Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



O (continued)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

In Milos Forman's Best Picture-winning drama (and the top five awards) based upon Ken Kesey's anti-establishment book:

  • the characterization of rebellious patient Randle P. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) opposed to the stern, rigid and authoritarian Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher)
  • the memorable scenes of playing basketball in the exercise yard, and gambling card games with cigarettes as currency
  • the two scenes in which votes are taken to change the daily schedule so that they can watch the World Series - followed by McMurphy's defiance to Nurse Ratched's technicalities by a recreation of the play-by-play action of an imaginary ballgame in front of a blackened TV set - contagiously infecting the other inmates with his enthusiasm
  • the wild, fishing field trip scene
  • McMurphy's challenge to the other inmates to leave the institution ("You're no crazier than the average asshole out walkin' around the streets") after learning that he won't automatically be released
  • McMurphy's shocked realization that giant Chief Bromden (Will Sampson) can actually talk when he lends him a stick of Juicy Fruit gum
  • the scene of McMurphy's zombie-like return from electro-shock therapy
  • the midnight celebration and McMurphy's enraged attack and its disastrous consequences
  • Chief Bromden's suffocation/mercy killing of his lobotomized friend and his escape from the institution by heaving a previously-immovable water fountain/sink through a window

One Foot in Heaven (1941)

In director Irving Rapper's religious drama:

  • the poignant scene in which devoted Methodist minister Rev. William Spence (Fredric March) viewed his first movie (a William S. Hart western) with his son
  • the memorable sequence in which he replaced an aging church chorus with young, fresh-faced children

One Million B.C. (1940)

In director Hal Roach's (of Hal Roach Studios) sci-fi adventure fantasy, with only grunting and mono-syllabic dialogue:

  • the framing narrative, told by a paleontologist (Conrad Nagel) in a cave, describing or interpreting a story (a saga of tribal, prehistoric people) to mountain climbers, from his readings of primitive cave/rock paintings
  • the contrast between the starring roles for hunkish Victor Mature (as Tumak, a member of the savage, meat-eating and primitive Rock People tribe, son of the brutish tribal chieftain Akhoba (Lon Chaney, Jr.)), and pretty blonde Carole Landis (as Loana, a member of the pacifist, vegetarian, well-mannered Shell People tribe)
  • the banishments (exiled once from each tribe) of outcast Tumak (for defying his father, and for stealing a tribe member's spear)
  • the special effects and trick enlargement photography (and the use of dressed-up lizards) to depict dinosaurs and other wild creatures, including an alligator (with a fin affixed to its back), an armadillo, the lengthy scene of a Gatorsaurus and Tegudon fighting with each other, a bear killing a snake, the braining of a wild pig or small bull, the bloody demise of the gila monster, etc. (controversial to anti-animal abuse advocates)
  • the scene of a giant iguana menacing and cornering a group of the tribes-people in a cave (who were saved with a rock avalanche that buried the creature under immense boulders)
  • the climactic volcanic eruption, covering people with lava flow, and giant lizards swallowed up by fissures
  • the curious scene of Loana teaching the primitive Rock People about manners: women go first, and meat should be carved into slices, not grabbed in pieces and torn off
  • the storybook ending, with Loana, Tumak, and a young child (not their own) walking off into the sunset

One Million Years B.C. (1966, UK)

In this camp classic, fantasy prehistoric adventure film from director Don Chaffey, a remake of One Million B.C. (1940) by Hal Roach, with minimal plot and dialogue:

  • the banishing of Tumak (John Richardson) from his primitive prehistoric tribe, the dark and savage Rock People
  • the views of half-clad cave woman Loana (Raquel Welch) in tight-fitting animal skins of the more advanced, fair-haired, pacifist Shell People - the basis for a best-selling pin-up poster - who speaks only one decipherable word ("Tumak!"); the film was promoted with the slogan: "See Raquel Welch In Mankind's First Bikini!"
  • the 'cat fight' between Loana and Tumak's former wild lover Nupondi (Martine Beswick)
Ceratosaurus vs Triceratops
  • Ray Harryhausen's remarkable stop-motion animation (termed "Dynamation") and enlargements of live creatures to portray giant monsters, including an Iguana (giant lizard), an Apatosaurus, a giant Spider (or tarantula), a menacing Turtle (Archelon), an Allosaurus attacking a tree with a child, a fierce battle between a Ceratosaurus (a medium sized predatory horned lizard) and a Triceratops, and a flying Pteranodon (similar to a pterodactyl) that carries Loana off to its nest before being attacked by a similar Pterosaur

Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

In director Howard Hawks' quintessential aviation-adventure film:

  • the nerve-wracking scene of the attempted fog landing by flier Joe Souther (Noah Berry, Jr.) - ending with a fatal crash
  • the on/off again love story between Latin American pilots' boss Geoff Carter (Cary Grant) and perky Brooklynite blonde Bonnie Lee (Jean Arthur)
  • the arrival of flier Bat MacPherson/alias Kilgallen (Richard Barthelmess) with his radiant wife Judy (Rita Hayworth in her first appearance in a major film), Geoff's ex-wife
  • the discovery that MacPherson is really a disgraced, unworthy pilot whose cowardice once caused the death of older daredevil pilot Kid Dabb's (Thomas Mitchell) younger brother
  • the scene of MacPherson's treacherous flight carrying nitroglycerin to prove his bravery
  • aging daredevil pilot Kid Dabb's affecting death and farewell scene after a crucial flight with a redeemed MacPherson

Open Water (2004)

In writer/director Chris Kentis' effectively suspenseful, low-budget shark tale:

  • the incredibly realistic situation of two scuba divers: Susan (Blanchard Ryan) and Daniel (Daniel Travis) left behind by their tour boat and stranded in open Bahamas water - with real sharks circling them for the majority of the film

Open Your Eyes (1997, Sp.) (aka Abre Los Ojos)

In director Alejandro Amenabar's film, remade in Hollywood with Penelope Cruz (again) and Tom Cruise (real-life lovers at the time) as Vanilla Sky (2001), by director Cameron Crowe:

  • the sight of nude, brown-haired Sofia (Penelope Cruz) straddling, sitting up, and posing above Cesar (Eduardo Noriega) in his 'dream' (?) life
  • the transcendental, stunning conclusion when Cesar plunges from a 50-story skyscraper roof to 'awaken'

Ordinary People (1980)

In actor Robert Redford's directorial debut film - an intense psychological drama (an adaptation of the Judith Guest novel by Alvin Sargent):

  • the moving scene of suicidal, guilt-ridden 18 year-old high-school student Conrad "Con" Jarrett (Oscar-winning Timothy Hutton) and his therapeutic breakthrough, admitting his feelings about his older brother Buck's (Scott Doebler) accidental drowning (during a sailing trip revealed over the course of the film by flashbacks) in his late-night counseling session with his sometimes unorthodox psychiatrist Dr. Berger (Judd Hirsch): ("What was the one thing wrong you did?" "I hung on, I stayed with the boat."), and Dr. Berger's reassurances that he is Conrad's friend: ("I am. Count on it")
  • the icy portrayal of grieving, hostile and rejecting mother Beth Jarrett (Mary Tyler Moore) who is contrasted with her warm-hearted and compassionate husband Calvin (Donald Sutherland) - who ultimately admits the loss of his love for his wife: ("You're not strong. And I don't know if you're really giving. Tell me something. Do you love me? Do you really love me?...We would've been all right if there hadn't been the mess.You can't handle mess. You need everything neat and easy. I don't know. Maybe you can't love anybody. It was so much Buck. When Buck died, it was as if you buried all your love with him. And I don't understand that. I just don't know. Maybe it wasn't even Buck. Maybe it was just you. Maybe, finally, it was the best of you that you buried. But whatever it was, I don't know who you are. I don't know what we've been playing at. So I was crying. Because I don't know if I love you anymore. And I don't know what I'm going to do without that")
  • the closing scene before the credits in which Calvin begins to re-connect with his son and hugs him, and they both pledge their love
  • the brilliant mood-setting use of Johann Pachelbel's mournful adagio Canon in D Major

