Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions
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Rome, Open City (1945, It.) (aka Roma: Citta Aperta)

In Roberto Rosselini's landmark, neo-realistic post-war classic:

  • the shocking, realistic scene in which pregnant widow Pina (Anna Magnani) ran after a military truck hysterically screaming the name of her lithographer fiancee and underground leader Francesco (Francesco Grandjacquet) who was being taken away, when she was abruptly machine-gunned and killed on her planned wedding day, in front of her ten year-old son Marcello (Vito Annichiarico) and brave parish priest Don Pietro (Aldo Fabrizi), who afterwards rushed to her body


Romeo and Juliet (1968, UK/It.)

In director Franco Zeffirelli's Shakespearean romance-drama of star-crossed lovers:

  • the two young teenage leads, especially the beautiful Olivia Hussey as Juliet
  • Romeo (Leonard Whiting) and Juliet's first meeting at the Capulets' dance and their "palm to palm" dialogues
  • the classic balcony scene
  • the rousing crowd and realistic fight scenes
  • the wedding scene at the altar of the chapel
  • their controversial nude scene during their honeymoon
  • Romeo's pre-poisoning speech: ("Ah, dear Juliet, why art thou yet so fair? Shall I believe that unsubstantial Death is amorous, and that the lean abhorred monster keeps thee here in dark to be his paramour?...), and then his taking of poison: ("Eyes look your last. Arms, take your last embrace. And lips, o you the doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss a dateless bargain to engrossing death. Here's to my love! Thus with a kiss, I die")
  • the tragic ending sequences including Juliet's potion speech: ("What's here? Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end. (She tried to drink from the poison vial) O churl! Drunk all, and left no friendly drop to help me after! I will kiss thy lips. Haply some poison yet doth hang on them to make me die with a restorative. Thy lips are warm. Oh, no, no!")
  • Juliet's "happy dagger" suicide to join Romeo in death: ("O happy dagger! This is thy sheath. There rust and let me die")
  • the climactic ending with the double funeral procession and tolling bells, when the Prince pronounced judgment on the two feuding families: ("Where be these enemies? Capulet! Montague! See what a scourge is laid upon your hate; That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love; And I, for winking at your discords too, Have lost a brace of kinsmen; All are punished. All are punished! (ECHO: punished!))"
  • the final off-screen narration of Laurence Olivier: ("A glooming peace this morning with it brings. The sun for sorrow will not show his head, For never was a story of more woe, Than this of Juliet and her Romeo")





(William Shakespeare's) Romeo + Juliet (1996)

In Australian writer/director Baz Luhrmann's hip, retro-futuristic version of Shakespeare's tragic play about star-crossed lovers - a flamboyant modernizing with gang warfare between the Montague and Capulet Boys, guns, MTV-style editing and filming, with a rock soundtrack:

  • the scene of lovely Juliet (17 year-old Claire Danes) and Romeo's (Leonardo di Caprio) first meeting - the young couple from opposing families were at a costume ball, where "bright angel" Juliet was wearing angel wings, while he was dressed in knight's armor
  • their first glances at each other on opposite sides of an aquarium tank (with colorful fish) where they flirted, and soon kissed each other after love at first sight
  • following the crucial balcony scene, they plunged into a swimming pool where they kissed below and above water
  • in the climactic double-suicide scene at film's end, Juliet regained consciousness on a flower-strewn altar lit by 2,000 candles just as Romeo was poisoning himself and expired
  • she then held a semi-automatic gun to her head and pulled the trigger to join him





Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997)

In director David Mirkin's buddy comedy:

  • the early scenes of the interplay between two long-time friends - both carefree, ditzy LA airheads who lived together in a fourth-floor walk-up in Venice: vapid blonde S. Californian Romy White (Mira Sorvino) and empty-headed Michele Weinberger (Lisa Kudrow)
  • after the opening credits, their watching of Pretty Woman: "Even though we've watched Pretty Woman like 36 times, I never get tired of making fun of it", and reminiscing about their high school years while looking through a yearbook
  • Romy's description of her diet to lose weight: "I have been trying this new fat free diet I invented. All I've had to eat for the past six days are gummy bears, jelly beans, and candy corns"
  • the scene of the two dancing at the club by themselves (Saturday Night Fever-style), when Michele suggested that they have sex together to see if they were lesbian, and Romy responded: "Just the thought of having sex with another woman creeps me out. But if we're not married by the time we're 30, ask me again"
  • Romy's encounter with her co-worker Ramon (Jacob Vargas) at the Jaguar dealership where she worked, when she pretended that she was orgasming behind closed doors and that she admired his penis, in order to borrow his expensive Jaguar, although at first she told him: "I'm not gonna have sex with you just to borrow your stupid car" but then suggested: "Close the blinds and we'll work something out...Ohh, Ramon! Ohh, Ramon! Ohh! Oh, yes. Mi Capitan, Mi Amor. You are Columbus, and I am America. Discover me, Ramon! Just discover me.... Explosions! The earth is moving!...Is that an earthquake? No, it's Ramon! Ahh! It's Ramon!"; When he suggested: "Man stallion, fill me with your giant love wand!" Romy responded: "What? No, I'm sorry. I don't think so." Ramon: "Well, say something nice about my penis!" Romy: "Oh, Ramon, your penis is so powerful. I'm coming! Okay, thanks. Get off me now"
  • Romy's ludicrous request at a truck-stop for lunch - "some sort of businesswoman's special" - and the waitress' response: "We don't have anything like that"
  • the bragging monologue (a faux, tasteless successful business-woman tale told at Sagebrush High School's 1987 ten-year reunion in Tucson, Arizona) to the A-listers about how overdressed losers Romy and empty-headed Michele invented the glue for Post-It Notes: (Romy: "I invented Post-Its" and Michele: "Um, I invented Post-Its. Actually I invented a special kind of glue....Um, well, ordinarily when you make glue, first you need to thermoset your resin and then after it cools you mix in epoxide, which is really just a fancy-schmancy name for any simple oxygenated adhesive, right? Then I thought maybe, just maybe, you could raise the viscosity by adding a complex glucose derivative during the emulsification process - and it turns out I was right")





A Room With a View (1985, UK)

In director James Ivory's elegant adaptation of E.M. Forster's 1908 novel:

  • the character of young feisty, passionate and ravishing Britisher Miss Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham Carter) whose heart and sexuality were awakened during a chaperoned trip to Florence with her spinister chaperone Aunt Charlotte Bartlett (Maggie Smith)
  • her facing of a choice between sensuous passion (after an unexpected impetuous kiss in a wheat barley field) with handsome and intense free-spirited admirer George Emerson (Julian Sands) and an engagement to prissy suitor Cecil Vyse (Daniel Day-Lewis)
  • the scene in which Lucy discovered George, her brother Freddy (Rupert Graves) and overweight Rev. Mr. Beebe (Simon Callow) swimming naked in a pond and cavorting around
  • the final scene of Lucy honeymooning with new beau George at the Italian pensione where they first met, residing in the "room with a view" and kissing each other at the window


Rope (1948)

In Alfred Hitchcock's first film in color:

  • the unique technique of long periods of uncut action (basically eight 10-minute takes) appearing to make the film one continuous take - with clever splices between takes

Rose Marie (1936)

In W.S. Van Dyke's musical romance:

  • the lovely scenic backdrops
  • the beautiful celebrated duet "Indian Love Call" between Sgt. Bruce (Nelson Eddy) and Marie de Flor (Jeanette MacDonald)

Rosemary's Baby (1968)

In director Roman Polanski's effective horror film - based on Ira Levin's novel:

  • Rosemary's (Mia Farrow) constant torment and guilt regarding her pregnancy and her lapsed Catholicism
  • her hallucinatory recollection of a rape by the devil: ("This is no dream - this is really happening!")
  • the creepy neighbors Minnie Castevet (Oscar-winning Ruth Gordon) and Roman (Sidney Blackmer)
  • her first viewing of the child ("What have you done to it? What have you done to its eyes?") amidst the neighboring Satanic cult; and her uncomprehending response to an answer: ("He has his father's eyes!") with a wild scream: ("What are you talking about?! Guy's eyes are normal! What have you done to him? You maniacs!")
  • her nurturing/maternal response toward the black-draped baby crib and her baby Adrian (Satan's son or the Anti-Christ?)





