Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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

Horse Feathers (1932)

In director Norman Z. McLeod's satirical academic/sports comedy from the Marx Brothers, their fourth comic masterpiece:

  • the opening scene of Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff (Groucho Marx), President of Huxley College, addressing the faculty members and students during his inauguration: ("... As I look over your eager faces, I can readily understand why this college is flat on its back. The last college I presided over, things were slightly different. I was flat on my back. Things kept going from bad to worse but we all put our shoulders to the wheel and it wasn't long before I was flat on my back again"); he also began to sing in the musical number: "(Whatever It Is), I'm Against It" - describing how he would nihilistically respond to trustee suggestions, ridiculing them: "I don't know what they have to say. It makes no difference anyway. Whatever it is, I'm against it"; the second verse was for a different song: "I Always Get My Man"; the bearded faculty professors joined the contemptable Wagstaff, slavishly bowing and pointing to him, and circling around him in a soft-shoe routine. When the dance was finished, he told them: "All right scram, boys. I'll meet you in the barber shop"
Pinky (Harpo Marx)
"Cut the Cards" - Literally With a Hatchet
Wagstaff's Attempt to Recruit Two Football Players in Speakeasy, with Baravelli
  • the sequence at a speakeasy where doorman Baravelli (Chico Marx) demanded to know the secret password ("swordfish") - Pinky (Harpo Marx) provided a clue by pulling a sword fish from his coat and sticking a small sword down its throat
  • Wagstaff's misguided attempt to buy (recruit) two football players, Mullen and McHardie (Jim Pierce and Nat Pendleton) at the speakeasy, and ending up with Pinky and Baravelli, to play the big game between Huxley and Darwin
  • Pinky (Harpo Marx) providing a hot cup of coffee from the inside of his coat for a bum on the street
  • Pinky's scene with his horse blocking traffic and a cop who wrote him a ticket
  • the classic Biology classroom scene with Wagstaff instructing students by improvising profusely and confusingly on the topics of blood, the heart, and the circulatory system - and the Alps! ("As you know, there is constant warfare between the red and white corpuscles. Now then, baboons, what is a corpuscle?...We now find ourselves among the Alps. The Alps are a very simple people living on a diet of rice and old shoes. Beyond the Alps lies more Alps and the Lord Alps those that Alps themselves. We then come to the bloodstream. The blood rushes from the head down to the feet, gets a look at those feet, and rushes back to the head again..."); the sequence ended with a peashooter fight between him and two unruly students
  • the non-sensical, frenetic, madcap sequence of Baravelli, Prof. Wagstaff, gambler Jennings (David Landau), and Pinky all showing up at flirtatious 'college widow' Connie's (Thelma Todd) apartment at the same time
  • Wagstaff's romancing and serenading of the "college widow" during a canoe ride on a duck pond when he strummed on a guitar - and his response to her baby talk: "If icky girl keep on talking that way, big stwong man's gonna kick all her teef wight down her thwoat"
Wagstaff's Romancing of the "College Widow"
  • the sequence of the attempted kidnap of the two star Darwin College athletes
  • the climactic zany Huxley-Darwin football game (partly inspired by the silent Harold Lloyd classic The Freshman (1925)) involving audible football signals, banana peels, an elastic band, and a chariot

Professor Wagstaff's Inaugural Address and Musical Number

Speakeasy Password "Swordfish"

Peashooter Fight

In Connie's Apartment

Concluding Football Game

House of Usher (1960) (aka The Fall of the House of Usher)

In legendary director Roger Corman's and AIP's low-budget Gothic horror film, inaugurating a rash of Edgar Allan Poe film adaptations by Corman - this one (the first of eight) was based on Poe's 1839 short story "The Fall of the House of Usher", followed by Pit and the Pendulum (1961), Premature Burial (1962), Tales of Terror (1962), the Poe-titled poem but H. P. Lovecraft adapted The Haunted Palace (1963), The Raven (1963), The Masque of the Red Death (1964) and The Tomb of Ligeia (1964):

