Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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

The Blue Angel (1930, Germ.) (aka Der Blaue Engel)

In Josef von Sternberg's erotic drama, a star-making role for Marlene Dietrich, and the first feature-length German full-talkie:

  • the captivating and alluring image of leggy, black-stockinged temptress Lola Lola Frohlich (Marlene Dietrich) with a tilted top hat singing "Falling in Love Again (Can't Help It)" (her signature song) in a sleazy German nightclub cellar (named The Blue Angel Cabaret), entrancing college prep HS teacher Professor Immanuel Rath (Emil Jannings) in the audience
  • the degradation scene in which once-dignified but now disheveled, disgraced and broken Prof. Rath was forced to crow like a rooster in a pathetic clown act for her cabaret troupe's stage show, as Lola was in the arms of her new love interest - strongman Mazeppa (Hans Albers) and kissing him off-stage
  • in the film's sad conclusion, the eventual death of a very destitute and almost insane Rath - consumed by jealousy, hate, remorse, and regret about his abject life of servitude; his body was found draped over his old classroom's master desk where he once taught, with his clenched hand gripping the side of the furniture

The Blues Brothers (1980)

In director John Landis' rock-filled crime-comedy:

  • the character pairing of two "blues brothers" - two white singers with soul, shades, and identical black suits and hats: Jake (John Belushi) and Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd)
  • their meeting with their former teacher, Sister Mary "The Penguin" Stigmata (Kathleen Freeman), who sent them on a "mission from God" to raise $5,000 to save the Catholic orphanage where they were raised from foreclosure, after reprimanding them, striking them for having "filthy mouths and bad attitudes" - and warning them not to come back "until you've redeemed yourselves"
  • Elwood's repeated famous line to Jake: ("We're on a mission from God!") to justify their brotherly activities, in the Triple Rock Baptist church, in the presence of Reverend Cleophus James (James Brown), who was preaching: "Do you see the light?...Have you seen the light?":
  • the tremendous number of noisy and wasteful multi-car crashes and pile-ups on the way to and in the city of Chicago as they were relentlessly pursued in their Bluesmobile by police, and the incredible amount of carnage, destroyed buildings and shopping malls
  • the character of a Neo-Nazi leader (Henry Gibson), conducting a rally of "Illinois Nazis" on a stone bridge: ("White men! White women! The swastika is calling you! The sacred and ancient symbol of your race since the beginning of time. The Jew is using the black as muscle against you. And you are left there, helpless...What are you gonna do about it, whitey? Just sit there? Of course not! You are going to join with us, the members of the American Socialist White People's Party - an organization of decent law-abiding white folk just like you"), and the sequence in which the Blues Brothers forced the followers to jump off the bridge when they drove through after Jake's statement: "I hate Illinois Nazis"
  • the Blues Brothers' many performances, including "Shake a Tail Feather" with Ray Charles at Ray's Music Exchange Shop, the theme from "Rawhide" to win over an unruly country bar crowd at Bob's Country Bunker in Kokomo, and their main performance of "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" at the Palace Hotel Ballroom north of Chicago
  • the concluding sequence of the two brothers, pursued by cops, bands, guardsmen, SWAT teams, etc, paying the orphanage's property taxes inside the Cook County City Hall - where they were promptly arrested with dozens of guns pointed at them
  • the many cameo appearances (Twiggy, Carrie Fisher, Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker, James Brown, Pee-Wee Herman, Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway, Steve Lawrence, Steven Spielberg, and Frank Oz - of the Muppets, and more!)

Blue Velvet (1986)

In director David Lynch's definitive film with many strange images and scenes - a bizarre, erotically-charged and nightmarish film of the dark-side of life:

  • the masterful opening scene of images of small-town, white-picket fence Americana concluding with a zoom-close-up into the grass finding insects fighting to the death
  • the discovery of a severed ear carelessly discarded in undergrowth
  • the odyssey of small-town, virginal and wholesome Sandy (Laura Dern) and her clean-cut boyfriend Jeffrey (Kyle MacLachlan), their discussion: "It's a strange world", and his being drawn to the dangerous and abused Dorothy (Isabella Rossellini) and the dark side of life
  • the scene of Dorothy singing "Blue Velvet" in a nightclub
  • the victim/voyeur/abuse scenes as Jeffrey watched from Dorothy's closet and was then seduced by her at knifepoint
  • the evil, ether-addicted and depraved drug-pusher psycho Frank (Dennis Hopper) with an oxygen inhaler while terrorizing and raping Dorothy as he play-acted being both her Daddy and Baby: ("Baby wants to f--k. Get ready to f--k. You f--ker's f--ker. You f--ker. Don't you f--kin' look at me!...Baby wants blue velvet")
  • Sandy's description to Jeffrey of her dream of the robins returning to Lumberton, and her belief that there would be trouble before their arrival: ("I had a dream. In fact, it was the night I met you. In the dream, there was our world and the world was dark because there weren't any robins, and the robins represented love. And for the longest time, there was just this darkness. And all of a sudden, thousands of robins were set free, and they flew down and brought this Blinding Light of Love. And it seemed like that love would be the only thing that would make any difference. And it did. So I guess it means there is trouble 'til the robins come")
  • the scene of Jeffrey making love to Dorothy, with a rendition of Bobby Vinton's "Blue Velvet" playing in the background, with the masochistic Dorothy asking: "I want you to hurt me...Go on, hit me. Hit me!" - as Jeffrey obliged, her moist red lips appeared with sparkling white teeth
  • the harrowing scene of Frank taking a "joy ride" with a knife-threatened Jeffrey, and Dorothy
  • the Heineken/Pabst Blue Ribbon line of dialogue ("Heineken? F--k that s--t! Pabst Blue Ribbon!")
  • crazed Ben's (Dean Stockwell) remarkably surreal scene when he lip-synced - in suave karaoke-style - Roy Orbison's pop tune "In Dreams": ("A candy colored clown they call the Sandman Tiptoes to my room every night Just to sprinkle stardust and to whisper Go to sleep everything is all right. I close my eyes. Then I drift away. Into the magic night. I softly say A silent prayer. Like dreams do. Then I fall asleep To dream my dreams of you. In dreams, I walk with you. In dreams, I talk to you. In dreams, you're mine, all the time. We're together...")
  • the truly terrifying scene of Frank's brutalization of Jeffrey by distorting the metaphor of the lyrics of the song "Love Letters Straight From Your Heart": ("Don't be a good neighbor to her. I'll send you a love letter straight from my heart, f--ker. Do you know what a love letter is? It's a bullet from a f--kin' gun, f--ker. If you receive a love letter from me, you are f--ked forever. Do you understand, f--k? I'll send ya straight to Hell, f--ker!")
  • the appearance of a naked and battered Dorothy on the Beaumont's front lawn and into Sandy's house and her odd declaration: ("He put his disease in me")
  • the final scene with peaceful organ music, romance, bright sunshine in a kitchen, an optimistic future, friendly conversations between neighbors, united families - all the false comforts of the nostalgic 50s past symbolized by the return of the robins: (Jeffrey: "Maybe the robins are here"), bringing Sandy's dream to fulfillment - the Blinding Light of Love

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969)

In Paul Mazursky's satirical film about changing sexual mores in the late 60s, with the tagline "Consider the Possibilities" - and its story of encounter groups, permissive sex, counter-cultural temptation and emotional openness among affluent adults:

  • two couples: Bob and Carol Sanders (Robert Culp and Natalie Wood) and their best friends Ted and Alice Henderson (Elliott Gould and Dyan Cannon), who had their marital vows of fidelity challenged during a weekend 'swinging' trip to Las Vegas
  • the scene of Alice drunkenly urging everyone to do what she (and they) wanted to do, and what they logically had come there for: "Orgy, have an orgy. Orgy, orgy"
  • Carol's suggestion to Ted to have sex with her - mate-swapping: ("It's physical fun, it's just sex. Oh, come on, it'll be fun"); Ted added as the couples began to help themselves get undressed: "First, we'll have an orgy and then we'll go see Tony Bennett"
  • the film's publicity - the view of the couples in the bedroom, lined up in bed (and naked under the sheets) and feeling very awkward about proceeding with group sex and/or mate-swapping
  • the film's sappy ending with the couples leaving the hotel without trading partners after all, following an aborted attempt (with only brief kissing), and the playing of the Burt Bacharach song "What the World Needs Now (Is Love, Sweet Love)"

Body Double (1984)

In Brian De Palma's homage to both of Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window (1954) and Vertigo (1958):

