Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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

Big Wednesday (1978)

In writer/director John Milius' surf classic:

  • the friendship of three young Southern California surfing friends: calm Jack Barlow (William Katt), reluctant, carefree hero Matt Johnson (Jan Michael Vincent), and recklessly masochistic Leroy Smith (Gary Busey)
  • the scene at the draft board of the attempted ruses of the young men to avoid being drafted for Vietnam in 1965, such as feigned insanity, faked homosexuality, etc: (Leroy: "I like pain...any kind of pain....I like fights, I've dove through windows, I've eaten light bulbs, I like sharks, any kind of blood. If you gave me a gun, I'd shoot you in the face just to see what it looked like when the bullet hit"); after a series of blunt questions, Leroy accused the psychologist of picking on him: ("Why are you pickin' on me?...You're tryin' to pick on me"), before he crashed through a door and fought his way down stairs, after which he was put on a stretcher and driven away in an ambulance
  • the friends' reunion at the Great Swell in the spring of 1974 following the war, when they come together to ride the big wave, filmed with gorgeous cinematography

The Birds (1963)

In one of Alfred Hitchcock's landmark horror-thriller classics:

  • the many scenes of birds hovering, gathering, and unexpectedly and randomly attacking everywhere in a coastal town
  • Lydia Brenner's (Jessica Tandy) discovery of the eye-pecked body of farmer Dan Fawcett with an inaudible scream from her open mouth - her Ford truck backfires instead
  • the birds assembling at a children's birthday party
  • the jungle gym scene in which oblivious socialite Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) calmly smoked a cigarette in the schoolyard next to the Bodega Bay school (with children's voices heard singing a sing-song, repetitive nursery rhyme in the background), as birds assembled - Melanie sighted one flying crow that she watched in mid-air, followed its path, as it landed on the crowded equipment behind her
  • the subsequent attack on the children running down the hill from the school
  • the scene of Melanie trapped in a phone booth after a man at the gas station was attacked and engulfed in flames
  • the impressive overhead aerial view of the town with gulls looking down on the disaster
  • the streaming of finches into the house of Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) and the attack on Melanie in the upper floor (without music but only flapping bird sounds)
  • the final ominous scene of hundreds of birds sitting everywhere as the main characters eased out of the Brenner house and drove away - without Hitchcock's typical "THE END" - to imply an unending threat

The Birth of a Nation (1915)

In this landmark blockbuster epic film from director D.W. Griffith, with incredible Civil War battle scenes resembling historic Matthew Brady photographs:

  • Benjamin "The Little Colonel" Cameron's (Henry B. Walthall) assault and the stuffing of a Confederate flag down the barrel of a Union cannon
  • the techniques of closing down the iris of the camera and cameos
  • the touching and poignant scene of Benjamin Cameron's return to his ruined Southern home
  • the recreated, skillfully-executed Lincoln assassination scene
  • the tense sequence of 'Little Sister' Flora (Mae Marsh) being chased by 'renegade negro' Gus (Walter Long) into the woods and jumping to her death
  • the image of zealous and heroic Ku Klux Klan on horseback terrorizing blacks and riding to the rescue

The Black Cat (1934)

In Edgar Ulmer's dark horror film, with surrealistic, moody cinematography and bizarre sets:

  • the scene of devil-cult worshipper Hjalmar Poelzig (Boris Karloff) holding a ritualistic Black Mass
  • the terrible torture-revenge of Dr. Vitus Werdegast (Bela Lugosi) skinning his victim Poelzig alive (seen in dark silhouette) on an embalming torture rack: ("Do you know what I am going to do to you now? No? Did you ever see an animal skinned, Hjalmar? Ha, ha, ha. That's what I'm going to do to you now - flay/tear the skin from your body...slowly...bit by bit!...How does it feel to hang on your own embalming rack, Hjalmar?")