  • the mood-setting, atmospheric central location - the isolated, decayed, fogged-in House of Usher located in a burned-out and parched forest with blackened soil in New England (a physical embodiment of evil evident over many generations); the House itself was prone to crumbling and violent tremors - with a visible crack that ran from the foundation to the roof
  • the House's main master - morose, stand-offish, hyper-sensitive and brooding aristocrat Roderick Usher (Vincent Price), the last living male descendant of a cursed family, and the older brother of doomed Madeline Usher (Myrna Fahey) - possibly engaged in an incestuous relationship
  • the arrival of Madeline's well-meaning Bostonian suitor-fiancee, Philip Winthrop (Mark Damon), who made an obsessive effort to remove the sickly Madeline from the darkened and oppressive House
  • the curse upon the entire Usher family's bloodline - both Madeline and Roderick suffered from an incurable, hereditary affliction that hyper-affected all of their senses; in a brilliant monologue, Roderick described the symptoms of the curse to Philip - heavy drapes-curtains were hung to keep out sunlight, and efforts had been made to dampen noise from loud footsteps by the wearing of slippers: "Madeline and I are like figures of fine glass. The slightest touch and we may shatter. Both of us suffer from a morbid acuteness of the senses. Mine is the worst for having existed the longer, but both of us are afflicted with it. Any sort of food more exotic than the most pallid mashes - unendurable to my taste buds. Any sort of garment other than the softest is agony to my flesh. My eyes are tormented by all but the faintest illumination. Odors assail me constantly, and as I've said, the sounds of any degree whatsoever inspire me with terror... And even so I could hear you coming. Every footstep, every rustle of your clothes. I could hear your horse approaching, hear the clatter of the hooves across the courtyard. Your knock. The grating of the door bolt was like a sword struck to my ears. (whispering) I can hear the scratch of rat claws within the stone wall! Mr. Winthrop, three-quarters of my family have fallen into madness, and in their madness have acquired a superhuman strength, so that it took the power of many to subdue them"
  • the sequence of Madeline taking Philip to the family crypt where her 'mad' ancestors were laid in various coffins - and pointing out her own empty labeled coffin - and suddenly, the shocking fall of one of the caskets labeled "MIRIAM USHER" (Madeline's mother) that shattered and spilled out her mother's rotting skeletal corpse
  • the tour conducted by Roderick for Philip (who didn't believe that "the sins of the fathers (are) visited upon the children"), along a row of sordid, tortured portraits (drawn by Burt Shonberg) of members of the Usher family - as he described how evil passed down through generations of Ushers and ultimately into the House itself: "This house is centuries old. It was brought here from England, and with it every evil rooted in its stones...Evil is not just a word. It is reality. Like any living thing, it can be created and was created by these people. The history of the Ushers is a history of savage degradations. First in England, and then in New England. And always in this house. Always in this house. Born of evil which feels it is no illusion. For hundreds of years, foul thoughts and foul deeds have been committed within its walls. The house itself is evil now"
  • Madeline's catalepsy (the appearance of death) - with body rigidity, trancelike states, loss of muscular control, and decreased bodily functions, almost indistinguishable from death; and her alleged demise from her cursed condition, and her premature interment (buried alive) by Roderick in the family crypt beneath the House
  • the disquieting brief funeral scene in the family chapel of Roderick and Philip mourning the 'death' of Madeline - while sitting on pews behind her open coffin, she began to move her fingers; Roderick responded by rising and closing the casket's lid; the sequence ended with a closeup of her name on the tomb
  • during Philip's hallucinatory dream sequence (shot with different colored filters including light blue and purple), when Philip was haunted by the Usher ancestors, and Roderick accosted Philip for trying to free Madeline from her premature burial by sledge-hammering the lock on her casket - she screamed and he awakened
Philip's Hallucinatory Dream Sequence
  • Roderick's description of how he was in agony as he heard the entombed Madeline helplessly pound and scratch the inside of her sealed coffin cover: "Do you know that I could hear every sound she made? That I heard her breathing in her casket? Heard her first gasps as she awoke? Her first scream of terror? Did you know that I could hear the scratching of her fingernails on the casket lid?" - and the sight of Madeline's empty coffin; she had escaped to prowl as a deranged mad woman through the secret passageways and corridors of the House of Usher - to avenge herself upon her brother Roderick who knowingly had buried her alive
  • the spectacular fiery finale and conclusion - the crumbling and burning down of the House of Usher, while the two crazed siblings (Roderick and Madeline) fought with each other to the death; Philip escaped and watched the unstable and flaming inferno of the House swallowed up in a dark moat (the words of POE were seen in a final subtitle superimposed over the ruins of the House: "...and the deep and dark tarn closed silently over the fragments of the House of Usher")

