Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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

Red Dust (1932)

In director Victor Fleming's romance drama:

  • the characters of sexy Saigon prostitute-on-the-run Vantine (Jean Harlow) and an equally sexy and unshaven Indochinese rubber plantation manager Dennis Carson (Clark Gable)
  • Vantine's infamous nude bath in a rain barrel scene (when she requested both: "Gee, can't a girl take a bath in privacy?" and "Denny, scrub my back")
  • her bawdy humor including the cleaning of a parrot's cage scene
  • the love scene of Carson's rescue of virginal (but married) upper-class adulteress Barbara "Babs" Willis (Mary Astor) in his arms during a torrential rainstorm in the jungle
  • their forbidden kiss that he took from her once they reached shelter
  • the final scene in which Vantine helped Carson recuperate from a gunshot wound (delivered by a jealous "Babs" involved in a love triangle) - she read him a newspaper story about a rabbit that went hippity-hop, hippity-hop, while he made little walking motions with his fingers up her thigh and moved his hand up her leg

The Red House (1947)

In Delmer Daves' gothic, low-budget horror noir-thriller with the chilling music of Miklos Rozsa:

  • the character of haunted, deeply-troubled and reclusive, wooden-legged farmer Pete Morgan (Edward G. Robinson) who accidentally murdered his former girlfriend and her husband in a 'red house' - and then raised their child since she was an infant - now 15 year-old adopted step-daughter Meg (Allene Roberts) without her knowing
  • the scene of him talking to her while she was swimming and derangedly calling her "Jeanie": ("This is the way it could always be, Jeanie. We don't need anybody else")
  • the scene of the scary walk in the woods in a rainstorm by her teenaged classmate Nath Storm (Lon McCallister) too close to the mysterious red house marked with a "No Trespassing" sign that held secrets of the past

Red River (1948)

In Howard Hawks' great western classic similar to the story of Mutiny on the Bounty:

  • the scene of Tom Dunson's (John Wayne) tough challenge and statement of ground rules to his cowhands the night before the treacherous cattle drive up the Chisholm Trail: ("There'll be no quitting along the way, not by me and not by you")
  • his order to foster son Matt (Montgomery Clift in his debut film role) - "Take 'em to Missouri, Matt!"
  • the scene on the morning of the start of the epic cattle drive in which the camera panned 360 degrees around to view the herd and the cowboys and the quick-cutting montage of each of the cowboys crying out to get the doggies movin' ("Yee-Hah!")
  • the stupendous sequences of the cattle stampede and the Red River crossing
  • the homosexual-tinged scene between Cherry (John Ireland) and Matt when they compared each other's guns and shooting abilities
  • the funeral sequence in which a cloud passed over the sun and cast a shadow on the distant mountain
  • the mutinous confrontation between Matt and an enraged Tom Dunson on the trail
  • the final savage, long-lasting brawl between them and their ultimate reconciliation through Tess Millay's (Joanne Dru) intervention

The Red Shoes (1948, UK)

In Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's surrealistic fairytale masterpiece - the best ballet film ever made:

  • the magnificent and beautiful color cinematography
  • the film's magical highlight - the 20-minute stylized "Red Shoes" ballet (based upon Hans Christian Andersen's children's story) with young, red-headed prima ballerina Victoria (Vicky) Page's (Moira Shearer) performance as a dancer who died because of her obsessive need to dance with her shoes
  • the image of the audience becoming a roaring ocean coastline behind the conductor-composer Julian Craster (Marius Goring)
  • the Svengali-like ballet producer and impresario Boris Lermontov (Anton Walbrook) and his jealousy over the romance between Vicky and her husband Julian
  • the painful struggle and choice between career or art (ballet) and heart-felt love
  • the melodramatic tragic death scene when the broken-hearted Vicky fell to her death just before an encore concert presentation of The Red Shoes ballet - the controlling red ballet slippers willfully took her from the theatre to a balcony overlook and forcefully pulled her off (into the path of an oncoming train on the tracks below) - her death was a real-life recreation of the role she was playing in the 'Red Shoes' ballet
  • the closeup of her bloody legs (and tights) and feet wearing the shoes
  • her request that Julian remove her red ballet shoes before her death
  • the film's final images of the ballet being performed as planned without her (with a spotlight shining on the floor where she would have been dancing) and the announcement: "There will be no performance of The Red Shoes tonight"

