Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Raging Bull (1980)

In this black and white masterpiece (by cinematographer Michael Chapman) from director Martin Scorsese, adapted from LaMotta's 1970 autobiography:

  • the opening credits sequence (in semi-color) of middle-weight Jake LaMotta (Robert DeNiro) shadow-boxing in a boxing ring
  • Jake's remarkable physical transformation throughout the film as he gained 50 lbs.
  • the brutal and graphic boxing sequences (often in slow-motion with the spray of blood onto the audience and the violent sounds of impact)
  • the memorable tracking shot that followed Jake from the locker room through the crowd and into the ring
  • Jake's taunt to Sugar Ray: "You never got me down, Ray!"
  • the open-air city swimming pool scene with Jake's first view and lustful attraction toward fifteen-year old, blonde "neighborhood girl" Vickie (20 year old Cathy Moriarty)
  • the scenes with manager-brother Joey (Joe Pesci) - especially Jake's relentless questioning when he suspiciously asked: "You f--ked my wife?"
  • the home movies sequence
  • the scene of Jake's imprisonment in the stockade in Dade County when he slammed his head, fists, and then his arms into the cinder-block cell wall ("Why? Why? Why?...Why'd you do it? Why? You're so stupid")
  • Jake's pitiful end as an overweight and bloated night-club emcee - including his recitation in front of a dressing room mirror of Brando's famous On the Waterfront "I coulda been a contender" speech in the taxi-cab scene

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

In director Steven Spielberg's rousing blockbuster adventure-serial film filled with comic-book style, cliffhangers and many great action stunts:

  • 1930s archaeology professor Indiana Jones' (Harrison Ford) signature image: a brown leather flight jacket, a bullwhip and a snappy fedora
  • the stimulating opening sequence in a booby-trapped jungle cave (the "Give me the whip" and "Throw me the idol" moment and the fate of traitorous Satipo) featuring an immense rolling boulder (and Indy's dash away from it)
  • Indy's pursuit by a tribe of cannibals in a tropical setting toward an awaiting escape plane, where he first exhibited his fear of snakes to the pilot: "I hate snakes, Jock. I hate 'em"
  • Indy's exciting pursuit on horseback of a Nazi truck caravan
  • his calm and casual execution (with one shot from a gun) of a massive, menacing, black-garbed, Arabian swordsman (stuntman Terry Richards) exhibiting spectacular swordsplay in a bazaar
  • Indy's piteously fearful and weary sigh when he realized he would have to descend into a pit of asps and cobras at the ancient tomb - The Well of Souls: "Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?"
  • the terrific finale when the Ark of the Covenant (reportedly containing fragments of the Ten Commandments) was opened by the Nazis and the horrors of hell were released while nearby Jones was tied to a pole with sharp-witted love interest Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen)
  • his comment to Marion Ravenwood about his prowess: "It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage"
  • the deeply ironic final shot (homage to a similar closing Citizen Kane (1941) "toss that junk" scene) in which a warehouseman pushed the crated Ark down a long aisle formed by huge stacks of similar crates in an enormous government warehouse

Rain Man (1988)

In Barry Levinson's bittersweet comedy/drama:

  • the tremendous characterization of idiot savant autistic Raymond Babbitt (Oscar-winning Dustin Hoffman)
  • his accurate visual count of the number of toothpicks spilled out of a box (246)
  • his memorable quotes: ("I'm an excellent driver," "I get my underwear at K-Mart in Cincinnati, Ohio," "K-Mart sucks," "Four minutes to Wapner" (referring to Judge Wapner of The People's Court TV show that aired in the 80s), and "Qantas never crashed")
  • the memorable cross-country trip with slick, car-dealing brother Charlie ("main man") (Tom Cruise)
  • their gambling experiences in Las Vegas
  • the scene of Raymond's first gentle (and "wet") kiss from Susanna (Valeria Golina) in an elevator
  • Charlie's teaching Raymond how to dance
  • the brothers' discussion about Abbott and Costello's 'Who's On First?' comedy routine that Raymond didn't understand
  • their emotional farewell scene at an Amtrak train station - especially when they touched heads together and the camera slowly zoomed in on the moment