  • hard luck and out-of-work LA actor Jake Scully's (Craig Wasson) voyeuristic watching through a high-powered telescope as a beautiful, rich Gloria Revelle (Deborah Shelton) performed a self-pleasuring dance in a nearby apartment
  • the lengthy sequence of an infatuated Jake stalking the mysterious Gloria - and also terrorized by a creepy Indian, ending with Jake and Gloria kissing on the beach (with obvious back-projection) - with a Vertigo-like revolving camera, until she declared: "I can't do this" - and ran off
  • the infamous and tense phone cord strangulation/erect power drill murder of Gloria by her disguised husband "Sam Bouchard" (Gregg Henry), as Jake attempted to reach her and rescue her, although thwarted by her dog
  • Melanie Griffith's breakthrough role as porn queen Holly Body, the film's 'body double', when Jake realized by watching a porn video that she was the one dancing in the apartment, hired to perform for two nights only: ("That was you in the Revelle house") - helping him to unravel the conspiracy behind Gloria's murder
  • the famous use of British pop band Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Relax" for the 'film within a film' porn shoot - with Jake as a nerdy newcomer and his opening ironic line: "I like to watch," followed by Holly's seduction: ("Makes you hot, doesn't it?...Makes me hot too. Why don't you come over her, and I'll show you how hot")
  • the unmasking of the disguise of "Sam Bouchard" as a killer-Indian - actually Alexander Revelle, the separated and disgruntled murderer of wife Gloria Revelle, when he admitted angrily to Jake: "You ruined my surprise ending" - and ended up getting pushed backward to his death in the churning reservoir water below
  • the use of a naked 'body double' in a vampire horror film shower scene during the closing credits, when Holly watched from the side and advised the robed actress watching the nude double - "You know what? You're gonna get a lot of dates when this comes out."

Body Heat (1981)

In Lawrence Kasdan's film-noirish crime drama modeled after The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946):

  • the tempting, sizzling femme fatale Matty Walker (Kathleen Turner) with her famous line toward simple-minded Florida attorney Ned Racine (William Hurt) - "You're not too smart, are you? I like that in a man"; he willingly responded: "What else do you like? Lazy, ugly, horny, I've got 'em all."
  • the erotic, steamy sex scene in which Ned, about to leave Matty's house, was enticed to enter by an eager-looking Matty inside. He broke into her locked house through the porch bay window with a garden chair (to the sound of wind chimes) to the awaiting, horny and receptive Matty. After feeling her breasts and crotch through her clothing, she laid back on the floor. He removed her panties to make love to her, exclaiming: "It's so right!" She begged: "Please, Ned. Do it!"
  • the film's numerous highly-charged, non-stop sweaty sex scenes, with Ned begging: "Gimme a break here. It takes a little while..You are killing me. I'm red, I'm sore...Look at it. It's about to fall off."
  • the scene of Ned's mistaken delivery of a very forward proposition to Matty's visiting high school girlfriend Mary Ann Simpson (Kim Zimmer): "Hey lady, do you wanna f--k?"
  • the controversial scene in which Matty's young niece Heather (Carola McGuinness) caught the two in an oral sex act but couldn't identify the man with the erection
  • the fight-to-the-death with Edmund Walker (Richard Crenna) during a botched murder in the hall of his opulent home
  • Matty's final assuring words to Ned: "Whatever happens, you must believe that I love you" which eventually proved to be empty
  • the surprise ending when Ned saw Matty's picture in a yearbook (received while serving time in the Florida State Penitentiary), with her name displayed as "Mary Ann Simpson" (with the nickname "The Vamp" and her ambition: "To be rich and live in an exotic land")
  • the final view of 'Matty' reclining on a beach chair in the tropics, while Ned was charged with Edmund's murder and imprisoned in a Florida state penitentiary, while "Matty" had escaped "to be rich and live in an exotic land"

Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

In Arthur Penn's controversial, ground-breaking film:

  • the film's opening with a colorful closeup of red, luscious lips (that were being licked after lipstick had been applied) belonging to blonde Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) - a bored, beautiful, and sexually-frustrated, Depression-era Texas cafe waitress, who was about to meet small-town con and car thief Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) and join in a life of crime
  • bank-robbing Clyde Barrow's first major seduction of Bonnie Parker by showing off his gun and bouncing a wooden matchstick (shot upright as a phallic symbol) between his teeth
  • numerous sped-up (a la Keystone Cops slapstick) bank robberies to the sound of banjo music
  • the scene of refuge in a movie theatre while viewing We're In The Money
  • the scene in which the gang took pictures of itself, with Bonnie posing with her gun
  • the realistic death scene in a field of Clyde's mortally-wounded brother Buck (Gene Hackman) with Blanche's (Estelle Parsons) hysterical screaming about his dying: ("Daddy, don't die!! Daddy!!")
  • Bonnie's recitation of her poem - "The Story of Bonnie and Clyde": ("Here's the story of Bonnie and Clyde...Now Bonnie and Clyde are the Barrow gang. I'm sure you all have read How they rob and steal And those who squeal Are usually found dyin' or dead. They call them cold-hearted killers They say they are heartless and mean But I say this with pride That I once knew Clyde When he was honest and upright and clean...")
  • the quick montage-succession of events during the roadside ambush sequence
  • the final violent, slow-motion, two-minute "ballet of blood" as both gangsters' bodies spasmed in a dance when pummeled with an unprecedented number of bullets

Boogie Nights (1997)

In Paul Thomas Anderson's period film, with the recreated look of the late-70s LA porn industry:

  • the virtuoso long, opening tracking shot into and throughout the interior of a Reseda, California Hot Traxx nightclub
  • the dignified presence of LA porn filmmaker Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds)
  • high-school dropout and porn starlet Brandy (aka Rollergirl) (Heather Graham) who removed everything but her roller skates for sex with well-endowed busboy Eddie Adams/ the future 'Dirk Diggler' (Mark Wahlberg): ("Are you ready?...Oh yeah...I don't take my skates off - and don't f--king come in me")
  • the filming of newbie porn star Dirk Diggler's first sex scene with porn queen Amber Waves (Julianne Moore). She assured him as he was about to come: "Don't worry, I'm fixed" and that he was "a wonderful actor." When she urged him to climax inside of her: ("Come in me... I want you to come in me"), the crew missed the 'money shot'
  • the scene at Horner's New Years' Eve Party at the dawn of the year 1980, when assistant porn producer "Little" Bill Thompson (William H. Macy) discovered his unfaithful porn star wife (real adult star Nina Hartley) in a back bedroom having sex, then slowly walked to his parked car to get his gun to commit a double murder-suicide in the company of the other shocked guests
  • the nerve-wracking cocaine sale/rip-off scene in the house of silver bath-robed, raving drug tycoon Rahad Jackson (Alfred Molina) with his young Asian servant boy Cosmo setting off firecrackers in the background - all accompanied by Night Ranger's "Sister Christian" and Rick Springfield's "Jesse's Girl" on the soundtrack, and its inevitable violent ending
  • the final shot of Diggler's endowed (prosthetic) 13 inch "special thing" as he recited in his mirror: "I am a star. I'm a star, I'm a star, I'm a star. I am a big, bright, shining star. That's right!"

Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

In Oliver Stone's anti-war message film:

  • the gung-ho patriotism of Marine enlistee Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise): ("Don't you know what it means to me to be a Marine, Dad? Ever since I was a kid I've wanted this - I've wanted to serve my country - and I want to go. I want to go to Vietnam - and I'll die there if I have to")
  • the moment in which Vietnam soldier Ron Kovic during his second tour of duty in early 1968, was shot during a patrol in a field when encountering a fierce fire-fight; although wounded in the foot, he continued to wildly fire at the enemy - and then was hit in the chest - with blood coming out of his mouth
  • the awful and nightmarish conditions during bedridden Kovic's recovery at the Bronx Veterans Administration Hospital, where he suffered from poor and "indecent" treatment, unavailability of doctors, and a deplorable physical state; in a dramatic scene, he begged to be treated right with a black doctor and not to have his leg amputated: ("It's my leg! I want my leg, you understand? Can't you understand that? All's I'm sayin' is I want to be treated like a human being! I fought for my country! I am a Vietnam veteran! I fought for my country!...So I think I deserve to be treated decent, decent...")
  • the emotional home-coming scene in 1969 which father Mr. Kovic (Raymond J. Barry) hugged his newly paralyzed (from the mid-chest down), wheel-chair bound Vietnam veteran son Ron Kovic - a former star wrestler and all-American athlete with shattered illusions and ideals
  • Ron Kovic's emotional and ultra-patriotic homecoming speech on the 4th of July, his birthday: ("I just want to say, for all the guys, uh, in Vietnam, we're doing our best. It's not an easy situation, but the boys - the morale over there is real high. And you can feel confident that we are, we are gonna win that war. I served my country. And I don't want you to feel sorry for me. Do not shed a tear. I have my hand, my eyes, my ears, I have my heart, and I have what I feel - I have what I feel is an unquenchable --- "), but then he became overcome (during a war flashback when he heard a baby crying and an overhead helicopter) and had to end his speech short
  • the scene of Ron's revelation about his disillusionment about the war to his old high school friend Timmy (Frank Whaley), another wounded veteran, about wishing to have his whole body back: ("I failed, Timmy...because I-I killed some people. I made some terrible - mistakes!... Sometimes I wish, I wish I'd, the first time I got hit, I was shot in the foot. I could have laid down, I mean, who gives a f--k now if I was a hero or not? I was paralyzed, castrated that day. Why? It was all so stupid! I'd have my dick and my balls now, and I think, I think Timmy I'd give everything I believe in, everything I got, all my values, just to have my body back again, just to be whole again. But I'm not whole. I never will be, and that's, that's the way it is, isn't it?"). Timmy replied optimistically: ("For Christ's sake, Ronnie, it's your birthday. You're alive. You made it! Smile!")
  • the blunt dialogue that an angry, anguished, and helpless Kovic screamed at his distressed mother (Caroline Kava) about his complete disillusionment with life: ("We went to Vietnam to stop Communism! We shell women and children!...That was the war. Communism, the insidious evil! They, they told us to go....Thou shalt not kill, Mom. Thou shalt not kill women and children! Thou shalt not kill! Remember? Isn't that what you taught us? Isn't that what they taught us?...And it's all falling apart! King, Kennedy, Kent State! We all lost the f--king war! F--king Communism won. It's all for nothing....You tell her, Dad! Tell her it's a lie! It's a f--king lie! There's no God! God is as dead as my legs! There's no God! There's no country! It's just me and this f--king wheelchair for the rest of my life - for nothing. Me and this, this, this dead penis, Mom"); then in the most devastating moment during his breakdown, he pulled out his catheter and referred to his biggest casualty or loss: ("In church, they say it's a sin if you play with your penis. I just wish I could... Penis!...Penis! Big f--king erect penis, Mom!...Penis! Penis!")
  • the scene of anti-war veterans, including political activist and paraplegic Kovic, attempting to storm and disrupt the 1972 Republican National Convention in Miami during Nixon's acceptance speech, and Ron's tumultuous, televised (grainy) speech to reporters, that soon turned into a "scuffle" and riotous "commotion": ("I'm a Vietnam veteran. I'm here tonight to say that this war is wrong, that this society lied to me, and lied to my brothers. The people in this country tricked him into going 13,000 miles to fight a war against the poor peasant people who have a proud history of resistance, who have been struggling for their own, for their own independence for one thousand years - the Vietnamese people. I can't, I can't find the words to express how the leadership of this government sickens me. Now, people say, people say: 'If you don't love America, then get the hell out.' Well, I love America. We love the people of America very much, but when it comes to the government, it stops right there. The government is a bunch of corrupt thieves, they are rapists and robbers, and we are here to say that 'We don't have to take it anymore.' We are here to say, we are here to tell the truth. They are killing our brothers in Vietnam. We want them to hear the truth tonight... (a Republican delegate shouted out 'traitor' and spit in his face) Is this what we get? Spit in the face! We're never, never gonna let the people of the United States forget that war. It happened, and you're not gonna sweep it under the rug because you didn't like the ratings, like some television show. This wheelchair, our wheelchairs, this steel, our steel, is your Memorial Day on wheels. We are your Yankee Doodle Dandy coming home..."); as the disabled vets were wheeled away, Ron kept screaming: "Stop the bombing! Stop the war!"
  • the film's concluding scene, when Ron Kovic was being wheeled into the 1976 Democratic National Convention, now hailed and honored as a real hero after the publication of his autobiography (Born on the Fourth of July): ("Just lately, I felt like I'm home, you know, like, uh, maybe we're home")

Born Yesterday (1950)

In George Cukor's great comedy:

  • the character of unrefined "dumb blonde" and ex-chorus girl mistress Billie Dawn (Judy Holliday) - a 'kept woman' of corrupt, disreputable and uncouth millionaire junkyard (scrap-iron) tycoon Harry Brock (Broderick Crawford)
  • the famous scene of Billie playing gin rummy game and always winning ("Gin!") against Harry
  • the sound of Billie's unabashedly vulgar, shrill, stupid-sounding, Betty Boop-like voice
  • Billie's ignorance about the difference between a peninsula and penicillin, but her increased intelligence after being tutored by ex-journalist Paul Varall (William Holden) - i.e., Harry Brock: "Shut up! You ain't gonna be tellin' nobody nothin' pretty soon!" Billie Dawn: "DOUBLE NEGATIVE! Right?" Paul Verrall: "Right!"
  • Billie's retort to Harry: "Would you do me a favor, Harry?...Drop dead!"
  • the burgeoning romance between Billie and Paul, when he kissed her: (Billie: "What are ya doin'?" Paul: "If you don't know, I must be doing it wrong")
  • the scene when Billie finally stood up to Harry: ("You're just not couth...You don't own me!...Big Fascist!")
  • the film's final line spoken by Billie to a police officer about her recent marriage to Paul: "We'll make it. It's a clear case of predestination." Officer: "Pre--- what?" Billie: "Look it up."

Bowling for Columbine (2002)

Activist documentarian Michael Moore's interview-laden film:

  • the humorous, animated, 3-minute "A Brief History of the United States of America" (created in the style of South Park) with its ending image of a well-armed family, narrated by a talking bullet: (Narrator: "And everyone lived happily ever after")
  • the scene about North Country (Michigan) Bank and Trust that offered new customers a firearm for opening up a Weatherby Certificate of Deposit, with the clerk bragging that they had a locked vault keeping a supply of at least 500 firearms, and his ironic question: ("Do you think it's a little dangerous handing out guns in a bank?")
  • interviews with pro-gun advocates, including a bizarre James Nichols (brother of Terry) and members of the Michigan Militia (who counted Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh of the Oklahoma bombings as members), and Nichols' most surprising quotes: "I sleep with a .44 magnum under my pillow," and "There's wackos out there"; this was followed by a montage about the proliferation of guns and the excitement of gun-owners, plus the depiction of a few real-life killings - accompanied by the Beatles' song: "Happiness is a Warm Gun"
  • the interview with rocker Marilyn Manson, calling himself "The Poster Boy for Fear" - and making the connection between fear and consumer consumption: ("...You're watching television, you're watching the news, you're being pumped full of fear. There's floods, there's AIDS, there's murder, cut to commercial, buy the Acura, buy the Colgate. If you have bad breath, they're not gonna talk to ya. If you got pimples, the girl's not gonna f--k you, and it's just this, it's a campaign of fear and consumption, and that's what I think that it's all based on - it's the whole idea that 'keep everyone afraid and they'll consume'")
  • also Manson's response to Michael Moore's question: "If you were to talk directly to the kids at Columbine, or the people in that community, what would you say to them if they were here right now?" -- ("I wouldn't say a single word to them. I would listen to what they have to say, and that's what no one did")
  • the concluding segment with actor/NRA chairman Charlton Heston at his "estate atop Beverly Hills," who expressed his pro-gun position (and refused any apologies) only a few weeks after the Columbine (Littleton, Colorado) HS shooting in April, 1999, and after the shooting death of a 6 year-old girl at Buell Elementary School (with Moore showing a picture of a victim) - but then refused further questions and walked away

A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969)

In the first film starring the Peanuts characters:

  • the evocative opening of the characters of Charlie Brown, Linus and Lucy looking for cloud shapes in the sky, and Charlie's resigned response to Linus' extravagant visions: ("Well, I was going to say I saw a duckie and a horsie... but I changed my mind")
  • 'born loser' Charlie's repeated failures trying to fly a kite, and win a baseball game: ("I think it would be kind of fun to win once in a while...Losing isn't anything"); Linus was encouraging for him to be optimistic: "Look at it this way, Charlie Brown, we learn more from losing than we do from winning" - Charlie joked: "I guess that makes me the smartest person in the whole world" - although at the same time, Linus defeated Charlie in a game of sidewalk tic-tac-toe
  • Snoopy's two fantasies: as a WWI ace pilot fighting an aerial battle with an opponent (the Red Baron) with his doghouse transformed into a Sopwith Camel, and as a hard-nosed hockey player
  • Lucy's promise to point out Charlie's faults in her psychiatric help booth, in a slide show viewed on a slide projector system in her home: ("I recognize your frailties, your weaknesses. You need me to point out your faults, Charlie Brown. It's for your own good. Besides, I can do it better than anyone else"); she pointed out many of his faults, including his tendency to be fat and have a large nose, and his repeated clumsiness at kicking a football
  • Charlie's final victory at his school's spelling bee by spelling the word: "Perceive - P-E-R-C-E-I-V-E, perceive" - (after remembering the spelling song "I Before E (Except After C)" that he had earlier practiced with Snoopy playing a jaw harp), and his triumphant reception by his friends
  • Charlie's embarrassing failure to win the annual National Spelling Bee in NYC by mis-spelling "beagle" (Snoopy's breed) as B-E-A-G-E-L, with all of his friends watching on television
  • the powerfully poignant ending sequence that followed, beginning with Linus' exquisite speech to a morose, bedridden, and depressed Charlie Brown after failing at the national spelling bee: ("...I suppose you feel you let everyone down, and you made a fool out of yourself and everything. (pauses before leaving) But did you notice something, Charlie Brown?...The world didn't come to an end")
  • the scene of a thoughtful Charlie walking through town watching life go on as before, and his sneaky but futile attempt to kick the football out of Lucy's hands for the umpteenth time - when she removed it just as he approached
  • Lucy's warm greeting as Charlie lay on the ground after missing the football, with the film's final line of dialogue: "Welcome home, Charlie Brown!" - with Rod McKuen's soulful: "A Boy Named Charlie Brown": ("He's just a kid next door, perhaps a little more / A boy named Charlie Brown")

Boy on a Dolphin (1957)

In director Jean Negulesco's adventure drama (mostly shot on location) - Sophia Loren's American film debut, about the discovery of an ancient Greek statue of a boy riding a dolphin:

  • the underwater image during the credits of the valuable "boy on a dolphin" sunken statue accompanied by the lyrics of the title song (sung by Julie London): ("There's a tale that they tell of a dolphin And a boy made of gold. With the shells and the pearls in the deep, He has lain many years fast asleep What they tell of the boy on a dolphin, Who can say if it's true? Should he rise from the depths of the ocean, Any wish that you wish may come true...")
  • the quintessential image, an opening entrance scene, of sexy, dripping wet, well-endowed Greek sponge diver Phaedra (Sophia Loren) in a diving sequence on the island of Hydra - emerging from underwater and climbing into the boat of her illegal Albanian immigrant boyfriend Rhif (Jorge Mistral)

Boys Don't Cry (1999)

In Kimberly Peirce's shocking debut film:

  • the portrayal of real-life 20-year old small-town Nebraska, female-born Teena Brandon (Oscar-winning Hilary Swank), who masqueraded as a boy (named Brandon Teena) when trapped in a girl's body while suffering a "sexual identity crisis" and awaiting a sex-change operation. Her cross-dressing routine involved taping down her breasts with gauze, stuffing her crotch with a wadded-up white sock, and wearing a cowboy hat
  • Teena's heartbreaking covert lesbian relationship with teenaged, white-trash factory worker, aspiring singer and blonde love interest Lana Tisdel (Chloe Sevigny) after confessing his/her true sexual identity, including their controversial, outdoor lesbian oral sex scene
  • the revelatory disrobing scene of Brandon/Teena when his/her pants were pulled down by jealous ex-convict John Lotter (Peter Sarsgaard) to reveal that 'he' was biologically female, before she was raped from behind over a car - the film's most disturbing scene
  • the shocking murder of Brandon/Teena in the film's conclusion when shot at point-blank range in the chin by John Lotter. After Brandon/Teena slumped to the floor, John stabbed her lifeless body before fleeing. Her helpless girlfriend Lana screamed and watched in horror, and then laid next to the corpse
  • in the final scene, the voice-over reading of Brandon's/Teena's letter to Lana, as she drove away from town: ("Dear Lana, By the time you read this, I'll be back home in Lincoln. I'm scared of what's ahead, but when I think of you, I know I'll be able to go on. You were right. Memphis isn't far at all. I'll be making a trip out on the highway before too long. I'll be waiting for ya. Love always and forever, Brandon")

Boys Town (1938)

In director Norman Taurog's biographical drama:

  • the memorable scene in which Father Edward J. Flanagan (Oscar-winning Spencer Tracy) pulled up rebellious, wise-guy punk teen Whitey Marsh (Mickey Rooney) by the collar and introduced himself: ("I'm Father Flanagan...You're coming with me to Boys Town")
  • further scenes of Father Flanagan's discussions with Whitey (i.e., "Are you going to see these boys turned out into the streets, into the alleys, into reformatories, and worse, lose their home?")

(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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