Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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

Diner (1982)

In writer/director Barry Levinson's period comedy film, the classic episodic rites-of-passage film of the late 50s centered around a Baltimore, Maryland diner (Fells Point):

  • many of the scenes at the 1959 Fells Point Diner between a group of six post high-school graduate male friends - and their many fast-paced, late night, often mindless discussions (with overlapping dialogue)
  • the scene of Modell's (Paul Reiser) and Eddie's intensely passionate debate about the best make-out music (Frank Sinatra or Johnny Mathis) with the blunt answer from Eddie: "Mathis"; "Shrevie" couldn't answer: "I'm married. We don't make out"; later when "Boogie" was asked the same question by Eddie, he gave a quick reply: "Presley!"
  • the diner argument scene in which annoying, wise-cracking Modell eyed an exasperated Eddie's roast-beef sandwich: ("You gonna finish that?") but "Shrevie" was the one who grabbed half of the sandwich and ended up taking a bite out of it
  • the scene at Eddie's bachelor party when William "Billy" Howard (Tim Daly) suggested: "Are we gonna pick up the beat?!"), and took a place at the piano to increase the tempo, as Eddie joined the stripper (with a boa) on stage
  • the scene of a pre-nuptial 140 question trivia test (65 was passing) about the Baltimore Colts pro football team required by virginal momma's boy and football fanatic Edward "Eddie" Simmons (Steve Guttenberg) for his off-screen fiancee Elyse just before the wedding in a few days - friends and family members gathered around the basement to keep score where he grilled her; and when it was over, Eddie announced solemnly: "The marriage is off!"
  • Earl Mager's (Mark Margolis) attempt to eat "the whole left side of the menu"; Earl answered in the affirmative when asked if his challenge included the fried chicken dinner; Eddie and Modell were astonished: "Twenty-two deluxe sandwiches and the fried-chicken dinner! It's not human. He's not a person. He's like a building with feet. You know what I mean? It's unbelievable"; afterwards, Earl drove off in his small Nash Metropolitan
  • the set-piece joke in a movie theatre of scheming, hustling, indebted Robert "Boogie" Sheftell's (Mickey Rourke) macho movie-theatre wager with his friends that he could entice a girl on a first date to a certain level of intimacy ("Do ya wanna bet that she goes for my pecker - first thing?") - executed with the creative use of a popcorn box with blonde date Carol Heathrow (Colette Blonigan) when he stuck his privates into the bottom of the box to fool her into touching his "pecker"
Boogie's (Mickey Rourke) 'Pecker' in Popcorn Box Trick
  • Timothy "Fen" Fenwick Jr.'s (Kevin Bacon) drunk destruction and desecration of the city's Nativity scene
  • the "Don't Touch My Records" scene between a married couple - a neglected and under-appreciated Beth (Ellen Barkin in her screen debut) and exasperated music-obsessed Laurence 'Shrevie' Schreiber (Daniel Stern) when he asked: "Have you been playing my records?"; he complained about her improper filing of one of his treasured records according to category, alphabet, and year - she had placed a James Brown record filed under the J's instead of the B's for Blues ("To top it off, he's in the rock n roll section instead of the R&B section - how can you do it?"); he also went further and criticized her lack of knowledge about Charlie Parker (yelling: "Jazz, jazz! He was the greatest jazz saxophone player that ever played!"); 'Shrevie' became fanatical: "Every one of my records means something - the label, the producer, the year it was made, who was copying whose styles...who's expanding on that, don't you understand? When I listen to my records they take me back to certain points in my life, OK? Just don't touch my records, ever!"; she was left with tears welling up in her eyes
Wedding Bouquet on Table in Front of Group
  • in the concluding scene at Eddie's and bride Elyse's wedding, she tossed her wedding bouquet into the air - it landed on the table in front of the Diner guys; then, during the end credits, the guys were heard talking at the diner - again

(l to r): Eddie (Steve Guttenberg) and 'Shrevie' (Daniel Stern)

(l to r): Fenwick (Kevin Bacon) and Modell (Paul Reiser)

Result of Football Trivia Quiz: "The marriage is off!"

Earl's Attempt to Eat All Items on Left Side of Menu

Eddie's Bachelor Party - Dancing with Stripper

'Shrevie' Complaining to Wife Beth About His Precious, Mixed Up and Miscategorized LP Record Collection

Dinner at Eight (1933)

In MGM's and George Cukor's sophisticated comedy/drama with many great stars, the first all-star comedy:

  • failing shipping line magnate Oliver Jordan's (Lionel Barrymore) nostalgic memories of his love for aging grand dame actress Carlotta Vance (Marie Dressler)
  • platinum blonde trophy wife Kitty Packard (Jean Harlow), in her white-hot extravagant bedroom, taking bites out of chocolates and putting the pieces back in the box
  • Kitty's memorable argument scenes with tycoonish husband Dan (Wallace Beery)
  • Mrs. Oliver Jordan's (Billie Burke) hyper-ventilating hysteria over her ruined dinner plans for Friday's "dinner at eight" for a group of elite socialites
  • the image of failed, ex-silent era star Larry Renault's (John Barrymore) profile in a vivid but pathetic suicide scene by turning on the gas in his sealed Versailles Hotel suite
  • the well-known show-stopping closing with priceless dialogue when Kitty made conversation with Carlotta on their way into dinner ---
Carlotta's Comment to Kitty

Kitty: "I was reading a book the other day."
Carlotta (staggering at the thought): "Reading a book!"
Kitty: "Yes. It's all about civilization or something, a nutty kind of a book. Do you know that the guy said that machinery is going to take the place of every profession?"
Carlotta (eyeing Kitty's costume and shapely physical charms): "Oh, my dear, that's something you need never worry about."

Oliver Jordan (Lionel Barrymore) with Carlotta Vance (Marie Dressler)

Kitty Packard (Jean Harlow) in Bed Eating Chocolates

Kitty Arguing With Husband Dan Packard (Wallace Beery)

Larry Renault (John Barrymore - "The Profile") Succumbing to Suicide by Gas

Dirty Dancing (1987)

In Emile Ardolino's teen dance and romantic drama:

  • the repressed, sweaty, secret, off-limits scenes of early 1960s 'dirty dancing' among the resort staff in their dormitory quarters in the film's opening
  • the character of the macho Catskill Mountains resort hotel resident dance instructor and sexy suitor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) who ended up teaching 17 year-old Frances 'Baby' Houseman (Jennifer Grey) expressive R 'n' B dance moves, in one sequence to the tune of Hungry Eyes
  • the scene in Johnny's red-lit bungalow when Baby invited him ("Dance with me") - to the tune of Cry to Me, and stripped down to her white bra and jeans
  • the film's most iconic pose: Johnny's lifting 'Baby' above his head - initially during practice in a lake
  • the after-sex scene of Baby naked and awaking with Johnny - when she asked: "Have you had many women?...Tell me, I wanna know," but he was reluctant to talk about his sex partners; but then he did speak about his past relationships mostly at the resort with older rich women: "You gotta understand what it's like, Baby. You come from the streets and suddenly you're up here and these women - they are throwin' themselves at ya and they smell so good. And they really take care of themselves. I mean, I never knew women could be like that, you know? And they're so rich - they're so goddamn rich, you think they must know about everything. And they're slippin' their room keys in my hand two and three times a day -- different women -- so, here I think I'm scorin' big, right? And for awhile, you think - 'Hey, they wouldn't be doin' this if they didn't care about me, right?'; when Baby asked if he was using them, he claimed it was just the reverse: "No, no, that's not it. That's the thing, Baby. See, it wasn't like that. They were usin' me" - and then they kissed passionately
  • in the film's finale at the end-of-season show, Johnny confronted Baby's parents (mostly her protective father Dr. Jake Houseman (Jerry Orbach)) - he told Jake: "Nobody puts Baby in a corner!" and led her to the stage; (although fired) he interrupted and announced to the crowd: "Sorry about the disruption, folks, but I always do the last dance of the season" - and then to the tune of Bill Medley and Jennifer Warne's "(I've Had) The Time of My Life," he and Baby danced together, including Johnny lifting Baby above his head in the midst of the audience, and encouraging the many other guests at the Catskill Resort to dance
The End-of-Season Show With a Risque Performance
That Proclaimed Baby's Love for Johnny
"Nobody puts Baby in a corner!"
Dragging Baby On-Stage
Johnny: "I always do the last dance of the season"

Off-Limits "Dirty Dancing" in Staff-Employee Quarters-Dormitory

Dance Practice Lessons: Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) with "Baby" Houseman (Jennifer Grey)

Practicing the Lift

After Sex: "Have you had many women?"