Raising Arizona (1987)

In the Coen Brothers' wild, fast-paced, Looney Tune-like screwball comedy/fantasy:

  • the eleven-minute opening sequence (before the credits) of the first meetings between the two protagonists during multiple returns to prison: hapless petty crook H. I. McDunnough (Nicolas Cage) and female police officer and photographer Edwina or "Ed" (Holly Hunter)
  • their quick courtship/marriage, followed by HI's off-screen narration about the loss of their happy "salad days" in a desert trailer with the news of distraught Edwina's barren infertility: ("Edwina's insides were a rocky place where my seed could find no purchase")
  • the birth of the Arizona quints and the childless couple's decision to execute a kidnapping of one of the Arizona quintuplets fathered by shady unpainted-furniture salesman magnate Nathan Arizona Sr. (Trey Wilson) when they discovered that they couldn't adopt due to his criminal record: ("Biology and the prejudices of others conspired to keep us childless")
  • the actual scene of the madcap kidnapping of 'Nathan Jr.' in the nursery, and the young boy's delivery to Edwina as HI tossed her Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care book ("Here's the instructions")
  • the slapstick near-disastrous, brilliantly-timed convenience store robbery to steal Huggies diaperscaper in which H.I. (with a stocking over his head) robbed the store of its cash -- along with Huggies diapers: ("I'll be taking these Huggies and whatever cash ya got... And make it quick, I'm in dutch with the wife") - and the hysterical, deadpan one-liner by a hayseed hick (John O'Donnal) in a pickup truck when H.I. tried to commandeer it: "Son, you've got a panty on your head"
  • also the hilarious scene the morning after the crime of unfinished-furniture magnate/father Nathan Arizona Sr. being questioned by the press, cops, and the FBI while being fingerprinted: ("Damn it, are you boys gonna chase down yer leads, or you gonna sit around drinkin' coffee in the one house in the state where I know my boy ain't at?!")
  • the crude duo of H.I.'s two disreputable, loud, slobbish, ex-con cellmates - fugitive buddies and brothers Gale and Evelle Snoats (John Goodman and William Forsythe) who used HI's place as a hideout and also stole the baby
  • the frightening and diabolical character -- "the Lone Biker of the Apocalypse" bounty hunter Leonard Smalls (Randall 'Tex' Cobb) who pursued everyone on his Harley for the baby - culminating in a frenetic chase through an Arizona town
  • the final battle between a vastly overmatched H.I. and Leonard -- H.I. killed him by accidentally pulling a pin from Leonard's grenade bandolero
  • the scene in which H.I. and Ed returned the baby (T.J. Kuhn)
  • H.I.'s concluding dream of the future: ("...This whole dream, was it wishful thinking? Was I just fleein' reality, like I know I'm liable to do? But me'n Ed, we can be good, too... and it seemed real. It seemed like us. And it seemed like, well... our home...")

Rambling Rose (1991)

In director Martha Coolidge's coming-of-age drama:

  • the realistic late-night scene when the sexually-uninhibited Rose (Laura Dern) taught 13 year old Buddy Hillyer (Lukas Haas) about the facts of life and female anatomy by letting him sexually touch her privates under her clothes in bed. At first, she told him: "You're just a child and wouldn't understand, but that kind of thing can stir a girl up." As he touched her, he asked: "Am I hurtin' you?" and as she breathed deeply, she responded: "No. No, you're not hurtin' me. You'd just better quit it, Buddy, is all..." before she was brought to a shuddering orgasm. Afterwards, he asked: "What's the matter, Rose? Are you sick or somethin'?" She replied: "I've robbed the cradle and fell into Hell."

