Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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

The Player (1992)

In director Robert Altman's famed low-budget Hollywood satire with a tapestry of characters:

  • the subtle opening and closing shots that revealed the underlying joke of the premise -- the movie was a 'film-within-a-film' about how the film came to be (the erroneous murder and cover-up of a disgruntled screenwriter by callous, insincere, back-stabbing, shallow film producer Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins))
  • the uncut, unedited, single-take opening credits sequence - a remarkably complex, 8-minute and six second roaming and tracking camera on a Hollywood studio lot that captured glimpses of pitch meetings and overheard bits of conversations (one pair of producers ironically and referentially commented on Orson Welles' Touch of Evil (1958) and its famed opening uncut tracking shot)
  • the huge cast of celebrities and filmmakers who played themselves (except for Whoopi Goldberg who played Beverly Hills police chief Susan Avery ("Oh, please! This is Pasadena. We do not arrest the wrong person. That's L.A.!"))
  • the ridiculous 25 words or less cross-breeded film pitches that Mill heard - like for the sequel The Graduate Part II ("Mrs. Robinson has a stroke...dark and weird and funny") or other films described as 'Out of Africa meets Pretty Woman' (for Goldie Hawn) or 'Ghost meets The Manchurian Candidate' (for Bruce Willis)
  • the hot tub scene of Griffin with story editor/girlfriend Bonnie Sherow (Cynthia Stevenson) - that set up the premise of the film about the receipt of threatening postcards and the amount of time "before he becomes dangerous" - 5 months
  • the scene the morning after the writer's murder in the studio office in which ambitious new employee Larry Levy (Peter Gallagher) proposed finding storylines from the morning's paper instead of hiring scripters, with Mills' response: ("I was just thinking what an interesting concept it is to eliminate the writer from the artistic process")
  • the film's ending with Griffin driving while hearing a pitch by a mysterious psychotic writer of a movie called The Player - about the movie just seen ("It's a Hollywood ending, Griff. He marries the dead writer's girl (Greta Scacchi) and they live happily ever after") - with a mocking of the audience with a subtle and faintly-heard: "Nyah, nyah, nyah-NYAH-nyah" sung by an infant in the score

Point Blank (1967)

In John Boorman's brutal crime classic neo-noir based on the pulp crime novel The Hunter by Donald E. Westlake (under the name Richard Stark):

  • virtuoso, artsy, avant-garde editing techniques (i.e., flashbacks, time lapses, dream motifs, etc), such as Walker's (Lee Marvin) shooting (and dying dream?) in an Alcatraz cell before the opening credits -- and his return visit a few years later by ferry
  • the scene of Walker's loud stride along a corridor - cross-cut with a view of his wife Lynne (Sharon Acker) in bed and then dressing before visiting a beauty salon parlor - and then his violent and vengeful shoot-up of his double-crossing wife's empty bed (just in case her lover was in it) - defiled after she ran off with his double-crossing ex-partner Mal Reese (John Vernon)
  • Lynne's later suicidal drug overdose
  • Walker's wild driving and crashing of a new car under LA freeway ramps in order to intimidate and get car salesman Stegman (Michael Strong) to talk ("Where do I find Reese?")
  • Walker's backstage fight in a nightclub against two thugs with a swirling psychedelic backdrop of images behind them
  • the scene of Lynne's sister Chris (Angie Dickinson), Walker's sister-in-law, agreeing to help Walker get to Reese and driving him by the Huntley House hotel in Santa Monica, and pointing out how difficult it would be to enter Reese's penthouse: ("Men everywhere. You're gonna have a lot of trouble getting in, but you'll never get out")
  • Chris naked and hastily dressing in the background during Walker's lethal confrontation with Reese - he held a gun on Reese in the foreground and demanded: "I want my 93 grand now"; the naked, blanket-wrapped Reese was flung over a balcony railing and plunged to his death on the street below
  • the scene of Chris' energetic but futile slapping, throttling (with her handbag), and pounding of her fists into Walker to make him feel something - until she collapsed to the floor

Point Break (1991)

In director Kathryn Bigelow's action cult film:

  • the skydiving scene (nominated as the "Best Action Sequence" in the 1992 MTV Movie Awards, and ranked 7th in Empire Magazine's Top 10 Crazy Action Sequences) in which both surfer-bankrobber Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) and undercover FBI agent Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) jumped with only one parachute (Bodhi's) and they exchanged taunts about pulling the ripcord
  • finally, after Bodhi told Johnny that they would be "meat waffles" in about five seconds at an altitude of 1,000 feet, Johnny dropped his gun and pulled Bodhi's ripcord handle to save the two of them

Police Academy (1984)

In director Hugh Wilson's hit police-related comedy:

  • the embarrassing scene of Lieutenant Thaddeus Harris (G.W. Bailey) riding a tricked out motorcycle, and being propelled into the back end of a horse (off-screen)
  • the scene of a driving lesson, given by recruit Cadet Carey Mahoney (Steve Guttenberg) for Moses Hightower (Bubba Smith) before the next day's driving test exam - late at night, the two stole Cadet Chad Copeland's (Scott Thomson) compact car and ripped out the front seats (to sit in the back), immediately rear-ended another vehicle (Mahoney: "You didn't hit the brake" Hightower: "You didn't tell me to"), and then became involved in a chase with a police cruiser - bringing the car back wrecked
  • the scene of defensive training when female blonde Sgt. Debbie Callahan (Leslie Easterbrook) floored one of the recruits and sat on his neck with her thighs, and then asked for the next volunteer: "Who's next?" - and all the other recruits raised their hands
  • the infamous podium fellatio scene - in which Cmndt. Eric Lassard (George Gaynes) delivered a speech to VIP dignitaries, while a hooker (appropriately cast porn star Georgina Spelvin) and cadet Mahoney hid inside the podium - during the speech ("I think you'll find the presentation interesting as well as very stimulating!" - followed by the sound of his zipper being unzipped), Lassard showed facial signs of being pleasured, with contortions, distorted speech, groans and moans: ("Now, this first SLIIIDE shows a very, very interesting thing: our main building. In slide TWO! We see another view of IT! Oh, my God, you wouldn't believe it!"), and when he finished the delivery, he summarized: "Well, I hope this was as much fun for you as it was for me"; as he walked away from the podium, Lassard saw Mahoney, not the hooker, emerge from beneath the podium: (Mahoney: (smiling and delivering the deadpan line) "Good speech")

Poltergeist (1982)

In director Tobe Hooper's and co-producer/co-writer Steven Spielberg's horror classic:

  • the special effects of television possession and scenes of paranormal events
  • the view of wide-eyed daughter Carol Anne (Heather O'Rourke) watching late-night TV snow and her memorable words: ("They're heeere")
  • the view of chairs inexplicably self-stacked in the kitchen
  • the scare-moment of the frightening, evil-grinning clown doll vanishing from its customary chair, grabbing owner Robbie (Oliver Robbins), pulling him under the bed and attempting to strangle him
  • all the attempts at exorcism and house-cleansing by short-statured clairvoyant Tangina (Zelda Rubinstein)
  • the terrifying climax of muddy, unearthed corpses

Porco Rosso (1992, Fr./Jp.) (aka The Crimson Pig, or Kurenai No Buta)

In famed Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki's film:

  • the adult fable of a dashing seaplane pilot, Porco Rosso (meaning "Red Pig"), who had been cursed with the head of a pig
  • Porco's astounding mystical tale to young Fio about how he became cursed - told in flashback: after a fierce air battle, he found himself in an aerial limbo, floating on a sea of cloud that stretched for an eternity, with pure blue sky above, broken only by a white band that turned out to be thousands of planes manned by dead pilots (reminiscent of A Guy Named Joe (1943) and A Matter of Life and Death/Stairway to Heaven (1946))

Porky's (1982)

In director Bob Clark's notoriously infantile, coming-of-age teen sex comedy:

  • the "Peeping Tom" girls' shower-room scene, in which one of the teens exclaimed after viewing through a peep-hole: ("I've never seen so much wool! You could knit a sweater")
  • the discovery of the ogling boys by the towel-clad girls
  • Tommy's (Wyatt Knight) placing of his male organ through the spyhole and gym coach Ms. Beulah Balbricker's (Nancy Parsons) painful two-handed grab
  • the infamous scene of turned-on gym teacher Ms. Honeywell (Kim Cattrall) (nicknamed "Lassie") revealing the reason for her nickname --when her skirt was pulled off and she was in the midst of love-making with one of the male coaches, she let out a loud, shrill dog-howl