The Dirty Dozen (1967)

In this popular action-war film, the ultimate WWII 'guy's' movie, from director Robert Aldrich:

  • the premise: select a dozen anti-social, convicted, death-row murderers for a behind-the-lines assault ("Operation Amnesty"); the "Dirty Dozen" were led by commander Major John Reisman (Lee Marvin)
  • the personalities of the selected group, interviewed by Major Reisman in their military prison cells, including

    - Archer Maggott (Telly Savalas), a religious madman
    - Vernon Pinckley (Donald Sutherland), dim-witted
    - Robert Jefferson (Jim Brown - football star), African-American
    - Victor Franko (John Cassavetes), rebellious and outspoken
    - Joseph T. Wladsilaw (Charles Bronson), a stoic Pole
  • during training, an act of insubordination: the boycott- refusal of Franko - and then everyone else, to shave in cold water; Major Reisman ruled on their decision: "So you want to stink, huh? And maybe itch too? Well, that's okay with me because I don't have to smell ya. All right, Sergeant, there will be no further issue of shaving equipment or the use of soap. And there will be no more hot meals. Just K rations. Courtesy of Mr. Franko. At ease" - they would soon acquire their nickname: The Dirty Dozen
  • the scene of Pinkley, under Reisman's orders, posing as a general and inspecting Colonel Breed's (Robert Ryan) troops at a parachute training school; afterwards, superior officer Breed threatened to run Reisman out of the Army and called him "a disorganized, undisciplined clown"; Reisman responded with an insult of his own: "I owe you an apology. I always thought that you were a cold, unimaginative, tight-lipped officer. But you're really quite emotional, aren't you?"
  • the sequence during practice maneuvers, when Reisman infiltrated the camp as Colonel Breed came to inspect his men; he used machine-gun fire to subdue Breed's paratroopers, who were then disarmed and forced to surrender
  • the scene of Major Reisman's complaint when the men, after intense training, were threatened with being returned to their prisons, after he broke an Army regulation by rewarding the men with a hooker party: "You offered those men a chance to get off the hook, and they worked damn hard at it. Now that they're just shaping up, you're gonna say, 'Sorry fellas, the deal's off?' huh?" - he took the blame for the error in judgment: "All right, so I broke an Army regulation. What are you gonna do? Kill five men and send the rest to prison for life? Because if you did that, you'd have to lock up half the United States Army, officers included. Anyway, you just said it yourself, it was my fault, not theirs. And it's not gonna affect their ability as soldiers....Look, my men have crammed six months of intensive training into as many weeks. And as of this moment, I'd stack them up against any men in the Army...Look, they might not be pretty, but any one of mine is worth 10 of yours"
  • the memorized "Operation Amnesty" attack plan composed of 16 separate steps, spoken in a rhyming chant: "One: down to the road block, we've just begun; Two: the guards are through; Three: the Major's men are on a spree; Four: Major and Wladislaw go through the door; Five: Pinkley stays out in the drive; Six: the Major gives the rope a fix; Seven: Wladislaw throws the hook to heaven; Eight: Jiménez has got a date; Nine: the other guys go up the line; Ten: Sawyer and Gilpen are in the pen; Eleven: Posey guards points Five and Seven; Twelve: Wladislaw and the Major go down to delve; Thirteen: Franko goes up without being seen; Fourteen: Zero-hour, Jiménez cuts the cable, Franko cuts the phone; Fifteen: Franko goes in where the others have been; Sixteen: we all come out like it's Halloween."
  • their suicide mission to go behind Nazi enemy lines to destroy a Nazi-filled French chateau near Rennes in Brittany, filled with high-ranking German officers
  • the botched plan, when Maggott on the second floor of the chateau ordered one of the officers' mistresses/wives to scream, then stabbed her and wildly started firing
  • the sequence of Jefferson's courageous sprint after throwing grenades down into an underground bunker where the alerted Germans had fled, but he was gunned down before reaching the stolen half-track
  • the aftermath of the mission - only one of the 'Dirty Dozen' survived -- Wladislaw

Major Reisman: "I don't have to smell ya"

Major Reisman's Conflict with Colonel Breed (Robert Ryan)

Dirty Dozen Line-Up

Reisman Infiltrating His Own Camp

Major Reisman's Lecture

Maggott's Confrontation with Mistress

Jefferson's Sprint

French Chateau Explosions

Dirty Harry (1971)

In Don Siegel's action-crime film - the first of many films featuring the "Dirty Harry" character:

  • the character of renegade San Francisco cop "Dirty Harry" Callahan (Clint Eastwood) with a powerful .44 Magnum
Opening Bank Robbery Sequence
  • the spectacular opening bank robbery sequence that began when Harry spoke to greasy spoon counter-server Jaffe (Woodrow Parfrey) of the Burger Den, who asked what he wanted to order: "The usual? The usual lunch or the usual dinner?" - Harry flippantly responded: "Well, what difference does it make?"; his jumbo hot-dog lunch was interrupted - a signature piece in cop films - when he called in a 211 because of a suspicious tan vehicle nearby, and then heard the sound of the bank's alarm system and a gunshot, and had to put down his lunch after one bite: "Aw, s--t!"
  • in the next celebrated sequence, while still chewing, he calmly walked outside with his monstrous, long-barreled, heavyweight Smith and Wesson .44 Magnum ready for action against the three black men; after firing his weapon multiple times, he spoke to one of the cornered and wounded black men (Albert Popwell) who was reaching for his shotgun on the sidewalk; the thief heard the famous full lines of dialogue as a dare to go after his gun again: "I know what you're thinking. Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?" - this was followed by the criminal's surrender and implied question as Harry walked away: "I gots to know" - Harry obliged by pulling the trigger with the gun aimed at the man's head - it clicked on an empty barrel
  • the flood-lit Kezar stadium scene on the 50 yard-line when 'Dirty Harry' questioned: ("The girl? Where is she?...Where's the girl?"); he also tortured and arrested psychotic, roof-top sniper and serial killer Scorpio (Andy Robinson) by Callahan after wounding him, as the killer was pleading: ("I have the right for a lawyer") - ending with the lengthy pull-back helicopter shot into the darkness
  • the final hi-jacked school bus scene (with Harry riding on the top of the bus)
The Demise of Scorpio
  • the quarry gun battle that ended when the wounded killer heard another challenge with the same famous threatening lines of dialogue - and wound up shot dead
  • Harry's final gesture - discarding his police badge (Inspector 2211, SF Police) into the stagnant pond with the body of Scorpio

Sniper Scorpio
(Andy Robinson)

Kezar Stadium Confrontation Between Incensed Harry and Scorpio

Hi-Jacked School Bus

'Dirty' Harry Discarding His SFPD Badge

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972, Fr.) (aka Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie)

In surrealist director Luis Bunuel's satirical, dramatic comedy masterpiece about entitled dinner-goers, presented episodically, there were real-world events, inserted narratives, and dream sequences (one was a dream-within-a-dream) - it was the winner of the Best Foreign Film Oscar:

  • the attempts of six middle-class (affluent bourgeoisie) Parisians to have a meal together, including the host and hostess, Alice (Stephane Audran) and Henri Senechal (Jean-Pierre Cassel), Rafael Acosta (Fernando Rey) - the South American Ambassador of a fictional Latin American country called the Republic of Miranda, Francois (Paul Frankeur) and Simone Thévenot (Delphine Seyrig), and Simone's spaced-out alcoholic sister Florence (Bulle Ogier)
  • the constant interruptions of the lunch or dinner meal occurred amidst various encapsulating themes of the decaying European aristocracy, including murder, sex, infidelity, political corruption and drug-dealing, military maneuvers, terrorism, and religion, for example:

    - a misunderstanding about the date of the meal
    - the unexpected death in a nearby inn of a restaurant manager/owner in a curtained-room adjacent to the dining room, where he was mourned over during a vigil
    - the host and hostess, the Senechals, having sex in the upstairs bedroom and then in the adjacent garden
    - the arrival of a large crowd of French army officers on maneuvers who joined them for drinks and dinner

    - the transformation of a dining room into a theatrical stage behind a curtain, where the diners became actors in a play in front of a live audience, with a prompter whispering lines of dialogue to Henri who complained: "I don't know my lines" as the crowd whistled and booed them
    - the arrival of French gangsters, who mowed down the dining group with machine guns; Rafael woke up from this bad dream, and raided food from the refrigerator

  • the scene in a fancy teahouse cafe (with an orchestra, including a cellist) where the trio of women (Simone, Florence, and Alice) were dining, and listening to a cavalry lieutenant's macabre confessional story (with flashback) about murdering his stepfather with poisoned milk - and then, the waiter announced that they were out of beverages: tea and coffee with milk
  • the recurring, intermittent enigmatic image of the group of the six individuals, all dressed for dinner, walking down a long, unending empty country road - most prominently at the film's end before the scrolling credits
Recurring Theme: Dinner Group Walking Down Country Road

Bourgeoisie Guests Attempting to Dine Together

Death of Nearby Inn's Restaurant Manager/Owner

Sex in Garden Between the Hosts: The Senechals

Dining Table Setting on a Stage Set

Teahouse Tea - With No Beverages

French Gangsters With Machine Guns - A Bad Dream

D.O.A. (1949/1950)

In Rudolph Maté's nihilistic, classic film noir detective story (also noted as 1949) (remade as Color Me Dead (1969) and as D.O.A. (1988), starring Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan in a completely-revised story):

  • the famous unexpected opening involved 33 year-old income tax accountant/notary public Frank Bigelow (Edmond O'Brien) from Banning, CA; filmed from behind, Bigelow entered the Homicide Division of a Los Angeles police station to report a murder: ("I want to report a murder") - speaking almost from beyond the grave; the doomed Bigelow gave a classic reply when asked who was murdered by the Police Captain (Roy Engel) - he said: "I was"; to Frank's surprise, the Captain had already been alerted about Bigelow with an APB (All-Points Bulletin Missing Persons Report) from Inspector Bannet in the Homicide Division in San Francisco
  • told in flashback, Bigelow's blonde secretary Paula Gibson (Pamela Britton) was interested in a serious relationship with him, although he kept putting her off (until the film's conclusion when it was too late); when she had asked to accompany him to San Francisco for his vacation - she realized she was crowding him: "You'll take me with you, won't you? You will, won't you, or am I crowding you?...Maybe you do need this week away alone? Maybe we both do. I know what's going on inside of you, Frank. You're just like any other man, only a little more so. You have a feeling of being trapped. Hemmed in, and you don't know whether or not you like it"; he rationalized his refusal to get serious: "I don't want you to get hurt, darling. More than anything in the world, I don't want you to get hurt"
  • the sequence of a doctor's office visit after a night of carousing in a jazz or "jive" night-club ("The Fisherman") during the start of his one-week vacation in San Francisco; he complained of a "bellyache" - but then a subsequent toxology report was even more shocking: "Our tests reveal a presence in your body of a luminous toxic matter... A poison that attacks the vital organs...Your system has already absorbed sufficient toxin to prove fatal. I wish there was something that we could do...There is nothing anyone can do. This is one of the few poisons of its type for which there is no antidote" - Bigelow surmised that he had been fatally poisoned via radiation by iridium (with a lethal dose of a glow-in-the-dark "luminous toxin" ), when his drink in The Fisherman was swapped and doctored; Bigelow was told that he was already "dead" and that he had maybe a day or a week or two to live
  • relayed by Paula, Bigelow was told about an urgent phone call (during his absence) from owner Eugene Phillips of the Los Angeles-based Phillips Importing and Exporting Company; soon after the attempted contact, the day before - suspiciously - Phillips had allegedly committed suicide by leaping off the balcony of his high-rise, six-story apartment; two days earlier, he was in "a pretty bad jam" and faced prison - he had been arrested (but then released on bail) for selling a shipment of stolen iridium (a costly rare metal), although Eugene didn't know that he had been framed and the deal was actually made by company associate George Reynolds to a dealer/gangster named Majak (Luther Adler) six months earlier in Palm Springs, CA; however, Reynolds had since disappeared; if the original bill of sale surfaced, it would show that Reynolds was the dealer-seller and would face a long and stiff prison term, not Eugene. That would discredit Eugene's apparent suicide. The critical bill of sale could prove that the authorized transaction (with a bill of sale) was not made by Eugene at all - and was not the motive for Eugene's 'suicide.' However, it appeared that Reynolds (or someone else, revealed later!) had stolen or destroyed the bill of sale, and people involved were being eliminated
  • the memorable film debut of Beverly Garland (Campbell) as feisty Miss Foster, the Phillips Company secretary, who knew all about the evil-doings of her corrupt associates
  • the giggling, psychotic character of Majak's gangster-henchman Chester (Neville Brand): with the words: "Don't get cute. I'm just itchin' to work you over!...I'm gonna blow your guts out... " [Note: This was reminiscent of Richard Widmark's Tommy Udo from Kiss of Death (1947)]. As Chester drove off with Bigelow to eliminate him because he knew too much about Majak's nefarious dealings, he boasted: "I done jobs like this before. I knocked off guys I could like. But I don't like you, Bigelow. I never liked that puss of yours from the minute I seen it. Yeah, I'm gonna enjoy this...I think I'll give it to you right in the belly. Takes longer when you get it in the belly. It's nice and slow. That's the way I want to see you go, Bigelow. Nice and slow" - Bigelow escaped and Chester was shot dead by a policeman in a drug store
  • the revelation that brother-in-law Stanley also turned up poisoned (with only a few days to live), after he had dinner with his sister-in-law Mrs. Phillips (Lynn Baggett) and Halliday, and confronted them with an incriminating letter of the two year affair between Halliday and Eugene Phillip's wife
  • the discovery that - in reality - Eugene had been pushed off the balcony to his death by the company's main financial officer/comptroller Mr. Halliday (William Craig) because Eugene had just found out about the two year affair going on between Halliday and his own wife; widowed Mrs. Phillips and her conspiratorial secret lover Halliday faced a possible murder conviction of plotting to kill Eugene; all evidence of the sale of iridium six months earlier for Phillips' business was being systematically eliminated by the two of them, it appeared, as a cover-up or diversion for the murder - Mrs. Phillips admitted to stealing the bill of sale herself, and claimed that anyone else who was involved with or could prove that there was a bill of sale for the illegal substance was to be eliminated
  • Mrs. Phillips confessed everything to Bigelow about why he had been targeted with the poison (administered by Halliday in SF): "My husband had no reason to commit suicide. Halliday was desperate. After he killed my husband, he found out about the phone calls to you. He thought you spoke to him. That you knew enough to involve him"
  • the scene of Bigelow's crazed, gun-blasting face-off with slick but ruthless murderer Mr. Halliday as he left his downtown LA office and was shot multiple times on the stairway
  • the return to the police station, after the film's lengthy flashback, when Bigelow finished describing how he had just solved his own murder case: ("All I did was notarize a bill of sale. But that piece of paper could have proven that Phillips didn't commit suicide. He was murdered. And that's why Halliday poisoned me") - Bigelow learned that he was killed because he inadvertently and innocently notarized a bill of sale for the stolen iridium
The End of the Flashback: Back At the Police Station
Captain: "Better make it 'Dead On Arrival'"
  • the equally famous closing exchange after Bigelow fell dead to the floor and the Deputy asked: "How shall I make out the report on him, Captain?"; the Captain responded: "Better make it 'Dead on Arrival'"
  • in close-up, Bigelow's Missing Persons report from San Francisco was stamped: D.O.A., before the end credits

"I want to report a murder...I was (murdered)"

(Pamela Britton)

The Fateful Drink Swap in a SF Nightclub

The Toxology Report

Phillips Company Secretary Miss Foster (Beverly Garland)

(Neville Brand)

Stanley Phillips Also Poisoned After Revealing Incriminating Letter

The Deadly Shootout
With Halliday Outside His Downtown LA Office

Missing Persons Report Stamped D.O.A.