Random Harvest (1942)

In director Mervyn LeRoy's romantic drama:

  • the marriage proposal scene between Charles (Ronald Colman) and former wife/secretary Paula (Greer Garson) ("My life began with you") during a picnic
  • the final revelatory scene at the cottage in which amnesiac Charles unraveled clues and responded to being called "Smithie, oh Smithie, oh darling" - embracing and kissing his long-lost love

Rashomon (1950, Jp.)

In director Akira Kurosawa's cinematic masterpiece about the nature of truth - the winner of the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 1951:

  • the mysterious 12th century medieval story of a criminal incident that took place in the woods -- bandit Tajomaru's (Toshiro Mifune) alleged rape of Masako (Machiko Kyo) and murder of her samurai husband (Masayuki Mori)
  • from different points of view - the telling of the crime (in flashbacks) witnessed by the four individuals (the bandit, the woman, the dead man through a medium's testimony, and a woodcutter (Takeshi Shimura))

Ratatouille (2007)

In director Brad Bird's computer-animated Pixar film - the winner of the Best Animated Feature Film Oscar:

  • the early sequence of a gun-toting granny battling against a rat infestation in her country home
  • also blue French chef country rat Remy's (voice of Patton Oswalt) visualization of taste to his older indiscriminate red-colored brother Emile (voice of Peter Sohn): ("Each flavor was totally unique, BUT... combine one flavor with another, and... something NEW was created")
  • the scene of Remy convincing fired, non-culinary-skilled garbage boy Alfredo Linguini (voice of Lou Romano) (revealed later to be famed but deceased master chef Gusteau's son) to not drown him in a glass bottle, but to have them team up together (Linguini: "I can't cook but you can, right?")
  • Remy's new dubbed name "Little Chef" because he pulled on Linguini's hair (while hiding in the young man's toque hat) to direct his motions like a puppeteer in order to teach him how to cook
  • the publication of snobbish, hard-to-please and harsh food critic Anton Ego's (voice of Peter O'Toole) glowing, self-actualizing review of restaurant Gusteau's cuisine (regarding the traditional dish of ratatouille) prepared by Remy: (..."Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source") - reminding him of eating the dish as a boy
  • the final shot of Linguini and Remy's new bistro named "Ratatouille" in the city of Paris

Reality Bites (1994)

In director/actor Ben Stiller's debut film, a definitive Generation-X film set among a group of college graduates in Houston, Texas:

  • the scene of the post-collegiate friends spontaneously dancing around a gas station Food Mart (while buying junk food) to the song "My Sharona" on the radio

ReAnimator (1985)

In director Stuart Gordon's cult comedy-horror film - a combination mad zombie and mad scientist film (and a retelling of the original Frankenstein films), from a series of stories by H.P. Lovecraft:

  • Jeffrey Combs as third year medical student Dr. Herbert West - an incorrigible and obsessed 'mad-scientist' with a reanimating fluorescent green reagent
  • the most infamous scene of a naked Megan Halsey (Barbara Crampton) on a laboratory gurney with lecherous Dr. Hill's (David Gale) reanimated, disembodied 'undead' head next to her, aroused by the sight of her. After massaging both of her breasts, he leaned over her with his head (held by his own body) and managed to speak in a gravely voice, while trying to kiss her breasts: "I've always admired your beauty, my dear. I think I've always loved you. (She screamed and attempted to push him away.) And you will love me. You will!" As she protested: "Please stop, let me go," he attempted to provide oral sex ('head') to Megan, but was interrupted by West
  • the concluding battle scene in the medical school's hospital room with reactivated corpses and body parts flying everywhere

Rear Window (1954)

In Alfred Hitchcock's superb thriller:

  • the opening voyeuristic sequence of efficient visual story-telling in which the camera tracked out through the windows of a Greenwich Village apartment, and introduced the setting and entire complex - a lower courtyard and garden, surrounding Lower East Side apartment structures; followed by a long panning camera movement to view the lives of some of the apartment neighbors, including an older couple sleeping on an outside fire escape to avoid the heat, a blonde exerciser, and a tour of the subject in the camera's apartment - to identify a man immobilized in a wheelchair with his leg in a cast
  • the scene of high-fashion model and girlfriend Lisa Carol Fremont (Grace Kelly) glamorously appearing and performing in front of photographer L.B. "Jeff" Jefferies (James Stewart)
  • the confined Jeff's "peeping tom" static camera point-of-view from his Greenwich Village apartment's rear window
  • the discovery of the poisoned dog
  • the suspenseful scene of Lisa's tense exploration and search of suspected murderer Lars' (Raymond Burr) apartment just before he returned - and Jefferies as he watched powerlessly and helplessly from across the courtyard when she was trapped
  • Lars' following of the sight-line of the signal sent by Lisa (behind her back) to Jefferies in his apartment
  • the tension-filled finale in which Jeff was confronted by the killer in his own apartment and fended him off with a flash camera
  • the ending shot of a pants-wearing Lisa reading Harper's Bazaar
  • the deeply ironic final shot of a window shade being pulled down on a voyeuristic film audience

Rebecca (1940)

In Alfred Hitchcock's Best Picture-winning first American film:

  • the opening scene of the revelation of the ruins of Manderley as the second Mrs. De Winter (Joan Fontaine) in voice-over described her flashbacked dream: ("Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again")
  • the scene of wealthy Mr. Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier) contemplating suicide
  • the first appearance of the stern and unsmiling housekeeper Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson)
  • the chilling scene of Mrs. Danvers touring the closed-off room of Rebecca with the second Mrs. De Winter and showing her clothes and furnishings - while caressing Rebecca's things with a lesbian-fetish interest
  • the radiant new bride gliding down the stairs in Rebecca's dress for the costume ball and being told harshly by Maxim to take the dress off
  • the scene of Mrs. Danvers urging the second Mrs. De Winter to jump to her death from the window
  • the haunted Mr. De Winter's dramatic revelation that Maxim despised Rebecca: ("You thought I loved Rebecca? You thought that? I hated her!"), and the dramatic confession by Maxim that her body would be found: ("I put it there"), his torment (by guilt, not love), and his reenactment of Rebecca's death in the boat house
  • in the final sequence, the death of Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca's bedroom and the movement of destructive flames approaching an embroidered, monogrammed "R" on the pillowcase

Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

In director Nicholas Ray's seminal film about confused 50s youth:

  • the scenes of red-jacketed Jim Stark (James Dean) exhibiting alienation and frustration with his parents - especially his agonized cry at the police station: "You're tearing me apart!"
  • Judy's (Natalie Wood) "dirty tramp" speech
  • Jim's first words to Judy in his neighborhood and her reply: ("You live here, don't you?" -- "Who lives?")
  • the choreographed, tense knife-blade fight scene outside the planetarium between HS newcomer Jim and challenger Buzz (Corey Allen)
  • the "chickie run" scene with Buzz's hot-rod car plunging over the cliff edge and Jim's offering of his outstretched hand to Judy
  • Jim's appeal to his parents following the tragedy: ("They called me chicken") and his enraged reaction at his cowardly father: ("Dad, stand up for me!")
  • Jim and Judy's first kiss
  • the scene of Jim, Judy, and misfit Plato (Sal Mineo) exploring a deserted mansion and an empty swimming pool
  • Judy's profession of love for Jim
  • the final tragic, senseless and violent scene at the planetarium, when Plato was shot down by police when he rushed at them with an unloaded gun, and Jim tried to protect his friend

The Red Badge of Courage (1951)

In director John Huston's historical epic based upon Stephen Crane's Civil War novel:

  • the scene of the Union general promising to share supper with half a dozen different platoons after the upcoming battle
  • the scene in which the Union officer back behind the line of fighting ordered a suicide charge but called his men cowards when they ran
  • the intensely realistic battle sequences

(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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