Roderick Usher
(Vincent Price)

Arrival of Philip Winthrop (Mark Damon)

Madeline Usher (Myrna Fahey) - Philip's Fiancee

The Family Crypt Scene

Tour of Usher Family Portraits

Madeline's Alleged Demise and Interment in the Family Crypt

The Entombed Madeline

The Fiery Finale - Two Siblings Fighting to the Death

House of Wax (1953)

In Andre de Toth's classic horror film - created in "Natural Vision" 3-D:

  • the amazing scene of the burning of the wax museum (deliberately set on fire by Jarrod's business partner Matthew Burke (Roy Roberts)) and the melting of the historical figures, with wax sculptor Professor Henry Jarrod (Vincent Price) presumably dying in the burning building
  • the scenes of a cloaked disfigured murderer killing Burke (Roy Roberts) (made to look like a suicidal hanging in an elevator shaft), then murdering Burke's now ex-fiancee Cathy Gray (Carolyn Jones) (she was drugged, then strangled by a cord); also Cathy's friend - leading lady Sue Allen (Phyllis Kirk), who had discovered Cathy's corpse in her rooming house bedroom, was pursued along fog-shrouded streets and alleyways of turn-of-the-century New York City
  • Jarrod had survived the fiery blaze and appeared about 18 months later (although he claimed: "Jarrod is dead. I am a reincarnation") - his face appeared normal, but he had scarred and useless hands, and he was wheelchair-bound
  • Jarrod rebuilt a new House of Wax museum, with assistance from deaf-mute sculptor Igor (Charles Bronson) and student-artist Leon Averill (Nedrick Young), that showcased a "Chamber of Horrors" - commemorating famous and fresh "crimes of violence" through wax figures (to give the people what they wanted: "sensation, horror, shock")
  • the 3-D effect shown off with the carnival barker's (Reggie Rymal) bouncing paddle-balls, and his admonitions to the crowd in front of the newly-opened House of Wax: ("Watch it, young lady. Careful, sir, keep your head down or I'll tap you on the chin. Look out! Duck. (He turned to other customers behind him) Wow, that's a becoming hat you're wearing, madam. I wonder if I can clip the flower off it. Hold steady now, don't move your head, or you'll lose the powder off your nose. Wow, there's someone with a bag of popcorn. Close your mouth. It's the bag I'm aiming at, not your tonsils. Here she comes. Well, look at that, it's in the bag.")
  • the dance hall scene with a line of dancers doing the can-can kick
  • the vengeful Jarrod (in the disguise of the cloaked, face-disfigured killer and later wearing a facial mask to hide his melted face) had been committing the many murders; he then stole their corpses from the New York City Morgue and coated them with molten wax to produce very life-like statues for his waxworks exhibits: ("Each subject must be taken from life")
  • Cathy's body was used as a "model" for the figure of Joan of Arc; Sue was amazed by the likeness: "Why should it be so much like Cathy?" - Sue then made the shocking discovery that her friend Cathy's corpse had been dipped in wax to create a Joan of Arc wax figure: ("It is Cathy. It's Cathy's body under the wax! I knew it! I knew it all the time!"); when she confronted Jarrod, he admitted his hideous plan -- Sue was to be his next "leading lady" for immortality - Marie Antoinette: "Everything I ever loved has been taken away from me. Not you, my Marie Antoinette, for I will give you eternal life"
  • the shocking moment that Phantom-of-the-Opera-like Jarrod had his face beaten by Sue and his wax mask broke off to reveal his hideously-burned and disfigured face below
The Unmasking of Professor Jarrod
  • in the finale, set in the museum's cellar laboratory, Sue was strapped and naked under a boiling vat of wax as he prepared her to be his next exhibit victim as Marie Antoinette: "This is where I recreated my Joan of Arc. It's an interesting process. If you have patience with me, my dear, I'll show you how it's done...That look of horror spoils your lovely face. What if it should show, even through the wax?...The end will come quickly, my love. There's a pain beyond pain, an agony so intense, it shocks the mind into instant oblivion. We'll find immortality together, for they'll remember me through you"
Sue - Jarrod's New "Marie Antoinette"
Jarrod's Death in His Own Cauldron of Wax
  • during a struggle with authorities who arrived at the scene just in time, Jarrod wound up falling into his own burning cauldron of tallow (at over 450 degrees F.) - his apt and richly-deserved fate.

