Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Y Tu Mamá También (2001, Mex./US) (aka And Your Mother Too)

In director Alfonso Cuaron's road movie:

  • the unrated tale of sexual discovery in the coming-of-age, sensual journey film about a road trip with two 17 year-old Mexican boys: Tenoch (Diego Luna) and Julio (Gael Garcia Bernal) and sexy and wise 28 year-old Spanish beauty Luisa Cortes (Maribel Verdu) to find an unspoiled mythical beach (known as Heaven's Mouth) - a beach which they actually came upon
  • the scene of the vicious fight between the two boys, leading to Luisa's ultimatum that if she continued the trip with them, they would have to play by her rules. ("We do things my way! One more fight and I'm gone for good!...Now we play by my rules") She counted out a 10-point Manifesto of rules - including: (1) "I won't f--k with any of you. F--k each other, if you wish", (2) "I sunbathe naked and I don't want you sniffing around like dogs", (3) "I pick the music," (4) "The moment I ask, please shut your mouths," (5) "You cook," (6) "No stories about your poor girlfriends," (7) "If I ask, stay 10 yards from me. Or better 100", (8) "Obviously, you do all the manual labor," (9) "You may not speak of things you don't agree on. Even better, just keep your mouths shut," (10) "You're not allowed to contradict me, much less push me"
  • the jukebox cantina sequence in which Luisa taught the two vulgar lads lessons about life, after having had sex with both of them separately; Tenoch asked: "Who f--ks better between us? The truth." She tried to answer diplomatically: "Despite the fiasco, you each have your own charms." She then advised: "You both have to quit whacking off and work up your resistance...Both of you, stop whacking off." She then told the waiter: "These boys don't know how to go down on a girl" - and then told Tenoch: "You were slurping like this was a lollipop. You have to be gentle. You have to make the clitoris your best friend...Search and you shall find. The greatest pleasure is giving pleasure." The trio then toasted: "Hail to the clit!"
  • the boys' jealous expression of sexual rivalry and boyish machismo over her, while also bragging about their sexual experiences (blow-jobs) with their girlfriends. While 'spilling their guts', both teens admitted that they had clandestinely slept with each other's girlfriend many times. Tenoch told how he had slept with Julio's girlfriend: "I f--ked Ceci a few times." Julio counterpunched: "No big deal. I poked Ana a bunch of times." Tenoch then claimed grossly: "So we're milk brothers!" Then Luisa offered another humorous toast: "To your girlfriends who are having 10 Italians at a time!" And shockingly, Julio also confessed that he had sex with Tenoch’s mother -- the basis for the film's title: "And your mother, too" - but was it said in jest or not? He claimed: "And your mother, too, you know?...Honestly, the day she cleaned my aura." The two boys raised their shot glasses: "Luisa! To all mothers!"
  • the film's most famous and pivotal scene - after dancing with both boys (one on each side) in the cantina, Luisa gradually led the boys to their hotel bedroom for a threesome. Luisa successfully encouraged the boys to kiss and to have sex with each other, and by the next morning, they woke up sleeping naked next to each other
  • the end of their journey at the isolated beach where the narrator (Daniel Giménez Cacho) explained the boys' departure, and provided Luisa's last words to the boys: 'Life is like the surf, so give yourself away like the sea.'
  • a flashforward scene one year later in a coffee shop that divulged Luisa's terminal illness

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

In director Michael Curtiz' classic musical biopic:

  • the sentimental legend of super-patriot and cocky Irishman-songwriter George M. Cohan (Oscar-winning James Cagney), with his trademark singing, strutting and wall-climbing as a 'Yankee Doodle Boy' during "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy"
  • his tap-dancing sequence in a spotlight in the large production number "Give My Regards to Broadway"
  • his trademark curtain call line: "Ladies and gentlemen, my mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my sister thanks you, and I thank you"
  • the scene of Cohan and his wife Mary (Joan Leslie) singing "Mary" at the piano together
  • his energetic dancing style in "You're a Grand Old Flag"
  • George's 'final curtain call' death scene with father Jerry (Walter Huston) at his deathbed
  • his amazing, jaunty dance down the White House stairs after visiting with President Roosevelt (Jack Young) with a spontaneous, impromptu buck-wings tap dance midway
  • his joining a parade to march in step with troops and civilians down Pennsylvania Avenue to "Over There" in the stirring finale

