Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

My Left Foot (1989)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

My Left Foot (1989, UK)

In Jim Sheridan's biopic based on Christy Brown's autobiography - a disabled, working-class Dubliner who was afflicted with cerebral palsy:

  • the opening scene (interspersed with flashbacks into Christy's life) just before adult Christy Brown (Oscar-winning Daniel Day-Lewis), and gifted painter, fundraiser and writer (with his left foot), was to receive an award at a charity-event/benefit; and his request of nurse-caretaker Mary Carr (Ruth McCabe) to provide him with a light for his cigarette - and his tirade at her for refusing: ("I don't need a f--kin' psychology lesson. I just need a f--kin' light"); and then his anger later expressed at her for walking off: ("'Again some time.' I heard that before, Mary. Why is it always some f--king time? Mary, Stay! Stay!")
  • the moving scenes of the young and paralyzed nine or ten year-old Christy's (Hugh O'Conor) childhood, when he made his first mark on a piece of slate with chalk wedged between the toes of his left foot, then painfully scratched his first word ("MOTHER") on the parlor floor
Piece of Slate
Christy's First Marks
First Word: "MOTHER"
  • the scene in which he struggled to get down the stairs to save his unconscious mother (Brenda Fricker) who was experiencing labor
Saving His Unconscious Mother
  • the scenes of his participation in street-soccer (on his 17th birthday) and other games with his peers - often carted around in a wooden wheelbarrow
  • the scenes of Christy's struggle to engage in speech therapy with his teacher Dr. Eileen Cole (Fiona Shaw), for which he developed an affection
  • the scene in a restaurant during dinner when a drunken Christy told his own speech therapy teacher Dr. Eileen Cole: "I love you, Eileen...I really love you. I love you all"; she replied that she loved him too - but it was only a declaration of platonic love; then she told him the news that she had become engaged to Peter, and would marry him in six months; Christy reacted angrily and hurt, and slowly blurted out the sarcastic: "Con-grat-u-la-tions, Peter and Eileen... on the won, wonderful news. I'm glad you taught me how to speak so I could say that, Eileen"; he then rejected Eileen's declaration of love, by spitefully replying: ("Ah, you mean platonic love. I've had nothing but platonic love all me life. Do you know what I say? F--k Plato! And f--k all love that's not 100% commitment!"); and then Christy became hysterical when he was about to be removed and wheeled out out of the restaurant by Peter: (Christy shouted out as he banged his head on the table: "Wheel out the cripple! Wheel out the cripple!"), and he grabbed the tablecloth with his teeth; eventually Eileen yelled: "Stop it!"
Embarrassing Restaurant Dinner Scene
With Dr. Eileen Cole and Her Fiancee Peter
  • Christy's tortured suicidal attempt with a razor held between his toes, after writing a suicide note: ("All is nothing, therefore nothing must end")

Afflicted Christy Brown Receiving Award

Young Paralyzed Christy

Christy's Participation in Street Soccer

His Ability to Paint

Schooling and Speech Therapy

Suicide Note and Attempt to Kill Himself With Razor Blade

Hopeful Signs of Romance with Christy's Nurse-Caretaker Mary Carr (Eventually His Wife)


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z