Do the Right Thing (1989)

In African-American writer/director Spike Lee's third (and breakout) feature film about racial and social strife on a hot summer day on one block of Brooklyn, NY - a tense time bomb waiting to go off:

  • during the opening credits, Public Enemy's performance of the film's hard-edged anthem and title rap song Fight the Power, accompanied by a heavily-stylized dance sequence
  • the opening scene of velvet-voiced DJ Mister Senor Love Daddy (Samuel L. Jackson) vehemently waking up the Bed-Stuy neighborhood with his "We Love Radio" sounds provided with the day's forecast: ("This is Mister Senor Love Daddy, your voice of choice. The world's only 12-hour strongman on the air, here on We Love Radio, 108 FM, the last on your dial, but first in your hearts, and that's the truth, Ruth...I have today's forecast for you. Hot! The color for today is black. That's right, black. So you can absorb some of these rays and save that heat for winter. So you wanna get on out there and wear that black and be involved! Also, today's temperature's gonna rise up over 100 degrees. So that's a Jheri curl alert")
  • the scene of a complaint by militant activist neighborhood patron Buggin' Out (Giancarlo Esposito) that there were no pictures of 'brothers' on the "Wall of Fame" -- "Hey, Sal, how come they ain't no brothas on the wall?" - there were only photos of famous white Italian-Americans in the white-operated and owned Italian "Famous Pizzeria" restaurant run by Sal (Oscar-nominated Danny Aiello); this was followed by his demanding attempt to stage a neighborhood boycott of "[Sal's] fat pasta ass"; Sal yelled back: "You're gonna boycott me? You haven't got the balls to boycott me. Here, here's your boycott, up your ass. You've got a boycott"
  • the scenes of Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn) always accompanied by his gigantic boom box playing Public Enemy and the hip-hop anthem Fight the Power, and his story of LOVE and HATE, illustrated by his two giant-sized gold rings (referencing the film The Night of the Hunter (1950)): ("Let me tell you the story of right hand, left hand. It's a tale of good and evil. HATE! It was with this hand that Cain iced his brother. LOVE! These five fingers, they go straight to the soul of man. The right hand, the hand of LOVE. The story of life is this - Static. One hand is always fighting the other hand, and the left hand is kicking much ass. I mean, it looks like the right hand, LOVE, is finished. But hold on, stop the presses. The right hand's comin' back. Yeah. He got the left hand on the ropes now. That's right. Yeah. Ooh, it's a devastating right and HATE is hurt. He's down! Ooh, ooh. Left hand, HATE, KO'd by LOVE")
  • the montage sequence of a profane stream of ethnic and racial slur-expletives and insults - with each of the individuals speaking directly to the camera and breaking the 4th wall --
    Mookie (Spike Lee): "You dago, wop, guinea, garlic-breath, pizza-slingin', spaghetti-bendin', Vic Damone, Perry Como, Luciano Pavarotti, solo mio, non-singin' motherf--ker."
    Pino (John Turturro): "You gold-teeth, gold-chain-wearin', fried-chicken-and-biscuit-eatin' monkey, ape, baboon, big thigh, fast-runnin', high-jumpin', spear-chuckin', 360-degree-basketball-dunkin', tit, soon, spade, moulan, yan. Take your f--kin' pizza-piece, and go the f--k back to Africa"
    Stevie (Luis Ramos): "You little slanty-eyed, me-no-speaky-American, own-every-fruit-and-vegetable-stand-in-New-York, bulls--t, Reverend Sun Yung Moon, Summer Olympic '88, Korean kick-boxing son of a bitch"
    Officer Long (Rick Aiello): "You Goya-bean-eating, 15-in-a-car, 30-in-an-apartment, pointy shoes, red-wearin', menudo, mira-mira, Puerto Rican cocksucker. Yeah, you!"
    Sonny (Steve Park): "It's cheap, I got good price for you, Mayor Kochie, 'How I'm doin'?', Chocolate-egg-cream-drinking, bagel-and-lox, B'nai B'rith Jew asshole"
  • the sequence of the dousing of an open convertible by an open fire hydrant, after the Italian-American driver had specifically shouted and threatened at the blacks not to spray him
  • the infamous ice cube melting scene with girlfriend Tina (Rosie Perez), on a hot afternoon when Sal's 25 year-old pizza delivery boy Mookie brought out two trays of ice-cubes and methodically rubbed them over her naked body (forehead, lips, neck, kneecaps, elbows, thighs, and breasts) in full-closeup view, as he worshipped her body parts: (""Thank god for the lips...Thank god for the neck...Thank god for kneecaps...Thank god for elbows...Thank god for thighs...Thank god for the right nipple. Thank god for the left nipple. Ah, she likes, she likes, she likes")
Murder of Radio Raheem
Mookie's Trash-Can Hurling Through Sal's Storefront During Riot
Pizzeria in Flames
  • the tense scenes beginning with Sal's baseball-bat destruction of Raheem's boom box, the brutal choke-hold police murder of Raheem, the apprehension of Buggin' Out, and Mookie's incitement of a riot by hurling a trashcan through Sal's storefront window, causing further racial divide and police brutality, and the burning down of the pizzeria (with fiery flames licking the 'Wall of Fame')
  • the two contradictory quotations about violence and non-violence (from Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X) that ended the film, reflecting the two doctrinal strains of belief: peaceful civil disobedience or militancy

"This is Mister Senor Love Daddy" - Today's Forecast

"The Wall of Fame" in Sal's Pizzeria

The Beginning of the Scene of Racial Epithets - Directly Addressed to the Camera

Radio Raheem's (Bill Nunn) LOVE - HATE Rings

Spraying of Convertible

Mookie's (Spike Lee) Girlfriend Tina (Rosie Perez)

Ice-Cube Melting on Tina's Chest

Sal's Destruction of Boom Box

Doctor Zhivago (1965, US/UK)

In David Lean's dramatic romance epic based upon Boris Pasternak's novel:

  • the splendid sets, scenery and the epic cinematography of Freddie Young
  • the scene of the Czar's cavalry-dragoon charge and slaughtering-execution of Socialist marchers/students protesting peacefully in a Moscow square (led by idealistic reformer and passionate political activist "Pasha" Antipov, later aka Strelnikov (Tom Courteney)); the massacre was witnessed by poet-doctor Yuri Zhivago (Omar Sharif) from a balcony
  • the Christmas Eve engagement party for the impending marriage of Yuri and Tonya Gromeko (Geraldine Chaplin), when the celebration was interrupted - mistreated Lara (Julie Christie) shot and wounded her lecherous scoundrel/benefactor Victor Komarovsky (Rod Steiger), earlier, he had told her that she was "a slut" and he violently forced himself on her to dissuade her from marrying "Pasha" and then brutally assaulted her: ("...And don't delude yourself [that] this was rape. That would flatter us both"); after the failed assassination attempt at the Christmas Eve party, Lara was escorted away from the party by her fiancee
  • the scene of the transportation of exiles by train from Moscow to the frozen countryside
  • the great scenes of war and the Russian Bolshevik Revolution
Lara: "We haven't done anything you have to lie about"
  • the beginnings of a long, star-crossed love affair between poet-doctor Yuri Zhivago (although married to loyal Tonya) and beautiful nurse Lara - who was allegedly married to passionate political activist Pasha Antipova (presumed dead or disappeared); just before they were about to separate after six platonic months, Yuri told Lara that he would be jealous over her; she told Yuri: "My dear, don't - please (she burned her ironing)....Yuri, we've been together six months on the road, in here, and we haven't done anything you have to lie about to Tonya. I don't want you to have to lie about me. Do you understand that, Yuri?" - soon after, she said a simple goodbye to him: ("Goodbye, Zhivago")
  • Yuri's brutal train ride with his exiled family to escape from Moscow and travel to the Gromeko estate at Varykino in the Ural Mountains, near the town of Yuriatin
  • during the train journey, the scene of Yuri's interrogation by "Pasha" 6 years later; he was now known as Strelnikov - an infamous and ruthless Bolshevik commander and renegade fighting against the White Russians, who complimented Yuri's poetry, but was skeptical of 'private life': "I used to admire your poetry.... I shouldn't admire it now. I should find it absurdly personal. Don't you agree? Feelings, insights, affections. It's suddenly trivial, now. You don't agree. You're wrong. The personal life is dead in Russia. History has killed it. I can see how you might hate me...The private life is dead, for a man, with any manhood"
  • the rekindling of the love affair between Yuri and Lara, who were reunited at a garden cottage in Yuriatin and slept with each other for the first time; Lara asked: "Is Tonya with you?" - he answered: "All of us"; she asked about their uncertain future: "What are we going to do?" he replied: "I don't know" - they kissed; later, she pondered about their fateful relationship during troubled times: "Oh, Lord, this is an awful time to be alive...Wouldn't it have been lovely if we'd met before?...We'd have got married and had a house and children"
  • later, the couple took up residence (after Tonya had been deported with family from Moscow to Paris) in the abandoned ice-frozen house/castle (or dacha) in Varykino; the romantic scenes were often accompanied by Maurice Jarre's "Lara's Theme" - with magical images of the winter fairyland, but their days were numbered
Lara's and Yuri's Final Goodbye
  • the scene of Lara's departure from Varykino in a horse-drawn carriage-sled with Komarovsky in order to save herself from execution by escaping to Manchuria - after seeing her off when Yuri decided to remain behind, he raced to an upstairs window, struggled to rub the ice off, and then broke the window for one memorable final look at her in the far distance
  • the moving death of the aging surgeon about eight years later when Yuri sighted his old flame Lara walking down a crowded Moscow street; he struggled to signal to her, then rushed to exit the streetcar, but the exertion, enormous stress and physical effort was too much for him as he chased after her. He suffered a fatal stroke, as he fruitlessly tried to call out to her while waving. He collapsed and died on the street after failing to get her attention. A crowd surrounded his lifeless body in a long overhead shot

Moscow Square Protest Marred by Attack of Czar's Cavalry

Yuri Zhivago (Omar Sharif) with Fiancee Tonya (Geraldine Chaplin)

Lara Shooting Victor Komarovsky at Yuri's Christmas Engagement Party

Transportation of Yuri and Other Exiles By Train to Urals

Strelnikov's Intense Interrogation of Yuri

Reunited and Sleeping Together at Yuriatin

Lara Pondering Their Circumstances

The Ice Castle at Varykino

Dodge City (1939)

In director Michael Curtiz' energetic landmark western from Warner Bros., about an Irish cowboy/Texas cattle agent (an ex-Confederate) who decided to become the sheriff in the lawless and anarchic cattle town of Dodge City, Kansas:

  • the unbelievable scene of the spectacular free-for-all brawl in the Gay Lady saloon (one of the best in cinematic history), during the customers' sing-along with dancers on stage, including lead singer Ruby Gilman (Ann Sheridan); the chaos of the fight spread outside and also interrupted and broke through the wall into the next door's temperance meeting, in the lawless "Babylon of the West" town of Dodge City
Bar-Room Saloon Brawl
  • the nefarious character of outlaw gang leader and cattle rustler Jeff Surrett (Bruce Cabot), who managed the saloon, and ruled over the terrorized town
  • the sequence of a major cattle stampede caused by the accidental pistol firing of young cowpoke Lee Irving (William Lundigan), the brother of Abbie Irving (Olivia de Havilland), a frontier settler
Three Major Stars

Wade Hatton
(Errol Flynn)
Abbie Irving
(Olivia de Havilland)
Ruby Gilman
(Ann Sheridan)
  • after the tragic killing of young Harry (Bobs Watson) riding toward a Sunday School picnic who was caught in a shoot-out and dragged to his death, followed by the decision of Texas cattleman Wade Hatton (Errol Flynn in his first western) to accept an appointment as Sheriff, to clean up the town; a close-up on Harry's paper SHERIFF badge dissolved into the tin star worn on the belt of Hatton
  • the relationship that developed between the newly-appointed Sheriff and Abbie, although Hatton often flirted with dance hall girl Ruby who sang a number of songs on stage
  • the climactic, exciting burning hijacked runaway train sequence, carrying both Abbie, Hatton and one of Surrett's gunmen named Yancey (Victor Jory), who had killed the town's brave newspaperman Joe Clemens (Frank McHugh) for publishing evidence that could convict Surrett of crooked cattle dealing; Surrett and his gang of outlaws attempted to release Yancey and were gunned down by Hatton and others as they made their getaway on horseback
  • in the film's conclusion, it appeared that Dodge City had been completely pacified: "Now, listen to that. Singing hymns and it ain't even Sunday. No one in sight even friendly drunk. Doggone, if this place ain't getting so pure and noble it ain't fit to live in"; Wade was informed by railroad builder Colonel Dodge (Henry O'Neill) that there was another "bad town...a wild murderous town" - Virginia City - "Worse than Dodge City ever was"; other arguments were put forward to recruit and convince the reluctant Wade, who was about to get married to Abbie in the following week: "We've got 4,000 people out there. Decent men and women with families who are living in terror....We need you, son. The city is teeming with crime and corruption. What law we've tried has failed, failed because the men behind it hadn't the brains and courage to back it up"; after delivering lemonade to the men, Abbie (who had overheard their previous conversation) asked Colonel Dodge: "When do we start for Virginia City?"
  • to clean up its lawlessness, Wade agreed to tame the new location in Nevada, and with his fiancee Abbie, the two were seated on a wagon train traveling to Virginia City in the film's final fade-out into a sunset

Tragic Death of Young Harry

Hatton's Sheriff's Badge

Jeff Surrett
(Bruce Cabot)

Romance Between Wade and Abbie

Runaway Burning Train Sequence

"When do we start for Virginia City?"

End Scene: Riding Off to Virginia City

Dodsworth (1936)

In William Wyler's Best Picture-nominated bittersweet romance drama:

  • in the opening, to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne," the silhouetted (from the back) view of retiring US auto industrialist husband Sam Dodsworth (Oscar-nominated Walter Huston) standing at the window of his auto-plant on his last day on the job after selling his business; the camera tracked behind the beloved Dodsworth as he walked among the workers, assembled to bid him goodbye ("I hate to see you go, Sam")
  • the character of his 40-ish wife of 20 years Fran (Ruth Chatterton), youth-obsessed, vain, social-climbing and self-centered, in a small Ohio town
  • during the cruise, Fran's open flirtations with suave, debonair playboy Capt. Clyde Lockert (David Niven), and soon after in Paris, she was also cozying up to international financier and distinguished art collector Arnold Iselin (Paul Lukas) and other newly-acquired continental friends
  • Sam's opportune meeting on the deck with American divorcee Mrs. Edith Cortright (Mary Astor) who was living in Italy and shared Sam's excitement about life and learning new things
  • the scene in their Parisian hotel room during their long-awaited getaway vacation when Fran told Sam that she wanted him to return to the US without her for the summer: ("You've got to let me have my fling now! Because you're simply rushing at old age, Sam, and I'm not ready for that yet"); when he balked, she demanded a trial separation for the summer so that she could have a youthful fling ("You've got to let me have my fling now! Because you're simply rushing at old age, Sam, and I'm not ready for that yet")
  • later after a trial separation, Sam returned to Europe where after some months of watching her continual flirtations, Fran declared her intentions to marry young Austrian baron Kurt Von Obersdorf (Gregory Gaye): ("I love Kurt, and Kurt loves me, and I'm going to marry him. He asked me tonight...You've never known me. You've never known anything about me, not what I had on or thought or the sacrifices I've made....I'll be happy with Kurt. I'm fighting for life! You can't drag me back!"); she made demands for a divorce, followed by her parting from a forlorn Sam at the Vienna train station when he told her: "Did I remember to tell you today that I adore you?"
  • the scene of Kurt's stern Baroness mother (Oscar-nominated Maria Ouspenskaya in her first Hollywood film) telling a devastated Fran that she wouldn't allow her son's marriage: ("You will forgive if I observe that you are older than Kurt...Have you thought how little happiness there can be for the old wife of a young husband?"); Fran was forced to return to Sam and make plans to return to America
  • and the confrontational scene on the cruise liner about to depart from Naples for the US, when Sam decided to leave his selfish, nagging and eternally-unhappy wife and his loveless, estranged marriage for good: ("I'm not sailing with you...You and I can't make a go of things any longer...I'm not taking another chance, because I'm through, finished, and that's flat....I'm going back to doing things...Love has got to stop someplace short of suicide"); as Sam charged down the gang-plank, Fran cried out: "He's gone ashore; he's gone ashore!" - her shrieks partly drowned out by the ocean liner's blaring horns
  • the concluding happy-ending sequence of Sam's exuberant, joyous return to Edith - he waved at her from a small fishing boat that approached her rented villa in Naples, Italy and she waved back