The Yearling (1946)

In director Clarence Brown's family drama:

  • the exciting scene, set in the late 1800s, of 11 year-old Florida farm boy Jody (Claude Jarman, Jr.) hunting "Old Slew Foot" bear with his father Ory Baxter (Gregory Peck)
  • and later, the scene in which Jody realized he must shoot his beloved, but crop-devouring orphaned pet fawn, named Flag, that he had earlier rescued - to put it out of its misery after being mortally wounded by his mother (Jane Wyman) - as Pa Baxter commented on the boy's growing up after he had run off and returned: ("He ain’t a yearling no more")
  • the film's final fantasy scene in which Jody cavorted off with the deer

Yellow Submarine (1968, UK

In the landmark animated film directed by George Dunning:

  • the colorful, inventive animations, especially the psychedelic count of numbers to demonstrate the length of a 60-second minute in "When I'm 64"
  • the character of the Nowhere Man muttering to himself: "Ad hoc, ad hoc, and quid pro quo, So little time, so much to know"
  • the ultimate defeat of the invasive Blue Meanies with the song "All You Need Is Love" and the return of color to Pepperland
  • the live-action finale featuring the actual Beatles singing the coda "All Together Now"

Yojimbo (1961, Jp.) (aka The Bodyguard)

In director Akira Kurosawa's samurai tale, remade as Sergio Leone's spaghetti western A Fistful of Dollars (1964, It.):

  • in the conclusion, the influential scene of masterless ronin "Kuwabatake" Sanjuro's (Toshiro Mifune) return to the dusty, windy town's main street for a decisive standoff and showdown by himself against Ushitora (Kyū Sazanka) and his men, and Unosuke (Tatsuya Nakadai), who fired his revolver, but was struck by Sanjoro's knife in his forearm; then using his sword, Sanjuro slashed the remaining men
  • the dying words of Unosuke to Sanjuro: "Say, samurai trash, are you there?...The entrance to hell - I'll be waiting there for you!" Sanjuro spoke after he expired: "He died as recklessly as he lived" and then promised to the town's three remaining old men before walking away: "Now it'll be quiet in this town...So long!"

Young Frankenstein (1974)

In Mel Brooks' horror spoof:

  • the funny horror film spoof from director Mel Brooks, with its early scene in the medical classroom when grandson of the original baron named Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder): ("It's pronounced Frohn-ken-Shteeeen") must answer touchy questions from an inquisitive student about his legendary grandfather Dr. Victor Frankenstein - and he jabbed a scalpel into his leg
  • the creation scene in which Dr. Frankenstein yelled madly: "Give my!"
  • the character of bug-eyed, leering Igor (Marty Feldman) with a shifting humpback ("Didn't you used to have that on the other side?...Your, uh...") who ignorantly used the brain of "Abby Normal"
  • the scene of Frankenstein marveling at large iron door knockers on the Transylvania castle door: "What knockers!", with assistant Inga's (Teri Garr) quick response as he lifted her out of the carriage: "Oh, Thank you, doctor!"
  • the scenes of horses neighing (and lightning strikes) whenever housekeeper Frau Blucher's (Cloris Leachman) name was mentioned
  • and the charades sequence of Dr. Frankenstein acting out the word 'Sed-a-give' ("Give him the sedative" with an injection), using the game of charades, to control the violent Monster (Peter Boyle) that was strangling him
  • the classic scene of the Monster with the blind hermit (Gene Hackman) in his shack - a tribute to a similar scene in The Bride of Frankenstein in which he called the Monster "an incredibly big mute", poured boiling soup on the Monster's lap, broke the Monster's wine mug when toasting their friendship, and lit the Monster's thumb, thinking it was a cigar - and then called after him as he left in fear: "Wait. Where are you going? I was gonna make espresso"
  • also the revolving bookcase-fireplace sequence with a secret passageway, and Dr. Frankenstein's continual request: "Put the candle back" - and his failed attempt to block the turning bookcase with his body: ("Now listen to me very carefully, don't put the candle back. With all of your might, shove against the other side of the bookcase. Is that perfectly clear?"); and then Inga was trapped behind the bookcase
  • Dr. Frankenstein's introduction of the Monster to an audience as a "man about town" and their top-hat and cane, tap-dancing duet of Irving Berlin's "Puttin' on the Ritz" - with the Monster's slurred, squeaky, and high-pitched singing of "Punnondariiiiiiiizz!"
  • Dr. Frankenstein's request of Igor: "Igor, will you give me a hand with the bags?" - and his reply - with growling: "Certainly, you take the blonde and I'll take the one with the turban"
  • and the scene of nymphomaniacal fiancee Elizabeth's (Madeline Kahn) infatuation with the Monster - "You're incorrigible, aren't you, you little zipper-neck?" - and then after viewing his "enormous schwanstucker" - she first breathed an aroused, wide-eyed "Woof!", and then warbled the tune 'O Sweet Mystery of Life' as he made love to her (offscreen), and her hair turned white, a la The Bride of Frankenstein; after sex, they shared a cigarette (similar to Now, Voyager (1942))

Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

In director John Ford's first collaboration with actor Henry Fonda:

  • the early scene of young and ambitious Abraham Lincoln (Henry Fonda) in Illinois in 1832 reading aloud passages at the foot of a tree, from Blackstone's mid-18th century published book: Blackstone's Commentaries, when young and pretty Ann Rutledge (Pauline Moore) happened to appear; in the bucolic setting (next to a river), a budding romance began to develop between Lincoln and Ann as they strolled along; he told her: "You gotta have education these days to get anywhere. I never went to school as much as a year in my whole life"; she reminded him: "Oh, but you've educated yourself. You've read poetry and Shakespeare and - and now law"; he interrupted her next thought by mentioning her beauty: "You're mighty pretty, Ann"; she responded: "Some folks I know don't like red hair"; he admitted openly: "I do...I love red hair"
  • after she walked off, he tossed a stone into the river behind him; the ripples in the water dissolved into a wintry scene of the ice-covered river with floating floes - to emphasize the passage of time; he was at the snowy grave of his beloved Ann Rutledge who had since died, and placing flowers next to her tombstone where they had once talked; he was making a crucial decision about what career to follow with his life - and due to Ann's earlier urgings, he chose to pursue a law profession, delivered in a soliloquy: "Ice is breakin' up. It's comin' in to spring. Well, Ann, I'm still up a tree. Just can't seem to make up my mind what to do. Maybe I ought to go into the law, take my chances. I admit, I got kinda a taste for somethin' different than this in my mouth. Still, I don't know. I'd feel such a fool settin' myself up as a-knowin' so much. Course, I know what you'd say. I've been hearin' it every day, over and over again: 'Go on, Abe. Make somethin' of yourself. You got friends. Show 'em what you got in ya'. Oh, yes, I know what you'd say. But I don't know. Ann, I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll let this stick decide. If it falls back toward me, then I stay here, as I always have. If it falls forward towards you, then it's - well, it's the law. Here goes, Ann. Well, Ann, you win. It's the law"
  • with country-store, homespun logic, the scene of Lincoln's dissuading of a lynch mob at Sangamon County jail door from killing two Clay boys, Matt and Adam (Richard Cromwell, Eddie Quillan) who were accused of murdering drunken deputy Scrub White (Fred Kohler, Jr.) by stabbing him in the back ("...We seem to lose our heads in times like this. We do things together that we'd be mighty ashamed to do by ourselves...")
  • the scene of Lincoln's playing of "Dixie" on a mouth harp
  • Lincoln's empathetic comparison of his Kentucky upbringing with the Clay family homesteaders - before reading a letter from the jailed boys
  • the courtroom scene when defense lawyer Lincoln confronted fellow lawman and alleged eyewitness John Palmer Cass (Ward Bond) - and brought a laugh from the audience: ("I'll just call you Jack Ass") - and tricked him - with page 12 of the Farmer's Almanac with an account of the moon setting 40 minutes before the killing took place ("So, ya see, it couldn't-a been moon bright, could it? You lied, didn't ya Cass? And you weren't tryin' to save these boys' necks, were you? You were trying to save your own, weren't ya?... And these two boys, Matt and Adam - they each knew that he didn't do it. Therefore, each thought the other did it"); Lincoln was able to get Cass to confess to the cold-blooded crime himself; Cass divulged that he had drunkenly killed White with Matt's dropped knife (when he came upon the scene and saw that White was still alive): "I didn't mean to kill him!"
  • the final celebrated scene when stove-pipe hatted Lincoln was asked by Efe Turner (Eddie Collins): "Ain't you goin' back, Abe?"; he responded: "No, I think I might go on a piece. Maybe to the top of that hill" - and walked off toward the hill in a gathering wind and rainstorm with lightning (causing him to hold onto his hat) - to the soundtrack's playing of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic"
  • the film's conclusion (with a heavenly chorus now singing the tune) - and a dissolve into a sideview shot of his statue in the Lincoln Memorial

Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)

In director Barry Levinson's mystery adventure:

  • the unauthorized premise of how young Sherlock Holmes (Nicholas Rowe) and partner John Watson (Alex Cox) came together at an English boarding school and became involved in an investigation of a long buried secret and deadly Egyptian cult
  • the startling, breathtaking CGI character of the fighting medieval knight in a stained-glass window who jumped to life - a pioneering moment in visual effects -- the first all-digital animated character
  • the other Oscar-nominated segments in which other elements came to life (a roasted bird, skeletons, pastries, gargoyles, wall decor, and an amusing sequence in which pastries attempted to force themselves into Watson's mouth)
  • the Egyptian Rame-Tep sacrifice scene recalling the similar scenes from the previous year's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) (directed by executive producer Steven Spielberg)
  • the scene in which Sherlock's love interest Elizabeth Hardy (Sophie Ward) blocked a bullet intended for him and died in his arms
  • also the back-story acquisitions of Holmes' trademarks: his practice of the violin, his inheritance of a deerstalker cap from beloved, deceased mentor Waxflatter (Nigel Stock), his receipt of a pipe as a gift from Watson, and his overcoat from the villainous Professor Rathe (Anthony Higgins) (aka Eh Tar - who seemingly perished by drowning in the icy Thames River)
  • the end credits sequence in which Professor Rathe surprisingly signed his name in a guestbook as "Moriarty", closing on his devilish raised eyebrow


Z (1969, Fr./Algeria)

In Costa-Gavras' political thriller masterpiece (based on the real-life 1963 murder of popular Greek liberal Gregorios Lambrakis, a professor medicine at the Univ. of Athens) - the Oscar-winner for Best Foreign Language Film (and Best Film Editing):

  • the skillfully-planned conspiratorial assassination-murder scene of the pacifistic husband of Helene (Irene Papas) - a liberal-minded Deputy (Yves Montand) of the opposition party in Greece
  • after he delivered a political speech and was in a stand-off surrounded by demonstrators and the police, he fell to his knees grabbing his lethally-wounded skull after a blue truck passed and struck him
  • the scene in a hospital conference room where concerned and worried Helene was led while her husband was undergoing a third operation - a white-coated doctor reported and viewed a lighted wall of skull X-rays diagnosing a concussion that occurred during the "stupid accident" ("the fall broke the dome of the skull and no doubt the brain has been affected") - the diagnosis was later radically re-evaluated - the skull fracture was NOT due to his fall or to the impact of the truck but to "a blow struck on the head" by a club wielded by a man in the back of the truck
  • the poignant final scene in which widowed wife Helene learned from one of her husband's followers that the right-wing assassins (military men including the general and the police chief who sanctioned the murder) had been exposed and arrested ("It's a real revolution, the government'll fall and extremists'll be wiped out") - she turned and looked out to sea, without triumph, but only with sadness and despondency

Zabriskie Point (1970)

In Michelangelo Antonioni's simplistic and failed view of America:

  • the characters of white rebellious youth Mark (Mark Frechette), a student radical wanted as a suspect for killing a policeman during a student strike-riot and for hijacking a small airplane, and Daria (Daria Halprin), the pot-smoking secretary/mistress of LA real estate tycoon/attorney Mr. Lee Allen (Rod Taylor), who was helping to build the Sunnydunes development in the desert
  • the controversial, hallucinatory, symbolic, dust-swirling orgy scene filmed in the "no-man's land" of Death Valley (at Zabriskie Point) - a lovemaking sequence filmed at the lowest point in the United States - Zabriskie Point) - as the two started to make love on the desert sand dunes, several dozen other couples magically appeared, creating a massive 'love-in'
  • afterwards, Mark remarked: "I always knew it'd be like this." Daria asked: "Us?" But he replied: "The desert"
  • in the explosion-filled finale (another wish-fulfillment hallucination of Daria's?), a luxurious, ultra-modern desert dwelling was blown up (seen exploding from almost a dozen angles) as well as various materialistic consumer items which were seen being destroyed in extreme close-up (pool furniture, racks of clothes, a refrigerator with a cascading and disintegrating loaf of WONDER bread, a TV, and shelves of books)

