Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



S (continued)

Son of Frankenstein (1939)

In Rowland V. Lee's monster film - the second sequel to the original 1931 film:

  • the great mirror scene in which the Frankenstein monster (Boris Karloff for the third and final time) is fascinated by his own reflection
  • his staring at his face, groaning in despair, and then the touching of his hideous features and attempting to rub them away - comparing himself to the normal facial features of Baron Wolf von Frankenstein (Basil Rathbone), son of the monster's creator

The Song of Bernadette (1943)

In director Henry King's inspirational film based on Franz Werfel's best-selling account:

  • the innocent wonderment of sickly French peasant girl Bernadette Soubirous/Mary Bernard (Oscar-winning Jennifer Jones)
  • the scene of her experiencing a vision of the Virgin Mary (uncredited and pregnant Linda Darnell) ("I saw a lady and she was all in white...and she wore a blue girdle and had a golden rose on each foot. I've never seen anything in my life so beautiful") in mid 19th century France
  • the dramatic ending scene when she shows doubting, vicious and jealous Sister Vauzous (Gladys Cooper) her horribly diseased bone afflicted legs when being reprimanded for not suffering enough to have been chosen to see the Virgin
  • Bernadette's death scene where she has a final visitation from the lady (who holds out her arms, smiles, and says "I love you!")
  • her death scene coupled with the film’s climactic final moment when the cold hearted, atheistic local prosecutor Vital Dutour (Vincent Price), dying of throat cancer, stands before the grotto of the Virgin and suffers a crisis of faith

Song of the South (1947)

In Disney's film that has since been accused of racial stereotypes - making it difficult to obtain and view:

  • the live-action and animated sequences
  • the folklore of Brer Rabbit and Joel Chandler Harris' Uncle Remus stories, with three animated sequences featuring Brer Rabbit (including the amusing Tar Baby tale), Brer Fox and Brer Bear
  • the telling of the tales by Uncle Remus (James Baskett)
  • the delightful Oscar-winning song "Zip A Dee Doo Dah"

Sons of the Desert (1933)

In director William Seiter's slapstick comedy:

  • Laurel and Hardy's great sight gags and childish innocence
  • the scene of Stan's consumption of wax apples in the Hardy living room
  • the scene involving an iron tub full of hot scalding water after Oliver feigns illness
  • the scene of their return home from "Hawaii" (wearing leis and carrying pineapples and ukeleles) and being forced to hide in the attic

Sophie's Choice (1982)

In this melodramatic tearjerker by writer/director Alan J. Pakula - based on William Stryon's best-selling novel:

  • the flashback scene of the excruciating, heart-rending 'choice' that Polish-Catholic woman Sophie Zawistowska (Oscar-winning Meryl Streep), now living in Brooklyn, had to make in the Auschwitz concentration camp with a Nazi officer
  • Sophie's choice or decision: "Take my little girl!"

Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)

In director Anatole Litvak's psychological thriller:

  • the final terrifying scene of bed-ridden invalid Leona Stevenson (Barbara Stanwyck) overhearing the murderous plot for her own death by a crossed-signal phone call
  • her frantic, hysterical screams for help as the killer approaches
  • the last line of dialogue - the film's title

The Sound of Music (1965)

In director Robert Wise's great Best Picture-winning family musical:

  • the breathtakingly beautiful opening scene in the Austrian Alps when the helicopter-mounted camera swoops down from the clouds to a hilltop covered with wild flowers and grass where postulant, dirndl-skirted Maria (Oscar-winning Julie Andrews) is rotating, dancing and singing "the hills are alive..."
  • Maria's superb singing voice
  • her role as governess for the seven von Trapp children (lined up and introduced by the Captain (Christopher Plummer) with a whistle)
  • their day excursions around various Salzburg locations
  • with the lilting and inspirational Rodgers and Hammerstein songs and numbers "Do-Re-Mi" and "Edelweiss"
  • the Trapp Family's final performance and flight across the mountains to Switzerland to elude capture by the Nazis

South Pacific (1958)

In Joshua Logan's musical (mostly shot on location on the island of Kauai in Hawaii) based on stories by James A. Michener and on the original Pulitzer Prize-winning stage play by Rodgers and Hammerstein:

  • the singing of "I'm gonna wash that man [Rossano Brazzi as planter Emile De Becque] right out of my hair" by GI nurse Ensign Nellie Forbush (Mitzi Gaynor) on a naval island outpost

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)

In Trey Parker's and Matt Stone's co-written and directed often-vulgar, non-PC, and anarchistic animated musical that showed satirical irreverence toward small towns, the movie ratings system, various religious icons, and much more:

  • the after-effects of kids in the sleepy town of South Park seeing the R-rated Canadian film by the comedy team of Terrance and Phillip: Asses of Fire
  • the scene of muffled-voiced, parka-clad third-grader Kenny (voice of Matt Stone) lighting his flatulence on fire, dying (as usual) and being sent to Heaven (with nude female angels) and then to Hell where Satan was portrayed as the homosexual lover of Saddam Hussein
  • the scene of a USO show with a Winona Ryder-like woman suggested to be propelling Ping-Pong balls from below her waist
  • the declaration of war against Canada - to blame it for the ensuing corruption
  • the foul-mouthed songs including "Blame Canada" and "Uncle F--ker"
  • the anti-profanity sing-along song "It's Easy, MMMKay"

Soylent Green (1973)

In Richard Fleischer's dystopic sci-fi detective thriller set in the year 2022:

  • elderly Sol Roth's (Edward G. Robinson, who was dying during filming) poignant, painless and suicidal death in an euthanasia clinic amidst musical and visual montages of a peaceful green world with a waterfall, with his friend Detective Thorn (Charlton Heston, who shed real tears due to the real-life poignancy of the dying Robinson) in a nearby control room
  • Thorn's horrified discovery of the true composition of the Soylent Corporation's new artificial food product Soylent Green, and his desperate pleas to police chief Hatcher (Brock Peters) as he was dragged away: "It's people. Soylent Green is made out of people. They're making our food out of people. Next thing they'll be breeding us like cattle for food... Soylent Green is people! We've gotta stop them somehow!"