Sam's Last Day at Work

Sam With Wife Fran
(Ruth Chatterton)

Spiteful, Self-Centered Fran's Pronouncement in Paris

Parting With Fran at the Vienna Train Station: "Did I remember to tell you today that I adore you?"

Fran with Stern Baroness Mother

Sam to Fran: "I'm going back to doing things"

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

In Sidney Lumet's crime drama, based on a real-life situation in August of 1972:

  • hyperactive, anti-social Sonny Wortzik's (Al Pacino) armed robbery of the First Brooklyn Savings Bank (FBSB) during a heat wave, when innocent hostages were taken; Sonny was accompanied by his friend Salvatore "Sal" Naturale (John Cazale), but the third person in the trio chickened out and nervously fled - Stevie (Gary Springer)
  • the scenes of Sonny's continued dialogue and negotiations with Police Detective Sergeant Eugene Moretti (Charles Durning) handling the case from the bank's exterior, surrounded by massive numbers of police officers
  • Sonny's chanted shouts of "Attica! Attica! Remember Attica!" (a reference to the recent Attica prison riot in New York in 1971) to encourage a mob of curious onlookers outside the bank to cheer for him
  • after paying for a pizza delivery, Sonny tossed wads of bank cash into the air outside the bank, causing the crowds to become more crazed
  • the revelation of the alleged motive for the robbery - to pay for the sex re-assignment surgery for Sonny's wife, a pre-operative transgender woman named Leon Shermer (Chris Sarandon) ("I was a woman trapped in a man's body"); this was revealed by Sonny's impassioned police telephone call conversation to his transvestite lover Leon outside the bank, in which Leon claimed that Sonny had promised to purchase a sex-change operation for $2,500 dollars; during the later phone conversation, Leon admitted that Sonny had been abusive and caused him to check into the psychiatric ward of Bellevue Hospital with suicidal tendencies; the phone call ended with Leon's simple farewell: "Goodbye, huh?"
About Leon Shermer
Leon's Wedding Photo
Leon (Chris Sarandon) on Phone With Sonny
  • the concluding scene of the two robbers (with the remaining hostages) driven to JFK Airport in a limousine to escape on a plane, when driver Agent Murphy (Lance Henriksen) at the wheel took an opportune moment, reached for a hidden weapon, and shot Sal in the forehead - and Sonny was arrested (with a gun held to his head
  • the epilogue in the ending subtitles: Sonny was sentenced to 20 years in prison, Angie (Sonny's first wife) and her children were living on welfare, and Leon had her sex reassignment surgery and was living as a woman in New York City

Armed Bank Robbery

Police Detective Sergeant Eugene Moretti (Charles Durning)

Sonny with Sal

"Attica! Attica!"

Killing of Sal in Airport Limousine

Sonny Arrested

La Dolce Vita (1960, It./Fr.) (aka The Sweet Life)

In Federico Fellini's landmark masterpiece, the episodic tale of a journey of seven days to search for and discover "the sweet life" by a frustrated, shallow, gossip and publicity-seeking, celebrity writer; most of the film's activities occurred over seven nights (either consecutive or disconnected), and were always followed by a disappointing, dawning morning:

  • the image in the opening scene of a helicopter lifting and transporting a huge plaster statue of the figure of Christ with outstretched arms over the city of Rome (the Eternal City), flying next to the ancient ruins of a Roman aqueduct and then across to the Vatican's St. Peter's, while a second news-papparazi helicopter flew close behind - and over a group of four pretty bikinied females sunbathing on a high-rise rooftop who were waving, and drowned out by the loud helicopter noise (this scene was book-ended by the final sequence - again emphasizing blocked conversations or communications)
The Lengthy Opening Fly-By Sequence
  • the main character - playboy gossip writer-journalist Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni) in the second helicopter, who lived a decadent and hedonistic lifestyle of parties, night life at clubs, orgies, and paparrazi-fueled events
  • Marcello's early dalliance with bored and restless, nymphomaniacal rich socialite Maddalena (Anouk Aimee) whom he met in a nightclub - then she drove them to the flooded basement apartment of a prostitute where they made love, while he was in a live-in relationship with miserable, sickly, possessive, suicidal and depressed Emma (Yvonne Furneaux), who had overdosed and was hospitalized
  • the arrival and entry of bosomy, sexy, and seductive blonde Hollywood starlet Sylvia (Anita Ekberg), a Swedish-American actress, surrounded by photographers, reporters, her film producer Toto Scalise, and her abusive boyfriend-fiancee Robert (Lex Barker)
  • the classic night-time sequence - following a dull party attended by both Marcello and Sylvia dressed in a revealing black evening gown - the two drove off and then the voluptuous Sylvia spontaneously went wading, dancing, cavorting and cooling off in the water of Rome's Trevi Fountain (a practice now banned) to tempt Marcello to join her - and after he did, she anointed his head with some fountain water
Famed Trevi Fountain Sequence
  • the memorable rural sequence of two children alleging to have seen the Madonna in a tree - but then fooling the hysterical crowds of devotees and reporters by falsely claiming to see Madonna everywhere, and ending with the tragic trampling of a sickly child
  • the scene of Marcello's short reunion with his estranged father (Annibale Ninchi) who became ill as the result of too much drinking and a mild heart attack, and wished to leave Rome abruptly; during their parting, Marcello lamented about the infrequency of their visits: "We never see each other"
  • the Bassano di Sutri sequence in an aristocratic castle outside of Rome, beginning with Marcello at a Via Veneto cafe, where he met up with ex-German-born model Nico (Nico Otzak) - who accompanied him to the Roman villa where a dissolute party was in progress; there he again met up with Maddalena, to whom he admitted he could find love, although after losing interest, she departed for a tryst with another man
  • the shocking suicidal death of Marcello's idolized writer friend Steiner (Alain Cuny) who murdered his two small children and then himself
  • later, in the beach-house scene, recently-divorced, exhibitionist Nadia (Nadia Gray) performed a depersonalizing, modified strip-tease to the cha-cha musical sound of Patricia - removing her fur stole, pearl necklace, and bra from under her dress, and then her dress, shoes and stockings as she laid on the floor; under the fur stole, she removed her black slip - with only her black panties remaining on her nude body; however, after being mostly ignored by her disinterested and jaded guest audience, she covered herself up and ran off
The Decadent Party - Striptease, Piggyback Ride, Feathers
  • soon after, Marcello unsuccessfully attempted to instigate an orgy (he rode horse-back on a young blonde woman crawling on all fours; he struck her butt a few times, then grabbed her hair, slapped her face, doused her with a pitcher of water, and threw pillow feathers onto her)
  • the final scene of the partiers proceeding to the beach by the ocean at dawn, where they discovered a monstrous, grotesquely-ugly sting-ray fish (with two giant eyes) caught in a fishermen's net and dead for three days - but still staring: (Marcello: "And it insists on looking"), and the still drunken Marcello gesturing that he was unable to hear (or couldn't understand) the calls of adolescent waitress Paolo (Valeria Ciangottini) from afar and across a small estuary; she watched and enigmatically smiled as he was joined by another woman and they walked away

Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni) with Maddalena (Anouk Aimee)