The Remains of the Day (1993, UK)

In producer Ismail Merchant's and director James Ivory's film about a proper English butler (adapted from Kazuo Ishiguro's 1988 novel):

  • the stunning scene in which rigidly polite British butler Stevens (Anthony Hopkins) was reluctant to reveal the book he was reading ("a sentimental old love story") to flirtatious housekeeper Miss Kenton (Emma Thompson), with a look of rapt longing and desire on his face, after she asked: ("Are you reading a racy book?...What is it? Let me see it. Let me see your book....Why won't you show me your book?...What's in that book? Come on, let me see. Or are you protecting me? Is that what you're doing? Would I be shocked? Would it ruin my character? Let me see it"); he admitted embarrassingly: ("I read these books, any books, to develop my command and knowledge of the English language. I read to further my education, Miss Kenton.")
  • the final farewell scene of urgent, but unfulfilled and repressed longing and love between Miss Kenton (now Mrs. Benn) and Stevens in a rainstorm - he wished her well in the future: ("You must take good care of yourself, Mrs. Benn...You must try to do all you can to make these years happy ones for yourself and for your husband. We may never meet again, Mrs. Benn. That is why I am permitting myself to be so personal, if you will forgive me."); When she was about to depart on a bus, they shared a lingering handshake. Stevens tipped his hat to her as the bus pulled away.
  • Stevens finally showed an outward emotion of regret when he let himself cry afterwards in his car. The splattering raindrops on the windshield obscured his own tears.

Repo Man (1984)

In director/scriptwriter Alex Cox's debut cult film about car repossession in Los Angeles:

  • the iconic 'Holy Grail' existence of a glowing white-light thing (a weapons-grade plutonium neutron bomb or the remains of four aliens?) in the trunk of a 1964 Chevy Malibu - that caused a highway motorcycle patrol officer in the film's opening to immediately vaporize down to his semi-melted leather boots

Repulsion (1965, UK)

In director Roman Polanski's psychological thriller (his first English language film):

  • the progression of the increasing insanity of sexually-repressed beautician Carol (Catherine Deneuve) accompanied by the sounds of a ticking clock and dripping faucet
  • two disturbing scenes of rape (one hallucinatory and one real) - with her retaliatory slashing out with a razor and murdering her landlord (Patrick Wymark) in the second instance
  • her brutal murder of Michael (Ian Hendry) by beating him with a candlestick and immersing his body in a bathtub full of water
  • the equally-startling hallucinatory images of cracks appearing in the wall and grasping phantom hands reaching out at her
  • shots of plates of rotting food with flies including an uncooked and skinned rabbit
  • the scene of Carol ironing with an unplugged iron
  • the thematic zoom-out and zoom-in on Carol's eye during the opening credits and at film's end when the camera zoomed into a family photograph with a young, mad-looking Carol

Requiem for a Dream (2000)

In Darren Aronofsky's unforgettable anti-drug cautionary tale:

  • the inventive, rapid and stylistic jump cuts, split screens, extreme closeups, assaultive audio, and distorted images in the unrated (originally rated NC-17) film's tense and final 15 minutes (assembled in a montage) to illustrate how lives were utterly shattered and affected by diet pills and stronger drugs
  • the scenes of crazed, crash-dieting and addicted, lonely widow Sara (Oscar-nominated Ellen Burstyn) in her Brighton Beach apartment losing touch with reality and hallucinating that her carnivorous refrigerator had broken free from the wall and attacked her, while she starred in a TV game show wearing her favorite red dress, and suffered electro-shock therapy
  • the harrowing scene of heroin-hooked Harry Goldfarb (Jared Leto) having his painfully-infected arm amputated (due to intravenous injections) while his girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) prostituted herself in a decadent lesbian orgy to raise money to support her addiction