Zelig (1983)

In Woody Allen's brilliant pre-Forrest Gump mock-documentary:

  • Gordon Willis' cinematography that painstakingly matched authentic early 20th century newsreels and archival photographs with the look of this Depression-era period film
  • chameleon-like Leonard Zelig (Woody Allen) - a man who was a celebrity of his time - appearing between President Coolidge and presidential candidate Herbert Hoover, and alongside others such as baseball player Babe Ruth, boxer Jack Dempsey, tycoon publisher William Randolph Hearst, movie star Charles Chaplin, the pope, the Fuhrer himself, and the writer F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • the scenes of real-life writer personages Susan Sontag and Saul Bellows providing commentary on Zelig's cultural influence
  • Patrick Horgan's authentic BBC documentary-style narration

Zéro de Conduite: Jeunes Diables au Collège (1933, Fr.) (aka Zero For Conduct) (short)

In director Jean Vigo's somewhat surreal, semi-autobiographical, satirical account of a rebellion against a rigid and repressive all-male French boarding school - the low-budget work was an influential, anarchic and controversial anti-authoritarian film (considered subversive and banned in France until 1946) that served as the basis for Lindsay Anderson's remake If... (1968, UK):

  • the scene during recess of the school's new, free-spirited, tolerant, carefree jokester teacher Huguet (Jean Dasté) impersonating Chaplin's 'Little Tramp' character for his students, with a cane and trademark shuffling walk
  • in the film's conclusion, a revolt against the school's Commemoration Day celebrations, by four disobedient, rebellious boarding school students, known as "Little Devils at School": Bruel (Coco Golstein), Caussat (Louis Lefebvre), Colin (Gilbert Pruchon), and the shy, long-haired and lonely new boy Tabard (Gérard de Bédarieux - Vigo's alter ego)
  • their full-scale defiant insurrection to take on the tyrannical, bearded, disciplinary-minded dwarf Principal (Delphin), beginning with the ransacking of the dormitory with overturned beds during a wild feather-pillow fight sequence (including a slow-motion celebratory ride through the falling feathers that rained and showered down), and the raising of their own hand-made "Skull and Crossbones" flag
  • the prank of the misfit boys against detested monitor Pète-Sec (Robert le Flon) (nicknamed Dry-Fart) who was tied up as he slept in his uprighted bed, and then barricading of themselves in the attic
  • and then the interruption of the day's ceremonies by their roof-top pelting and barrage of garbage (and other tossed objects) at the assembled guests below, and ending with their escape by marching off across the roof top with their hands in the air

Zorba the Greek (1964, Greece/UK) (aka Alexis Zorba)

In triple-nominated (for writing, directing and producing) Michael Cacoyannis' Best Picture-nominated inspirational drama:

  • the hammy trademark role of boisterous, lusty, lively, flamboyant itinerant Greek laborer and bon vivant Alexis Zorba (Oscar-nominated Anthony Quinn)
  • his relationship with writer's-blocked British-raised Basil (Alan Bates) who traveled to the island of Crete to reopen his father's closed mine
  • Zorba's romance with the hotel's manager - lonely ex-prostitute and porn actress Madame Hortense (Oscar-winning Lila Kedrova)
  • Zorba's admonition to Basil about the "greatest sin": "If a woman calls a man to her bed and he will NOT go!"
  • Basil's yearning for a beautiful Widow (Irene Pappas)
  • the tragic, disturbing scene in which the Widow was stoned by a mob after the village idiot committed suicide
  • Hortense's moving death in Zorba's arms from an unnamed illness (possibly pneumonia)
  • the memorable, joyous scene in which Zorba taught Basil to dance the sirtiki on a beach

(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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