Ovredosed Emma (Yvonne Furneaux)

Arrival of Starlet Sylvia (Anita Ekberg)

Marcello's Ailing, Estranged Father

Beached Sting-Ray Fish

Adolescent Waitress Paolo (Valeria Ciangottini)

Donnie Darko (2001)

In writer/director Richard Kelly's mystifying debut cult film about a highly unstable, tangential or parallel universe - a psychological thriller re-released in 2004 - with 20 minutes of added footage for a director's cut:

  • the early scene of the obscenity-laden, crude pizza dinner conversation during the Dukakis-Bush 1988 presidential campaigns (Elizabeth: "I'm voting for Dukakis") in a suburban Middlesex, Virginia home among the members of the dysfunctional Darko family, including conservative mother Rose and father Eddie (Mary McDonnell and Holmes Osborne), and their three children: recent high-school grad Elizabeth (Maggie Gyllenhaal) (who was working at the Yarn Barn), annoying younger daughter Samantha (Daveigh Chase) and the title character, the eccentric 16 year-old middle child Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhall) - a disturbed teenager with paranoid schizophrenia who was in therapy and taking medication
  • on October 2, 1988: the scene of Donnie saved from death when a detached jet engine crashed into his second-story bedroom while he was out sleep-walking - he had been summoned away by Frank at midnight ("Wake up. I've been watching you. Come closer. Closer. 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, 12 seconds. That is when the world will end"); Frank (James Duval) was a weird and demonic 6-foot-tall rabbit, a doomsday-messenger of the apocalypse who was on a countdown - he predicted the end of the world (actually the end of Donnie's life); during another encounter with Frank in his bathroom, an invisible barrier separated them, and Donnie was asked: "Do you believe in time travel?"
Sightings of Frank - 6 Foot Tall Rabbit
On Golf Course
In Bathroom
In Movie Theatre
Frank Revealing Himself as a Teenager
With Bloody Right Eye Wound
  • Donnie's worried thoughts about dying alone - thoughts that were first whispered in his ear by his elderly/senile neighbor Grandma Death (or Roberta Sparrow) (Patience Cleveland) who authored the book "The Philosophy of Time Travel," given to him by his science teacher Dr. Kenneth Monnitoff (Noah Wyle)
  • a succession of strange images sprinkled throughout the film, hinting that there was a tangential universe: (1) an unhappy fat girl wandering through Donnie’s high school, (2) a bronze statue of the high school's mascot - a squatting mastiff, (3) Donnie's Phys. Ed. class watching a videotape about "Fear Management", (4) students in Donnie's HS class taught by Ms. Pomeroy (Drew Barrymore) - a beatnik English teacher, who assigned the reading of Graham Greene's nihilistic The Destructors; because of Donnie's detachment from reality and personality issues, and his belief that the world was about to end, he exhibited strange behaviors: he flooded his school, and committed arson - presumably following directions from "Frank"
  • Donnie's growing romantic relationship with 'new girl in town' girlfriend Gretchen Ross (Jena Malone) - going together as a 'couple'; she voiced the fantasy sci-fi film's premise: "What if you could go back in time, and take all those hours of pain and darkness and replace them with something better?"
  • Donnie's confrontation in front of his class with his strict, censorship-promoting health teacher Kitty Farmer (Beth Grant) teaching about the Life Line continuum between FEAR and LOVE; her curriculum was derived from self-help videos developed by guru and motivational speaker Jim Cunningham (Patrick Swayze); Donnie refused to place an X on the line drawn on the blackboard ("There are other things that need to be taken into account here. Like the whole spectrum of human emotion. You can't just lump everything into these two categories and then just deny everything else"); she threatened to give him a zero for the day; Donnie was reprimanded and brought to the principal's office, for telling off the teacher ("He asked me to forcibly insert the Life Line exercise card into my anus!")
  • the scene of science teacher Dr. Monnitoff discussing time-travel and time-space wormhole theories with him
  • Donnie's therapy sessions with psychologist Dr. Lilian Thurman (Katharine Ross), who began a regimen of hypnosis and increased Donnie's meds (although they were placebos); Donnie revealed his fear about what Grandma Death had said to him: "Every living creature on earth dies alone"
  • the scene of watching football on TV with his father, when Donnie hallucinated visions of liquid ectoplasm spears or tubes of fluid light emanating from his father's chest - indicating where he was going to walk
  • the character of self-help speaker Jim Cunningham (Patrick Swayze) who during a school assembly, lectured the young audience about 'instruments of fear" -- "Entirely too many young men and women today are completely paralyzed by their fears. They surrender their bodies to the temptation and destruction of drugs, alcohol, and premarital sex. Now, I'm going to tell you a little story today. It's a heartbreakingly sad story about a young man whose life was completely destroyed by these instruments of fear. A young man searching for love in all the wrong places. His name was Frank"); Donnie and Gretchen were in the audience; skeptical of the message, Donnie approached the microphone with an impertinent question for Cunningham: "How much are they paying you to be here?" and finished by insulting the quack: "I think you're the f--king Anti-Christ"
  • midway through the film while on a date with Gretchen at a Halloween Frightfest movie-theatre showing of Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead, Donnie's envisioning of the rabbit "Frank" removing his mask - revealing a teenager with a bloody, mutilated right-eye wound (a foreshadowing)
  • the performance of Samantha's dance group Sparkle Motion (Mrs. Darko chaperoned) in a Los Angeles talent show - Star Search '88
  • after Donnie's arson of Jim Cunningham's house, the revelation of a hidden, kiddie-porn dungeon in the ruins - Cunningham was actually a demonic, perverted child pornographer who would be arrested
  • the scene of Donnie vigorously and intelligently discussing the sexual habits of Smurfs to his friends
  • at Grandma Death's house, the sequence of a tragic car accident that killed Gretchen; witnessing the accident, Frank asked: "Is she dead?" (Donnie shot Frank through the eye)
  • the scene of the plane (carrying Donnie's mother and sister who were returning from Los Angeles) - observed by Donnie from an overlook, who saw a dark vortex and a mid-air explosion that ripped off one of the jet engines - this caused a time-loop sequence that reversed time and returned Donnie 28 days to an earlier date - October 2, 1988 - to change the course of history (Donnie's death!); Gretchen's voice repeated her earlier question: "What if you could go back in time, and take all those hours of pain and darkness and replace them with something better?"
The Time Tunnel Portal
The Crashing Jet Engine
Ending: Gretchen Waving at Donnie's Mother after His Death
  • Donnie had willed the Earth to reverse itself from October 30 back to October 2nd - 28 days (as forecast by "Frank") - the day that Donnie had earlier been spared; the plane's jet engine crashed into the Darko house - a second time - but this time, Donnie was in his bedroom sleeping and perished in the disaster
  • in the final scene the next day, Gretchen (who hadn't died in a tragic car accident) rode her bike by Donnie's house and waved to his distraught mother Rose; Gretchen never died or had even met Donnie

Darko Family Pizza Dinner Conversation

Detached Jet Engine

Grandma Death Whispering in Donnie's Ear

Ms. Farmer's Lifeline Continuum Between Fear and Love

Discussion of Wormhole Theories

A Liquid Spear

Perverted Motivational Speaker Jim Cunningham (Patrick Swayze)

Sparkle Motion

The Sex Life of Smurfs

Gretchen's Death

Frank Shot in Eye After Gretchen's Death

Envisioning the Vortex

Don't Look Now (1973, UK/It.)