Black Narcissus (1947, UK)

In Powell and Pressburger's dazzling cinematic masterpiece:

  • the breath-taking imagery and Technicolor cinematography of the Himalayan palace with a bell tower (once a bordello) on the edge of a precipice (although the film was mostly shot on a British sound stage)
  • the provocative and censor-defying dance through the palace by beautiful, alluring, orphaned local Indian maiden Kanchi (18 year-old Jean Simmons in her second major film role). Later, she closed her eyes and sensuously smelled the perfumed essence (of black narcissus) of the Himalayan general's son Dilip Rai (Sabu)
  • the scenes with the insane character of a sexually-conflicted and starved Sister Ruth (Kathleen Byron) who turned mad with lust for British government intermediary Mr. Dean (David Farrar)
  • Sister Ruth's climactic nervous breakdown and confrontational scene with devout and pious Sister Superior Clodagh (Deborah Kerr) - when she wore a forbidden red dress after renouncing her nunhood; Sister Clodagh begged: ("I know that you've left the order. I only want to stop you from doing something that you'll be sorry for"). As a symbolic statement of her break from the nunnery, Sister Ruth sensuously applied bright red lipstick in Sister Clodagh's presence
  • the cathartic ending scene in which intended victim Sister Clodagh was saved from death as she grabbed hold of the belltower rope after being pushed toward the precipice by jealous and vengeful Sister Ruth, who lost her balance and fell during the lethal struggle

The Black Pirate (1926)

In this landmark, silent two-strip Technicolored classic swashbuckler buccaneer tale by director Albert Parker, one of the first great pirate movies:

  • the greatest rapier and dagger dueling scene ever captured between a pirate captain (Anders Randolf) and vengeful "Michel" - the Black Pirate (aka The Duke of Arnoldo) (Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.)
  • his rescue of the Princess Isobel (Billie Dove)
  • the super-spectacular stunt of the Black Pirate's ride down a ship's two canvas sails/drapes on the tip of his knife to reach the lower deck

The Black Stallion (1979)

In director Carol Ballard's beautifully-photographed children's-oriented adventure film, almost dialogue free:

  • young boy Alec Ramsey (Kelly Reno) and his first encounter with a wild, black Arabian stallion horse on board a ship, and his befriending of the creature by secretly feeding it sugar cubes through an open porthole
  • the scenes of the boy and horse shipwrecked on a deserted island - and Alec's freeing of the horse who was caught up and entangled in ropes
  • Alec's scary face-to-face encounter with a cobra, when he was suddenly saved by the black stallion
  • the scenes of their wariness toward each other, and then emotional bonding on the beach after Alec mounted the horse and rode him
  • the climactic finale, a horsetrack race when - after working with Henry Dailey (Mickey Rooney) an elderly horse trainer, Alec rode the Black Stallion to victory - as he remembered riding on the beach with the gorgeous animal

Blade Runner (1982)

In director Ridley Scott's sci-fi classic:

  • the imaginative, fiery apocalyptic view of Los Angeles ("Neo-Tokyo") in the dystopic 21st century with hover cars, gigantic skyscrapers, electronic holographic advertisement-billboards on floating crafts, etc. - reflected in a single human eye in the film's opening
  • the film's first glimpse in the rainy drizzle of the blade runner-hero Deckard (Harrison Ford) reading a newspaper against a store display window
  • the scene in which Deckard informed unknowing replicant Rachael (Sean Young) that she wasn't human
  • their love scene against venetian blinds
  • the chase through the busy streets after replicant snake lady Zhora (Joanna Cassidy) wearing a transparent raincoat - and her slow-motion death amidst shattering glass and blood
  • the brutal killing of Tyrell (Joe Turkel) who was responsible for the creation of the replicants
  • Pris' (Daryl Hannah) hiding among dolls and then her attempt to crush Deckard's head between her thighs
  • the final vivid and brutal chase scene between lead replicant Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) and Deckard - through Sebastian's apartment and onto the rooftop, and Deckard's rescue from the edge of the building
  • Roy's climactic, mournful and poignant soliloquy: ("I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near Tanhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain. Time to die....") as he expired in the rain and a white dove flew upward - supplemented by Deckard's narration: "Maybe in those last moments, he loved life more than he ever had before. Not just his life, anybody's life, my life"
  • in the conclusion, the discovery of a very small, silver, tinfoil origami-folded unicorn and its significance: ("It's too bad she won't live, but then again, who does?")

