Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



B (continued)

Big Wednesday (1978)

In writer/director John Milius' surf classic:

  • the scene at the draft board of the attempted ruses of some of the young, Southern California surfing friends, Jack Barlow (William Katt), Matt Johnson (Jan Michael Vincent), Waxer (Darrell Fetty), and Leroy Smith (Gary Busey) - to avoid being drafted for Vietnam
  • their reunion at the Great Swell in the spring of 1974 following the war, when they come together to ride the big wave

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 smokes 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 sights one flying crow that she watches in mid-air, follows its path, as it lands 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 is 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 ease out of the Brenner house and drive 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:

  • the 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:

  • the surrealistic, moody cinematography and bizarre sets
  • the scene of devil-cult worshipper Poelzig (Boris Karloff) holding a ritualistic Black Mass
  • the terrible torture-revenge of Dr. Verdegast (Bela Lugosi) skinning his victim alive (seen in dark silhouette)

Black Narcissus (1947)

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 scenes with the insane character of a sexually-conflicted and starved Sister Ruth (Kathleen Byron) who turns mad with lust for British government intermediary Mr. Dean (David Farrar)
  • Sister Ruth's climactic scene with devout and pious Sister Clodagh (Deborah Kerr) - when she wears a forbidden red dress after renouncing her nunhood and then applies bright red lipstick (symbolizing her break with the nunnery)
  • the cathartic ending scene in which intended victim Sister Clodagh is saved from death as she grabs hold of the belltower rope after being pushed toward the precipice by jealous and vengeful Sister Ruth, who loses her balance and falls

The Black Pirate (1926)

In this landmark, silent two-strip Technicolored classic swashbuckler buccaneer tale by director Albert Parker:

  • the greatest dueling scene ever captured between a pirate leader (Anders Randolf) and vengeful "Michel" - the Black Pirate (Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.) in one of the first great pirate movies
  • his rescue of "the Princess" (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:

  • the gorgeous early scenes of a young boy Alec Ramsey (Kelly Reno) and a wild black Arabian stallion horse shipwrecked on a deserted island
  • the scene of their emotional bonding on the beach

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 informs unknowing replicant Rachael (Sean Young) that she isn'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 Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) and Deckard - through Sebastian's apartment and onto the rooftop, and Deckard's rescue from the edge of the building
  • replicant 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 expires in the rain and a white dove flies 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"
  • 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?") at the conclusion

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...We're going to die out here. I'm so scared...")
  • the final ambiguous shot in which Mike (Michael Williams) is 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 is accompanied by the sounds of "thwack", "thump", and "crash" as Heather's camcorder hits the ground (after she is attacked and killed?) - the camera is broken, but continues filming -- before the end credits appear

Blazing Saddles (1974)

In Mel Brooks' western spoof:

  • the scene of near-sighted Governor Le Petomane's (Mel Brooks) nuzzling into bosomy secretary Miss Stein's (Robyn Hilton) cleavage while being advised by villainous Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman)
  • the scene of the new Sheriff Black Bart's (Cleavon Little) warning to the townsfolk as he reaches down for his acceptance speech - to their gaspings: "Excuse me while I whip this out"
  • the infamous gas-passing, bean-eating scene around the campfire by flatulent cowboys
  • the scene in which Mongo (Alex Karras) enters Rock Ridge riding an ox, then later punches out a horse with a bare, single-fisted punch
  • Madeline Kahn's exquisite parody of Marlene Dietrich's "Frenchy"
  • her memorable phrase: "It's twue, it's twue" after unzipping sheriff Black Bart's (Cleavon Little) fly and examining his endowment in the dark
  • the scene in which Hedley is recruiting men to assault the town - when the Waco Kid (Gene Wilder) holds up Bart as bait for two Ku Klux Klan members so that they can steal their white robes - with Bart's mock-dumb (racially-stereotyped) taunt: "Hey! Where are the white women at?"

The Blob (1958)

In this low-budget, campy teen, alien invasion horror B-flick from director Irvin Shortess Yeaworth, Jr.:

  • the third screen role (and first major starring role) of a young Steve McQueen (as Steve) and teenaged girlfriend Judy (Aneta Corseaut) who try to convince Pennsylvania townspeople that an amorphous, gelatinous, purplish-red alien Blob is attacking
  • the memorable scenes of the Blob menacing a medical facility, a car mechanic, a movie projectionist's room, and a cafe diner

Blonde Venus (1932)

In director Josef von Sternberg's melodrama:

  • the opening sequence in which Helen Faraday (Marlene Dietrich) and her friends are frolicking and skinny-dipping
  • the memorable sequence in which nightclub singer Helen opens 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 wears a blonde Afro wig and stands 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 of small-town bartender Ray (John Getz) burying alive a mortally wounded Texas strip-bar owner Marty (Dan Hedaya) in a barren field
  • the sensational climax - a cat and mouse pursuit in Abby's (Frances McDormand) apartment, in which super-sleazy detective and hired assassin Visser (M. Emmet Walsh) has his hand impaled on a window sill with a knife and struggles to pull his hand free - and then shoots bullet holes in the wall that let through beams of light

Blow Out (1981)

In this twisty Brian De Palma thriller:

  • the participatory scene in which sound F/X recorder Jack Terri (John Travolta) listens to a recorded sound tape he has 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 - 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 reaches serial killer Burke ("The Liberty Bell Strangler") (John Lithgow) who has just killed wired friend Sally Bedina (Nancy Allen)
  • in the ending, the ironic - haunting and sad - use of her recorded scream for a shower-scene in an exploitation slasher film ("Now that's a scream!")

Blow-Up (1966)

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) seduces 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
  • the exciting montage of the stages of the pictures' development, printing and magnified enlargement in the darkroom scene - especially when he believes he sees 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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