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

In writer Quentin Tarantino's debut scripted and directed film about a crime-gone-wrong:

  • the opening credits in which the jewel robbery gang (composed of five total strangers) walked toward the camera to the tune of "Little Green Bag"
  • in the opening scene, the breakfast table conversation of the group of criminals about Madonna's "Like a Virgin" and tipping
  • the final de-briefing scene (in an abandoned L.A. warehouse) before the failed jewelry heist when the robbery gang members decided to adopt anonymous pseudonyms of color-coded names (Brown, White, Blonde, Blue, Orange, and Pink)
  • the violent and menacing torture scene following the robbery in their hideout in which suspicious, psychotic gang member Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) excised the ear of cop-hostage Marvin Nash (Kirk Baltz) (accompanied by the Stealer's Wheel song on the radio Stuck in the Middle With You) and then threatened to set his gasoline-doused victim on fire
  • Mr. Orange (Tim Roth) painfully bleeding to death from a bullet in the stomach
  • the Mexican stand-off and shoot-out scene

Return of the Jedi (1983) (aka Star Wars: Episode VI)

In the final episode of the Star Wars trilogy's science-fiction space adventure - by director Richard Marquand:

  • the iconic view of captured and enslaved Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), wearing a gold-plated metal bikini and held as a chained-up 'slave girl' by crime lord Jabba the Hutt in his palace on the planet of Tatooine, aboard the luxury sail barge Khetanna
  • the thrilling Speeder Bikes chase sequence through the trees with POV shots on the forested moon of Endor
  • the passionate and exciting scene of Luke Skywalker's (Mark Hamill) climactic lightsaber duel with his own father - Darth Vader (voice by James Earl Jones) before the evil Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) - followed by the unmasking of Darth Vader (David Prowse) to reveal a pale and withered face before dying

Reversal of Fortune (1990, US/Jp./UK)

In director Barbet Schroeder's crime procedural based on Dershowitz's non-fiction book:

  • the cryptic, social-climbing, upper-class aristocrat character of Claus von Bulow (Oscar-winning Jeremy Irons), who was suspected of attempting to murder his American heiress-wife Sunny (Glenn Close) with an injection of a lethal dose of insulin
  • the lunch meeting scene at a posh restaurant when von Bulow noted how the trial ("the unpleasantness") had elevated his seating status
  • the famous, brilliantly shot exchange between Harvard defense lawyer/attorney Alan Dershowitz (Ron Silver) and Von Bulow - his face half-hidden in the back seat of his dark limousine: (Alan: "You're a very strange man" - Claus: "You have no idea")
  • the flashback narration by a comatose Sunny of her disintegrating marriage with Claus
  • the two versions of Sunny's lapse into a coma in her bathroom - one proving Claus innocent, the other guilty
  • the darkly comic ending when Claus asked for a bottle of insulin from a checkout girl (Constance Shulman) who recognized him from a magazine

Ride the High Country (1962)

In Sam Peckinpah's classic revisionist western - his feature film directorial debut:

  • the classic farewell and death scene of Steve (Joel McCrea) in which he said: "...So long, partner"

Rififi (1955, Fr.) (aka Du Rififi Chez les Hommes)

In director Jules Dassin's quintessential crime-caper heist film about the ingenious robbery of a Parisian jewelry shop:

  • the elaborate, 28-minute silent heist sequence (about a quarter of the film's running time), without dialogue or background music (and only natural sounds), by chiseling through a cement ceiling in an upstairs apartment

The Right Stuff (1983)

In director Philip Kaufman's adaptation of Tom Wolfe's best-selling non-fiction novel:

  • the scene of the seven pioneering Project Mercury astronauts walking down a tunnel toward launch
  • the many exhilarating flying sequences
  • the iconic sight of 'right stuff' test pilot Chuck Yeager (Oscar-nominated Sam Shepard) walking away from the wreckage of his plane smoldering behind him in his obsessive and ultimately successful attempts to break the sound barrier in the late 40s

(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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