from her, knowing that inevitably, we would meet again") - he would soon marry Maria, and only revealed his impotency (the result of a war wound) during their honeymoon
  • the tragic murder sequence when the jealous and suspicious Count shot and killed both his pregnant wife Maria and the chauffeur (Carlo Dale), suspected of having an affair with her, and not realizing that she wanted to give him a child fathered by someone else







The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934)

In director Sidney A. Franklin's historical romance based on the successful stage drama:

  • the climactic scene in which poet Elizabeth Barrett (Norma Shearer) struggled out of the tyrannical grasp of her domineering father (Charles Laughton)
 

Barry Lyndon (1975, UK)

In director Stanley Kubrick's three-hour visually-stunning costume drama (with astonishing, gorgeous candlelit cinematography by John Alcott, oil painting-like tableauxs, and superb costuming) adapted from William Makepeace Thackeray's 1844 novel with stately voice-over narration by Michael Hordern:

  • the film's second dueling scene of impetuous and jealous young Irish rogue Redmond Barry (Ryan O'Neal) against competing suitor Captain John Quin (Leonard Rossiter) for the affection of his cousin Nora Brady (Gay Hamilton) - with Barry's stubborn assertion: ("I'm not sorry and I'll not apologize")
  • the bare fist-fight between Barry and a burly fellow soldier Poole (Pat Roach)
  • the battle scene of British soldiers marching toward the French troops in rows and being mowed down - with the death of Barry's friend Captain Grogan (Godfrey Quigley) in a muddy ditch
  • the brief affair between Barry and a young, pretty Prussian war bride and peasant mother Lieschen (Diana Korner)
  • Barry's admission of spying for Prussian Captain Potzdorf (Hardy Krüger) to nobleman Chevalier de Balibari (Patrick Magee): ("I have a confession to make to you. I'm an Irishman...")
  • the seduction scene of Barry's first flirtatious meeting with Lady Lyndon (Marisa Berenson) during a gamester session, lit only with candlelight, casting a reddish glow
  • the scene of Barry's detestable step-son Lord Bullingdon (Leon Vitali) accusing his father of abuse toward the Lyndon family during an afternoon concert in the drawing room: ("...his brutal and ungentlemen-like behavior, his open infidelity, his shameless robberies and swindling of my property, and yours") and Barry's brawling retaliation
  • the sad death scene of Barry's son Bryan (David Morley) after being thrown from a horse - with his parents at his bedside
  • the film's lengthy third duel scene of Barry vs. his stepson ("I have not received satisfaction")
  • the final shot of Lady Lyndon reacting to Barry's name as she signed his yearly annuity/bribe (to stay away)








Barton Fink (1991)

In this Coen Brothers classic:

  • the scene of eccentric movie studio mogul Jack Lipnick (Michael Lerner) first asking wiry-haired, thick-framed black-eyeglass-wearing New York playwright Barton Fink (John Turturro): ("Can you tell a story? Can you make us laugh, make us cry, make us want to break out in song?"); then he offers a contract with Capitol Pictures, asking the East Coast writer to compromise by giving him a film script for a "wrestling picture with Wallace Beery" within a week: ("We do not make B-pictures here at Capitol. Put a stop to that rumor right now!...The important thing is we all want it to have that Barton Fink feeling. I guess we all have that Barton Fink feeling, but since you're Barton Fink, I'm assuming you have it in spades")
  • Barton's condescending and lengthy rant about theater to his traveling, door-to-door insurance salesman/psychotic homicidal neighbor Charlie Meadows (John Goodman) whom he called a "real man": ("Strange as it may seem, Charlie, I guess I write about people like you - the average working stiff, the common man....There's a few people in New York, hopefully our numbers are growing, who feel we have an opportunity now to forge something real out of everyday experience, create a theater for the masses based on a few simple truths, not on some shopworn abstractions about drama that don't hold true today if they ever did...We all have stories! The hopes and dreams of the common man are as noble as those of any king. The stuff of life. Why shouldn't it be the stuff of theater? God dammit. Why should that be such a hard pill to swallow? Don't call it new theater, Charlie. Call it real theater. Call it our theater!... many writers do everything in their power to insulate themselves from the common man, from where they live, from where they trade, from where they fight and love and converse and, and, so, naturally, their work suffers and regresses into empty formalism and - well, I'm spouting off again, but to put it in your language, the theater becomes as phony as a $3 dollar bill.")
  • the scene of Barton Fink (with mosquito bites all over his face and suffering from terminal writer's block) consulting with producer Ben Geisler (Tony Shalhoub) for advice, and learning to his consternation that Lipnick had unfortunately taken an interest in the picture: ("I don't know what the hell you said to Lipnick, but the son of a bitch likes you. Do you understand that, Fink? He likes you! He's taken a interest. Never make Lipnick like you. Never!...Are you deaf? He likes you. He's taken a interest. What the hell did you say to him?...Well, he's taken a interest. That means he'll make your life hell")
  • the fiery scene in which Fink's neighbor Charlie, now revealed to be serial killer Karl "Madman" Mundt, returned to the rundown Hotel Earle in Hollywood of 1942, emerged from a flaming elevator, shot two cops waiting for him there as he ran down the flaming corridor screaming out with his shotgun: ("Look upon me. I'll show you the life of the mind!") - then whistled before exclaiming to Barton: "Brother, is it hot!"
  • the last scene in which the bewildered playwright, suffering criticism, denigration, and ridicule from the studio and Lipnick ("You ain't no writer, Fink. You're a god-damn write-off!...You swell-headed hypocrite!"), found himself walking along a beach with Meadows' brown paper-wrapped parcel-box. There, he met a bathing beauty (Isabelle Townsend) - his dream girl from a picture on the wall of his surreal hotel room #621 with peeling wallpaper. After she greeted him with "It's a beautiful day," he responded: "Yes, it is." Then after telling her he didn't know the contents of the box, he complimented her: "You're very beautiful. Are you in pictures?" to which she responded: "Don't be silly"







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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