The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

In this classic Irwin Allen disaster epic (with an Oscar-winning song "The Morning After" and a special Oscar for Visual Effects):

  • the scene of the immense tidal wave (caused by a submarine-induced earthquake) hitting the Poseidon
  • the incredible special effects shots of the capsized luxury cruise ship turned upside down with passengers dangling and a man falling up/down from a table through a large window
  • the scene of using a giant Christmas Tree to climb up and out of the ship's grand ballroom
  • the water-rescue scene when Jewish passenger Mrs. Belle Rosen (Oscar-nominated Shelley Winters) saved Rev. Frank Scott (Gene Hackman) from drowning, and gasped: "You see, Mr. Scott, in the water, I'm a very skinny lady," and then died of a heart attack after admitting: ("I guess I'm not the champion of the Women's Swimming Association anymore")
  • the scene of detective cop husband Mike Rugo's (Ernest Borgnine) reaction to his ex-prostitute wife Linda's (Stella Stevens) death -- angrily venting his rage at Frank and sobbing: ("You! Preacher! YOU LYIN', MURDERIN', SON-OF-A-BITCH! You almost suckered me in! I started to believe in your promises! That we had a chance!")
  • Frank's sacrificial death (he closed the steam vent while yelling: "Keep going! Rogo! Get them through!" and then fell into the flaming wreckage himself)
  • the triumpant ending in which the five survivors banged on the thin hull to attract rescuers
  • Mike's changed opinion of Preacher Frank: "The preacher was right! That beautiful son-of-a-bitch was right!"

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)

In director Tay Garnett's thriller-noir based upon James M. Cain's novel:

  • the first appearance of smoldering, femme fatale Cora (Lana Turner) wearing a white, two-piece playsuit - she dropped her lipstick case and it rolled across the floor
  • the terrific magnetism between Cora and drifter Frank (John Garfield)
  • the scene in which an evil Cora convinced Frank to murder her roadside eatery proprietor-husband Nick Smith (Cecil Kellaway)
  • the tragic car crash scene (their kiss while he was driving was a fatal one)

Pretty Woman (1990)

In Garry Marshall's romantically-sentimental fantasy Cinderella story:

  • the changing relationship over a week between Hollywood street-hooker Vivian Ward (Oscar-nominated Julia Roberts) and wealthy corporate raider Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) after starting out as client-customer date ("We both screw people for money" and "I appreciate this whole seduction thing you've got going on here, but let me give you a tip: I'm a sure thing")
  • the scene of Vivian's extravagant shopping spree in boutiques on Rodeo Drive
  • the bathtub scene
  • her ultimate rescue by her gallant Prince Charming in the film's conclusion with a white stretch limousine, a dozen red roses, his fire-escape climb to her balcony, and his profession of love - with a kiss (Edward: "So, what happened after he climbed up the tower and rescued her?" Vivian: "She rescues him right back")

The Pride of the Yankees (1942)

In director Sam Wood's popular biographical baseball sports movie:

  • the famous heart-tugging, July 4, 1939 farewell scene of famed # 4 ball player Lou Gehrig (Gary Cooper), afflicted with the uncurable disease of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in his mid-30s, first accompanied by his supportive and tearful wife Eleanor (Teresa Wright) in the dark tunnel leading to the infield
  • his sad farewell to his fans and teammates and the delivery of his speech at a microphone at home plate as it echoed throughout Yankee Stadium with 62,000 in attendance: ("...People all say that I've had a bad break. But today -- today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth")

The Princess Bride (1987)

In Rob Reiner's romantic fantasy comedy based on screenwriter William Goldman's novel:

  • the film's sly parody of the subgenre of fantasy-adventure films
  • the scenes of the Grandfather (Peter Falk) telling sick and bedridden 10 year old Grandson (Fred Savage) about the story (from the S. Morgenstern novel The Princess Bride) of the heroic noble knight (originally farm boy Westley played by Cary Elwes), who was presumed dead, and his return as black-garbed Dread Pirate Robert to reunite with and save his beautiful fair-haired princess-lover Buttercup (Robin Wright Penn) from her evil fiancee Prince Humperdink (Chris Sarandon), the Crown Prince of Florin
  • the storyteller's regaling about the swashbuckling, chatty cliff-top sword duel between caricatured drunken Spanish master swordsman Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) and the mysterious masked Man in Black named Dread Pirate Roberts (Cary Elwes - Westley in disguise) - with clever-thinking Inigo's switch of his sword from his left hand to his better right hand: ("I am not left-handed") and the Man in Black's reply: "I'm not left-handed either..."; eventually the Man in Black bested Inigo
  • the dreaded 'Fire Swamp' (with giant rodents and quicksand)
  • the wine-poisoning "battle-of-wits" death scene in which brilliant Sicilian kidnapper and self-described 'genius' Vizzini (Wallace Shawn) was given a choice between drinking from two wine goblets by black-masked and garbed Dread Pirate Robert -- one of which contained an odorless but deadly iocaine powder - in a contest to decide the fate of kidnapped Princess Bride/Buttercup; although Vizzini cleverly switched the goblets, thinking he could fool the Dread Pirate/Westley when his back was turned, it was in vain, however, since the black-garbed man dosed both drinks (he was immune to the killer powder); while Vizzini laughed about his cleverness and explained: "You only think I guessed wrong! That's what's so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders!" - he fell over dead in the middle of a boisterous laugh
  • the revelation that the Dread Pirate Robert was actually Westley, after Buttercup pushed him down a steep hill as he shouted out his familiar: "As you wish" - and she knew that he was her beloved Westley ("Oh my sweet Westley, what have I done?"); she tossed herself off the top of the hill and tumbled to his side, where he told her: "Death cannot stop true love. What it can do is delay it for awhile" - and they kissed
  • the irrascible, Jewish couple: exiled, cynical magician 'Miracle Max' (Billy Crystal), Prince Humperdinck's disgruntled former employee, and his screeching wife Valerie (Carol Kane), with Max's famous lines: ("Have fun storming the castle!" and "He's only mostly dead!")
  • Inigo's vengeful quote to six-fingered Count Tyrone Rugen (Christopher Guest): ("Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die")
  • the fairytale ending with a successful rescue and romantic kiss between Wesley and Buttercup, described by the Grandfather as: ("Since the invention of the kiss, there have been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind -- THE END")
  • the Grandson's bedtime request to have the story read again the next day - and the Grandfather's reply: "As you wish"

The Prisoner of Zenda (1937)

In director John Cromwell's and David O. Selznick's classic production of Anthony Hope's swashbuckling adventure:

  • the romantic pairing of Rudolph/King Rudolf (Ronald Colman) and Princess Flavia (Madeleine Carroll), especially in their garden scene together
  • the exciting swordfight (with cross-cut dialogue) between impersonating King Rudolf and villain Rupert (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.)
  • the final departure scene between the two lovers

Private Benjamin (1980)

In Howard Zieff's comedy about military life for a misfit female:

  • Best Actress-nominated Goldie Hawn as pampered, naive socialite Judy Benjamin, who randomly joined the Army after her husband Yale (Albert Brooks) died in bed on her wedding night
  • her hysterically-clueless complaints to her harsh, strict commanding officer Capt. Doreen Lewis (Oscar-nominated Eileen Brennan): ("See, I did join the Army, but I joined a different Army. I joined the one with the condos and the private rooms...To be truthful with you, I can't sleep in a room with 20 strangers...And I mean look at this place. The army couldn't afford drapes? I'll be up at the crack of dawn here!")
  • Lewis' response to Pvt. Benjamin's complaints about the dirty bathroom -- forcing her to scrub them with only her electric tooth-brush
  • the practical joke revenge against Lewis - blue dye in the shower nozzle, forcing her to wear clown-white makeup during the enlisted soldier graduation
  • Benjamin's single-handed capture of the entire Red team in an Army training exercise
  • her rebuffing of a General's sexual advances
  • her marriage over the Army's objections to French artist Henri Alan Tremont (Armand Assante in his first major film role)
  • the famous closing long shot of Pvt. Benjamin walking away from the altar in her wedding dress when she discovered Henri's male chauvinism and unfaithfulness with his ex-lover

(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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