Orphans of the Storm (1921-22)

In D.W. Griffith's melodramatic epic about the French Revolution and two orphans half-sisters that were separated during the Reign of Terror:

  • close-ups of virginal Henriette Girard's (Lillian Gish) face
  • the spectacular crowd scenes
  • the scene in which Henriette hears the voice of her blind, kidnapped half-sister Louise (Dorothy Gish) singing in the street below but is arrested before she can get to her from the balcony
  • the thrilling rescue scene of Louise from the guillotine by revolutionary hero Danton (Monte Blue)
  • a tearful reunion scene between the sisters (and the miraculous restoration of eyesight for Louise)

Out of Africa (1985)

In director Sydney Pollack's Best Picture-winning biographical romantic epic:

  • the lyrically-beautiful scenes on location in Kenya, Africa (the opening voice-over narration: "I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Mountains")
  • the biplane ride in which Danish authoress/wife Karen Tania Blixen-Finecke (Meryl Streep) (aka pen name Isak Dinesen) reaches back and holds hands with white hunter Denys Finch Hatton (Robert Redford)
  • the scene of Hatton shampooing Karen's hair during a safari

Out of Sight (1998)

In Steven Soderbergh's sexy crime thriller:

  • the reassuring words of charming bank robber Jack Foley (George Clooney) to bank teller Loretta Randall (Donna Frenzel): "Is this your first time being robbed?" (she nods) "You're doing great"
  • the very memorable and erotically-flirtatious, dialogue-rich scene in the trunk of a car between Foley (George Clooney) and kidnapped federal marshal Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez) when they exchange sexy quips and banter (a discussion of Faye Dunaway films such as Bonnie and Clyde, and Three Days of the Condor), and he strokes her thigh
  • their later sexual encounter in which they flirtatiously call each other different names: Gary and Celeste, with the sequence cutting between their conversation in a hotel lounge over drinks - and the scene of them, minutes later, kissing, undressing and getting into bed in a penthouse hotel room with snow falling outside

Out Of The Past (1947) (aka Build My Gallows High)

In Jacques Tourneur's great film noir - one of the best ever made:

  • the flashback structure of the film and shadowy cinematography
  • the archetypal, duplicitous femme fatale Kathie Moffett's (Jane Greer) silhouetted entrance into a Mexican cantina from the bright and hot outdoors - wearing a broad-brimmed white hat during the pursuit of cool private eye Jeff Bailey (Robert Mitchum) for her after being hired by menacing gangster Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas)
  • the snappy dialogue and tawdriness of the love/hate relationship between Jeff and Kathie ("I think we deserve a break" and his reply: "We deserve each other")
  • his sneering insult of her: "You're like a leaf that the wind blows from one gutter to another"
  • their romantic interlude on a moonlit beach (where they are framed by an entrapping fish net)
  • their final tragic end at the police roadblock

Outcast of the Islands (1951, UK)

In Carol Reed's compelling and dramatic adventure set in the Indonesian tropics - based on Joseph Conrad's 1896 novel:

  • the character of failed roguish Englishman Peter Willems (Trevor Howard), a swindling and cheating shipping firm manager in Singapore, scandalously fired from his job, saved from an attempted drowning suicide, and taken under the mentoring wing of lucrative trader Capt. Lingard (Ralph Richardson): ("I'm taking you to that place of my own, about which people talk so much and know so little. It's up a river. It isn't easy but I've found a way to get her up. You'll learn something now, my boy")
  • their sailing to the hidden, secret idyllic river-bank village of Sambir (after perilously navigating through a rocky river mouth) - Lingard's remote trading post; Willems dubiously promised to keep the navigational route a secret: ("Your secret's safe with me")
  • Willems' lustful stalking and leering at exotic native girl Aissa (Kerima in her debut film) (who never spoke a word in the film), who was dedicated to feeding her blind father - chieftain Badavi (A. V. Bramble), and brought shame to him for her association with Willems - leading to his eventual neglect and death
  • the savage assault of the natives on Lingard's pompous, self-interested and despicable trader son-in-law Elmer Almayer (Robert Morley) - torturing him by wrapping him up in a hammock and swinging him above a bonfire
  • the climactic ending, in which the greedy and obsessed Willems, who had aligned himself and been manipulated by the sly native Babalatchi (George Colouris in black-face) and competing Arab trader Ali (Dharma Emmanuel), betrayed Lingard's trust and revealed the treacherous trading route to the lagoons
  • the final and last confrontation between Lingard and Willems, leading to the latter's exile and ostracism on a remote and isolated piece of land with Aissa; Willems begged to be taken away, but Lingard refused after giving him so many other breaks: ("You have been possessed of a devil...I regret nothing else I ever did, but this was different. I picked you up like a starving cat when you were twelve, I helped you through your life till it became part of mine. Then, I let you ruin the lives of all those who put their faith in me. I am an old fool...Did you ever see me lie and cheat and steal, tell me that, hey!? I wonder where in perdition you came from when I found you under my feet? No matter. You'll do no more harm. Well, what do you expect? Do you know what you've done? What do you expect?....No promise of yours is any good to me. I am going to take your future into my own hands. You are my prisoner. You shall stay here. You are not fit to go among people. Who could suspect, who could guess, who could imagine what is in you? I couldn't. You are my mistake. I shall hide you here. If I let you out, you'll go out among unsuspecting men and lie and steal and cheat for a little money or for some woman. I don't choose to shoot you. It would be the safest way, but I won't. Don't expect me to forgive you. To forgive, one must first be angry and then contemptuous. There's nothing in me now, no anger, no contempt, no disappointment. To me, you are not Willems, the man I thought much of and helped the man who was my friend. You're not a human being to be destroyed or forgiven. You are a bitter thought, something without a body that must be hidden. You are my shame...You say that you don't want to die here. Very well then, you must live. (To Aissa) Understand, I leave him his life, not in mercy but in punishment. You are alone. (To Willems) You say that you did this for her. Well, you have her"); as Lingard strutted off to return to his boat, Aissa handed a revolver to Willems to shoot Lingard, but he couldn't pull the trigger; they had a few final words at the beach, in the midst of a thunderous tropical rainstorm: (Lingard: "Provoke you? What is there in you to provoke?"); Willems called out an echoing goodbye, the film's final line of dialogue: "We shall meet again, Captain Lingard"; Willems and a spiteful Aissa were stranded but together

The Outlaw (1943)

In producer/director Howard Hughes' "adult" sex-western film originally filmed in 1941, and delayed in its general release for many years:

  • the buxom cleavage of statuesque and formidable Mexican half-breed mistress Rio (Jane Russell) displayed to the fullest and greatest effect (angering censors) throughout this notorious film
  • the much-more revealing publicity shots of the sultry star, more suggestive than the film itself
  • the wrestling in the hay stable scene with Billy the Kid (Jack Beutel) when he cautions her to end her struggling resistance in the dark shadows ("Let me go" -- "Hold still lady or you won't have much dress left") as the scene fades to black
  • and later, as Rio cares for Billy, she promises: "I'll warm him up" - she bends down (in the uncensored version) - and then follows an incredible zooming full-face (and lips) closeup when preparing to kiss him
  • the close-up view of Rio galloping along on horseback

Outrage (1950)

In director/writer Ida Lupino's B-level crime-related drama:

  • the memorable rape scene (in one of the first films to address the taboo subject in the 50s, called a 'criminal attack/assault') in which young naive plant secretary-bookkeeper Ann Walton (Mala Powers) leaves work one night and her ordeal while being pursued through a maze of streets and alleys for over five minutes [the camera pulls back behind a building and doesn't show the act]
  • and the devastating aftermath for the traumatized victim

The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)

In director William Wellman's "Western noir" adaptation of Walter Van Tilburg Clark's novel:

  • the "trial" at the hanging tree with Gil Carter's (Henry Fonda) witnessing of the sham trial and his forceful statement to the lynch mob: "Hangin's' any man's business that's around"
  • the actual hanging (with the shadows of the dead men hanging)
  • the final scene of the reading of a letter of one of the victims, Donald Martin (Dana Andrews) by Gil Carter

(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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