In Nicolas Roeg's haunting and classic supernatural thriller based upon a Daphne du Maurier short story tale:

  • the early sudden scene (filmed with a Steadi-cam) of the tragic drowning death of the red-raincoated, young Baxter daughter Christine (Sharon Williams) in a muddy fishpond in England
  • the explicit, realistic love-making scene between art restoration expert John Baxter (Donald Sutherland) and wife Laura (Julie Christie) (was it authentic or simulated sex?) - intercut with their post-coital dressing to go out - while they were on a recuperative vacation in Venice after their daughter's death
Explicit Love-Making Between Baxters
  • the repetitive thematic images of water, the color red, miscommunication, doppelgangers (or duplicates), and shattered glass
  • the bloody, shocking murderous conclusion in which John's neck was sliced by a red-hooded, wizened-faced dwarf figure in a dark Venetian alleyway

Tragic Drowning of Baxter Daughter

The Shocking Murder of John Baxter by Red Raincoated Dwarf

A Double Life (1947)

In George Cukor's noirish, spell-binding melodrama about an unpredictable stage actor overly-involved and influenced by his character roles (and leading a double life):

  • the amazing soliloquy (partly in voice-over) delivered by popular Broadway matinee actor Anthony John (Oscar-winning Ronald Colman) to his ex-wife Brita (Signe Hasso), first off-stage, and then on-stage, about his insecurities and anxieties about performing on stage as Othello: ("The tricks your mind can play. You know, somewhere in the future, I can see it all finished. I can see the whole magical production. Opened, praised. It feels fine to have done something worthy, and then I think of all the things that have to be done between now and then. The terrifying thought of that first rehearsal. The actors nervous and frightened. Your inner self telling you every instant you're making a big mistake to try this, knowing all the time you're caught, and it's too late to change your mind. Trying to make someone else's words your own, thoughts your own. Over and over and over. You whip your imagination into a frenzy. The key to the character? Jealousy, and you dig for it within yourself. What does it feel like - real jealousy. Try to remember jealous moments in your own past. Jealousy. Jealousy. Find it, hold it, live it! Jealousy! And the hours when you worry about nothing but shoes and props and make-up and the costume fittings. And then the dress rehearsals. The heartening moments when it seems to be going right. The inevitable things that go wrong... Nerves, arguments, changes... Far, far into the night. Pills to help you stay awake. And pills to help you sleep. The part begins to seep into your life, and the battle begins. Imagination against reality. Keep each in its place. That's the job if you can do it. And all at once, it's opening night. And you look out at the audience, a terrifying monster with a thousand heads. You're in a kind of trance, only vaguely aware that the curtain is about to go up. Then, somehow, the next thing you know, the play is almost over. The last scene is about to begin. But you remember that you're on the stage in a theater, an audience in front of you, And suddenly, suddenly you're startled by the sound of your own voice. You try to hang on desperately. You're two men now, grappling for control, you - and Othello")
  • Anthony's disorienting and crazed experience of delirium at Othello's opening night party, and his request that Brita take him home
  • the scene during the 300th performance of Shakespeare's play Othello - the near-death, on-stage strangulation of Anthony's co-star Brita (as Desdemona) - she begged: ("Tony, please, you're hurting me! Be careful, please!")
  • the scene shortly later when Tony was miffed when he asked Brita to remarry him and she rejected him: (Brita: "Because if at first you don't succeed, don't try again - isn't that how it goes?...Let's not try marrying again"); he was angered and jealous that Brita was in love with press agent Bill Friend (Edmond O'Brien), and chastised her with multiple questions about him: ("Is he smooth? Is he charming? Does he speak gently? Does he write lovely stories about you? Does he dance well? I don't. Remember? Do you? Does he listen? Does he sympathize? And what else does he do? Does he?"); she told him to "Stop it!" and demanded that he leave
  • Anthony John's angry, deliriously confused and jealous strangulation of his own naive mistress Pat (Shelley Winters), a waitress named Pat at the Venezia Cafe, in the middle of the night in her bedroom; he kissed and then choked her to death behind a curtain, in retaliation for being slighted by Brita moments earlier - and then he suffered amnesia (with no memory of the crime)
Strangulation of Mistress Pat
  • the curtain-falling conclusion of Othello which further blurred the boundary between art and life, when guilt-ridden and troubled Anthony John (who was tricked into believing that the murdered Pat was still alive and serving him at the restaurant) stabbed himself in the abdomen on-stage
Self-Stabbing on Stage and Deathbed Speech
  • Anthony's last deathbed words, in which he recognized the fact of his murder of Pat, as he spoke to Brita: ("The things that go through one's head. Suddenly I thought, I hope no one shouts, 'Die again' 'cause I couldn't have....The things that go through one's head....It doesn't feel bad now. Peaceful, really. It's in my mind I feel bad. Pat. That unfortunate Pat. I'll apologize to her up there. Or down there. Yeah, down there. You bet. Bill?...Look out for the papers. Don't let 'em say I was a bad actor, huh? Brita...Brita, Brita, you...")

Anthony John's Soliloquy

Crazed Delirium

300th Performance of Othello

Near-Death On-Stage Strangulation of Brita

Anthony John Miffed by Brita

Double Indemnity (1944)

In Billy Wilder's classic film noir scripted by Raymond Chandler - a witty, hard-boiled screenplay with a flashbacked story:

  • the intriguing opening title sequence of insurance salesman Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) with crutches in the middle of the night, painfully entering a building, the Pacific All-Risk Insurance Company and taking the elevator to the 12th floor to his office, where he began the film's haunting flashback - a confession dictated into a recorder about a murder and how he was implicated
  • the introduction and entrance of cool blonde-wigged femme fatale Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) - first in a towel as she emerged at the top of a stairs landing in her Glendale, California home, looking down and wearing only a bath towel on account of being interrupted while sunbathing - she asked bewitchingly of Walter Neff standing below her: "Is there anything I can do?"; she noted that she wasn't "fully covered"; taking her in lustfully, he slyly joked about the Dietrichsons' insurance "coverage"
Enticing Femme Fatale Phyllis Dietrichson
Sunbathing in Nude
Gold Anklet
  • soon after she dressed, the camera focused on her legs (from Neff's point-of-view as he observed her) where she wore an engraved, gold ankle strap on her left ankle, flashing it at him as she came down the stairs; he also watched her exhibitionism as she finished buttoning up her blouse and put on her lipstick
  • the sequence of the agent's sexual banter with Phyllis in her living room, who coyly countered his advances in their classic double-entendre conversation about "speeding" and "traffic tickets" - she rebuffed him: "There's a speed limit in this state, Mr. Neff, 45 miles an hour" - she claimed he was going 90 mph; during a second meeting, she proposed purchasing double indemnity insurance on her husband (she was
  • the nerve-wracking murder (with the camera stationary on Phyllis' stoic face in the driver's seat) and post-murder car-sputtering scene
  • the scene in the hallway when Phyllis hid behind Neff's apartment door when claims adjuster Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) paid an unexpected visit
  • Keyes' dogged investigation of his colleague with a rapid-fire speech-monologue about suicide statistics and various ways to commit suicide - and his continued discussion about the "little man" inside him that sensed fraud
  • the continued clandestine and furtive meetings and discussions at the supermarket between Neff and Phyllis
Phyllis Behind Neff's Door
Keyes' Suicide Statistics Speech
Furtive Supermarket Meetings
  • the deadly double-cross scene between the two conspirators was in the darkened Dietrichson living room where Phyllis sat awaiting Neff; when he arrived, she admitted that they were both rotten: Phyllis: "We're both rotten." Neff: "Only you're a little more rotten. You got me to take care of your husband for ya"; as he closed the window, she pulled out a concealed, shiny, metallic gun - Phyllis shot Neff once in the shoulder and he taunted her to finish him off: ("You can do better than that, can't ya, baby? Better try again. Maybe if I came a little closer? How's this? Think you can do it now?"), but she lowered her gun and hesitated to kill him for some reason (because of her love for him, or because of her conscience?); he took her gun away, and she admitted her rottenness again: "I'm rotten to the heart. I used you just as you said"; then during a final erotic embrace, Walter grimly shot her with two point-blank gunshots into her chest ("Goodbye, baby")
Final Erotic Embrace
  • the final confrontation between Neff and Keyes as the insurance agent was dying slumped in a doorway and was offered a light for his cigarette by Keyes (a reversal)

The Confession - Flashback

First Meeting - Sexual Banter in Her LIving Room

Second Meeting - The Purchase of Insurance For Her Husband (Without His Knowledge)

Kissing in Neff's Apartment

Cold-Hearted Stare During Murder of Her Husband

Inquisitive Claims Adjuster Keyes

Flashback Over: Neff Confessing to Barton Keyes in Conclusion

(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

Previous Page Next Page