Roxanne (1987)

In director Fred Schepisi's comedy updating of the 17th century soldier with a giant nose:

  • the marvelous verbal retort/monologue comeback scene in a crowded bar-room in which long-nosed, witty, modern-day love-lorn Cyrano de Bergerac - small-town Washington State fire chief Charlie C. D. Bales (Steve Martin) - challenged a boorish, obnoxious, and drunk bully who had called him "Big-Nose", and suggested twenty better, more imaginative nasal insults for his own oversized nose: ("Obvious: Excuse me, is that your nose, or did a bus park on your face; Meteorological: Everybody take cover, she's going to blow!; Fashionable: You know, you could de-emphasize your nose if you wore something larger, like Wyoming; Personal: Well, here we are, just the three of us; Punctual: All right, Dellman, your nose was on time, but you were fifteen minutes late; Envious: Ooh, I wish I were you. Gosh, to be able to smell your own ear; Naughty: Pardon me sir, some of the ladies have asked if you wouldn't mind putting that thing away; Philosophical: It's not the size of a nose that's important, it's what's in it that matters; ...Sympathetic: Ooh, what happened? Did your parents lose a bet with God?; Complimentary: You must love the little birdies to give them this to perch on; Scientific: Say, does that thing there influence the tides?; Obscure: Whoa, I'd hate to see the grindstone!... Inquiry: When you stop and smell the flowers, are they afraid?; ...Pornographic: Finally, a man who can satisfy two women at once!...")

The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

In Wes Anderson's eccentric dramatic comedy about three dysfunctional siblings:

  • the scene of the suicide of tennis prodigy and artist Richie Tenenbaum (Luke Wilson), who was in pain over his love for Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow), his own adopted sister; he entered into a locked bathroom where he methodically shaved off his beard and hair, and then calmly took his own life by slashing his wrists with the blade from his razor, to the tune of Elliott Smith's "Needle in the Hay"
  • after Richie's bloody body was discovered on the floor of the bathroom by Dudley Heinsbergen (Stephen Lea Sheppard), Richie was rushed to a hospital on a stretcher


Royal Wedding (1951)

In director Stanley Donen's romantic musical:

  • the amazing, most spectacular dance scene ever created - after being lovestruck by Anne Ashmond (Sarah Churchill), Tom Bowen (Fred Astaire) tap-danced energetically in the number "You're All The World To Me" on the walls and ceiling of a London hotel room
    [Note: the set was devised as a rotating cube that rotated at the same speed as the strapped-down camera.]

Ruggles of Red Gap (1935)

In director Leo McCarey's western comedy:

  • the scene of a slightly drunken Marmaduke Ruggles (Charles Laughton) in a Western barroom masterfully reciting Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" to an audience of cowhands and bar drinkers - the film's climactic high point

The Rules of Attraction (2002)

In director Roger Avary's love-triangle romantic comedy:

  • the scene in which the camera tracked a single delicate snowflake (CGI) as it descended and landed on the corner of just-rejected lover Sean Bateman's (James Van Der Beek) left eye - and melted into a tear, after Lauren (Shannyn Sossamon) had broken up with him

The Rules of the Game (1939, Fr.) (aka La Regle du Jeu)

In director Jean Renoir's great classic - a satirical observation of bourgeois life and the social class system:

  • the setting of a weekend hunting party at La Colinière - a French chateau at the start of World War II - for this dark upstairs-downstairs bedroom farce concerning the affairs of the aristocrats and the lowly servants
  • the frequent use of the catchphrase, spoken by director Renoir himself: "Everyone has their reasons"
  • the much celebrated, darkly disturbing "Dance Macabre," after-dinner entertainment provided by the servants of the house, dressed as skeletal figures with umbrellas, who performed a grotesque dance of death and cavorted among the rich audience, eerily foreshadowing the cold murder of lovelorn, philandering pilot André Jurieux (Roland Totaine)
  • the incredible dolly shot from left to right as Robert de la Chesnaye (Marcel Dalio) showed off a large-sized music box on a stage
  • the most famous key scene - the shooting party including the graphic slaughter of a number of pheasants and rabbits - and the metaphoric meaning behind the vivid killings
  • the sweet, heart-breaking scene in which upper-class heiress Christine de la Cheyniest (Nora Gregor) admitted she loved her close friend - the clownish, middle-aged, low-brow Mr. Octave (director Jean Renoir) in a greenhouse where they kissed each other passionately and hopelessly, knowing their love affair was an impossibility



Run Lola Run (1998, Germ.) (aka Lola Rennt)

In director Tom Tykwer's relentlessly-thrilling hit film:

  • the three breath-taking attempts of short red-haired Lola (Franke Potente) to help her drug-dealing boyfriend Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu) by running and acquiring replacement cash of $100,000 marks in 20 minutes so that he didn't have to rob a grocery store - and have them suffer fateful consequences
  • the film's techno/industrial soundtrack and the use of a mix of visual styles
  • Manni's reassuring words to Lola at the film's end after a third successful attempt, asking her: ("Did you run here? Don't worry. Everything's okay. Come on")



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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