Spartacus (1960)

In Stanley Kubrick's ancient 1st century BC epic:

  • clenched jaw slave-revolt leader Spartacus (producer/actor Kirk Douglas) and his gladiator-training school slave dealer Lentulus Batiatus (Oscar-winning Peter Ustinov)
  • Spartacus' shout from a caged cell: "I am not an animal"
  • the scene of the savage duel/fight to the death with fellow Ethiopian slave Draba (Woody Strode)
  • scenes of Roman decadence and gluttony including the controversial, homo-erotic bath scene in which bisexual Roman patrician Marcus Licinius Crassus (Laurence Olivier) questions young slave Antoninus (Tony Curtis) about his gender/sexual preferences ("Do you eat oysters?...Do you eat snails?....My taste includes both snails and oysters")
  • the independent-minded, slave girl Varinia's (Jean Simmons) near-nude bathing scene
  • the colossal slave rebellion against Rome and massive final battle sequence (with projected fireballs)
  • Marcus Crassus' deal for betrayal - foiled when each devoted slave - in an inspirational scene - proclaims: "I'm Spartacus" to save the real Spartacus from execution by standing up and daring to be identified as such
  • Spartacus' short heroic statement to Antoninus after being asked: "Are you afraid to die, Spartacus?" ("No more than I was to be born")
  • Antoninus' and Spartacus' sword-duel to the death, with Antoninus' dying last words: "I love you, Spartacus, as I love my own father"
  • the last scene of Spartacus' crucifixion along the roadside with his wife and child at his feet (she assures him: "This is your son. He's free, Spartacus, free. He's free. He's free. He'll remember you, Spartacus, because I'll tell him. I'll tell him who his father was, and what he dreamed of")
  • her final tearful words of goodbye ("Oh, my love, my life. Please die, die. Please die, die my love. Oh, God, why can't you die?...(Looking back) Goodbye, my love, my life. Goodbye, good-bye")

Speed (1994)

In director Jan De Bont's superb action film (his debut film), one of the most exciting action thrillers of all time:

  • the set-up: an L.A. city bus rigged with explosives ready to blow if the bus goes under fifty miles per hour
  • the character of mad bomber Howard Payne (Dennis Hopper) with his threatening description of the film's actual plot-pitch: ("Pop quiz, hotshot. There's a bomb on a bus. Once the bus goes 50 miles an hour, the bomb is armed. If it drops below 50, it blows up. What do you do, Jack? What do you do?")
  • Annie (Sandra Bullock) as the terrified passenger driving the fatal bus under the guidance of LA SWAT team specialist Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves)
  • the amazing sequence of the improbable long jump the bus made over a missing section of freeway and other scenes of the bus hurtling through congested LA traffic

Spellbound (1945)

In director Alfred Hitchcock's psychological mystery-thriller:

  • psychiatrist Dr. Constance Petersen's (Ingrid Bergman) love affair with her handsome yet delusional Green Manors mental hospital patient Dr. Anthony Edwardes/John Ballantine (Gregory Peck), selected to replace the outgoing asylum director Dr. Murchison (Leo G. Carroll)
  • the image of the parallel fork lines on the tablecloth, sled tracks and patterns on the bedspread (all lines on a white background that cause anxiety attacks for paranoid, amnesia-suffering Ballantine due to a partial recollection and witnessing of the murder of his analyst - the real Dr. Edwardes - on a ski slope at Gabriel Valley)
  • the scene in which the camera focuses on the straight razor carried in the hand of disturbed Ballantine as he approaches the old doctor
  • the pivotal, brilliant nightmarish dream-remembrance sequence conceived by surrealist artist Salvador Dali involving eyes on a wall, a gambling room, a blackjack (21) card game with blank cards, an angry proprietor, a sloping roof, a wheel, and a pair of pursuing wings
  • the blood-chilling sequence of Ballantine's vivid memory of his young brother's accidental and tragic death by impalement on a spiked fence when he falls from a roof
  • the subjective image of the jealous murderer Dr. Murchison aiming his gun at Dr. Petersen's back after she reveals his treachery - and then after she leaves slowly turning it toward the camera and firing suicidally at himself - with a burst of red color gunflash (in the black and white film)

Spider-Man (2002)

In director Sam Raimi's great comic superhero blockbuster:

  • the believable character of high-school geek Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) who was bitten by a mutant, genetically-altered spider and then able to skip, jump, and leap across NY rooftops
  • the set-piece of his combat in Times Square against his villainous arch-enemy the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe)
  • the widely-marketed image of teen sweetheart Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) pulling down Spidey's tight face mask for an upside-down kiss in the rain

(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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