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

In this made-to-look-like camcorder video/documentary film by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez:

  • the scene of the close-up, teary confessional of amateur film student Heather (Heather Donahue) in the glare of a flashlight in the Maryland woods ("I just want to apologize to Mike's mom, and Josh's mom, and my mom, and I'm sorry to everyone. I was very naive. (Scared and looking away from camera) I am so, so sorry for everything that has happened. Because in spite of what Mike says now, it is my fault because it was my project, and I insisted, I insisted on everything. I insisted that we weren't lost. I insisted that we keep going. I insisted that we walk south. Everything had to be my way, and this is where we've ended up. And it's all because of me that we're here now. Hungry, cold, and hunted. I love you mom and dad. I am so sorry. (hyperventilating and crying) What was that? I'm scared to close my eyes and I'm scared to open them. (more hyperventilating and sobbing) I'm gonna die out here")
  • the view of kiddie-handprints on the wall (the Blair Witch myth told about children killed many years earlier)
  • the final ambiguous shot in which Mike (Michael Williams) was seen standing motionless facing a wall in a corner (was he drugged, semi-conscious, or propped up dead, in order to distract the next victim?)
  • the film's final ambiguous POV shot accompanied by the sounds of "thwack", "thump", and "crash" as Heather's camcorder hit the ground (after she was attacked and killed?) - the camera was broken, but continued filming -- before the end credits appeared

Blazing Saddles (1974)

In Mel Brooks' western spoof:

  • in the scene of a town meeting in Rock Ridge's church, Reverend Johnson's warning: ("Well, I don't have to tell you good folks what has been happening here in our beloved town. Sheriff murdered, crops burned, stores looted, people stampeded and cattle raped! Now the time has come to act. And act fast! I'm leaving"); he was interrupted by a grizzly mountaineer named Gabby Johnson (Jack Starrett), who argued unintelligibly in a speech composed of "frontier gibberish" about remaining steadfastly in town: ("You get back here, you old pious, candy-ass sidewinder! There ain't no way that nobody is gonna leave this town! Hell, I was born here, and I was raised here and dadgum it, I'm gonna die here! And no sidewinder, bushwhacking, hornswoggling, cracker croaker, is gonna ruin me biscuit-cutter!")
  • the scene of near-sighted Governor Le Petomane's (Mel Brooks) nuzzling his way into bosomy secretary Miss Stein's (Robyn Hilton) cleavage while being advised by villainous Attorney General Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman)
  • the scene in which Hedley was recruiting men to assault the town - when the Waco Kid (Gene Wilder) pretended to capture and hold up Black Bart (Cleavon Little) as bait: ("Oh, boys! Lookee what I got hereuh") for two Ku Klux Klan members so that they could steal their white robes - with Bart's mock-dumb (racially-stereotyped) taunt: "Hey! Where are the white women at?"
  • the scene of the new Sheriff Black Bart's warning to the townsfolk as he reached down into the front of his pants for his acceptance speech: "Excuse me while I whip this out" - to the sound of their gaspings
  • the infamous gas-passing, bean-eating scene around the campfire by flatulent cowboys
  • Hedley's request of cowpoke Taggart (Slim Pickens): ("I want you to round up every vicious criminal and gunslinger in the west. Take this down....I want rustlers, cutthroats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, half-wits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswagglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers and Methodists") - with Taggart's dumbfounded response: "Could you repeat that, sir?"
  • the scene in which infamous thug Mongo (Alex Karras) entered Rock Ridge riding an ox, then later punched out a horse with a bare, single-fisted punch
  • saloon singer Lili Von Shtupp's (Madeline Kahn) exquisite parodies of Marlene Dietrich's "Frenchy" from Destry Rides Again (1939), and of Jean Harlow in Hell's Angels (1930): ("Won't you excuse me for a moment while I slip into something a little bit more comfortable?")
  • Lili's seduction scene of sheriff Black Bart: ("Tell me, schatzie, is it, ah, twue what they say about the way you people are gifted?") - with her memorable phrase: "Oh, it's twue, it's twue" after unzipping his fly (with a loud zipper noise) and examining his endowment in the dark

The Blob (1958)

In this low-budget, campy teen, alien invasion horror B-flick from director Irvin Shortess Yeaworth, Jr., featuring the first major starring role of a young Steve McQueen:

  • the scene of Steve (Steve McQueen) and teenaged girlfriend Judy (Aneta Corseaut) who tried to convince Pennsylvania townspeople and police officials that an amorphous, gelatinous, protoplasmic, purplish-red alien Blob was attacking: ("Well, it's kind of like - kind of like a mass. It keeps getting bigger and bigger")
  • the memorable scenes of the Blob menacing a medical facility, a car mechanic, a supermarket, the Downingtown Diner, and a movie projectionist's booth during a midnight movie theatre show at the Colonial featuring Daughter of Horror (1955) (aka Dementia) - causing teenaged movie-goers to scream and race out into the street

Blonde Venus (1932)

In director Josef von Sternberg's melodrama:

  • the opening sequence in which Helen Faraday (Marlene Dietrich) and her friends were frolicking and skinny-dipping, but their nudity was teasingly obscured by tree branches when spied upon by a group of nearby tourist hikers
  • the memorable sequence in which nightclub singer Helen opened the cabaret show by first appearing in a full-body gorilla suit - and then revealing herself via a striptease by removing the head-piece and body-suit
  • her singing of "Hot Voodoo" in a throaty voice to the beat of an African drum - she wore a blonde Afro wig and stood with hands on her hips before a chorus line of archetypal 'native' dancers
  • the lyrics: "That African tempo has made me a slave, hot voodoo - dance of sin, hot voodoo, worse than gin, I'd follow a cave man right into his cave"

Blood Simple (1984)

In this Coen Brothers film-noir:

  • the recurring shots of putrifying fish
  • the absolutely horrifying scene in a barren and remote dirt field of small-town bartender Ray (John Getz) burying alive a mortally-wounded Texas strip-bar owner Julian Marty (Dan Hedaya), Abby's (Frances McDormand) husband
  • the sensational climax - a cat and mouse pursuit in Abby's apartment (she thought it was her husband Marty: ("I'm not afraid of you, Marty," she said matter-of-factly)), in which super-sleazy detective and hired assassin Visser (M. Emmet Walsh) had his hand impaled on a window sill with a knife and struggled to pull his hand free - and then shot bullet holes in the wall that let through beams of light
  • as Visser lay dying on the floor in the next room with a gunshot to the abdomen, he burst into laughter with the film's final line: "Well, ma'am, if I see him, I'll sure give him the message." He died with a view of the sink's dripping plumbing above him

Blow Out (1981)

In this twisty Brian De Palma thriller:

  • the participatory scene in which sound F/X recorder Jack Terri (John Travolta) listened to a recorded sound tape he had made (of a political candidate's murder involving a car's tire popping and screeching before it plunged off a deserted Philadelphia road in a fatal accidental crash)
  • his discovery that there was a gunman in the bushes who had shot the left front tire to cause the crash - evidence of a conspiracy
  • the climactic, violent pursuit scene during a surreal Liberty Day Jubilee 1981 celebration in Philadelphia with fireworks during which the injured Jack reached serial killer Burke ("The Liberty Bell Strangler") (John Lithgow) who had just killed wired friend Sally Bedina (Nancy Allen)
  • in the ending, the ironic - haunting and sad - use of Sally's recorded scream for a shower-scene in an exploitation slasher film: ("Now that's a scream!")

Blowup (1966, UK)

In Michelangelo Antonioni's absorbing first English language film:

  • the scene in a swinging London photographer's studio where hip, disinterested and jaded fashion photographer Thomas (David Hemmings) seduced a model (Verushka) with his camera during a solo shoot
  • the scene of his innocently following and taking photographs of what he thought was a tryst between lovers (a young woman and a middle-aged man) embracing in a serene London park
  • the scene of a topless Girl (Vanessa Redgrave) desperately and seductively asking for the film; she bargained for Thomas' roll of incriminating film that he had shot of her in a public park with an unidentified, middle-aged man. She eventually offered sexual favors after going topless
  • the exciting montage of the stages of the pictures' development, printing and magnified enlargement in the darkroom scene - especially when he believed he saw a hand holding a gun in the bushes behind a fence
  • his frolicking, wrestling/orgy scene with two naked young wanna-be teenage models or "dolly birds" (Jane Birkin and Gillian Hills) in his studio (39) on a roll of purple backdrop paper
  • the haunting sound of the wind blowing through the trees in the park - the night-time discovery of the scene of the murder and the man's prone corpse next to a tree
  • the final scene of a group of mimes playing a mute game of tennis with an invisible, non-existent tennis ball on a tennis court

(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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