Matthew Burke (Roy Roberts)

Wax Museum Fire

The Wax Museum's Burning and 'Death' of Prof. Jarrod

Cloaked Murderer

Carnival Barker with Paddle Ball in Front of New House of Wax

Professor Jarrod With Igor (Charles Bronson)

Sue: "It's Cathy's body under the wax!"

The Housemaid (1960, S. Korea) (aka Hanyeo)

In writer/director Ki-young Kim's psychological horror thriller and lurid domestic melodrama set in post-war Korea, it covered the themes of marital infidelity and predatory sexual obsession of the title character - the 'housemaid', mixed with a critique of traditional and materialistic bourgeois values:

  • in a pre-credits sequence, a husband was speaking to his wife while reading a newspaper account about a businessman who committed adultery with a housemaid and brought terrible consequences upon his family (Husband: "A man in Gimcheon committed adultery with his maid" Wife: "Men are hopeless, taking interest in a maid" Husband: "I disagree. Look at us. We're almost totally dependent on our maid. She cooks and washes for us, and is the first person to greet me when I come home from work. She is fully at our service" Wife: "Such thoughts should not be said or practiced in our sacred household") - the scene and its dialogue was a clue to the film's framing device (with a surprise ending) and a premonition of what would happen
  • the opening title credits (with dripping blood in B/W) were superimposed above the unsettling and long game of cat's cradle (a metaphoric symbol of web entrapment) played by the couple's two children
  • the main characters, a family of four, who lived in a claustrophobic, two story western-style, South Korean house included: handsome pianist, part-time composer and music teacher Mr. Kim Jin Kyu (Dong Sik), his pregnant seamstress wife Mrs. Kim (Ju Jeung Ryu), and their two children: crippled older daughter Ae-soon (Yoo-ri Lee) with crutches, and younger mean, selfish and bratty son Chang-soon (Sung-kee Ahn)
  • the family hired unstable, pig-tailed, chain-smoking, "not too bright" textile factory worker Myung-sook (Lee Un-shim) as the family's housemaid, who began behaving unpredictably, erratically, capriciously and strangely -- almost immediately, she chased and caught a rodent with her bare hands in the kitchen and had an unusual smile on her face as she held up its corpse by the tail; she also developed an obsession with rat poison kept in the kitchen cupboard, voyeuristically spied on Kim giving piano lessons through a sliding glass door, taunted the children, and banged on the piano in the middle of the night
  • pivotal events: the seductive Myung-sook forced herself on Mr. Kim in her bedroom by letting her top drop at her balcony door; not able to resist her half-nakedness, he grabbed her breast from behind, and she stood barefooted on his shoes; she locked her hands around his back before they had sex (off-screen, and symbolically, a tree was struck outdoors by lightning!) - and afterwards she became pregnant
  • the housemaid used blackmailing techniques to try to insinuate herself between Mr. Kim and his wife; the scheming Mrs. Kim learned of her husband's infidelity when he confessed to her, and she assured him: "I'll beg the girl on my knees...We can't let our precious lives be destroyed now"; moments later, she suggested that the housemaid throw herself down the tall stairway to induce a miscarriage and abort the baby (the incident was heard off-screen); also at the same time, the housemaid jealously threatened to kill Mrs. Kim's newborn baby son
  • the same stairway caused the death of the younger son (he had been tricked by the vengeful housemaid into believing he had drunk from a glass of rat-poisoned water), and as he ran to tell his parents, he tripped and fell down the stairway and died at the foot of the stairs; remarkably, the jealous housemaid coerced them to agree that the husband could sleep in her upstairs bed: ("I want the father of my child"), so that she could bear him another son!
  • the wife in desperation ("I only wanted to save my family from this living hell"), attempted to poison the housemaid, but the intended target had substituted sugar for the rat poison and became wise to the murder attempt
  • the horrifying scene of the housemaid terrifying the daughter by stuffing her mouth with possibly-tainted rice
  • in the film's unforgettable climax (a memorable death scene), the crazed housemaid urged Mr. Kim to commit a double-suicide with her by ingesting rat poison dissolved in glasses of water: ("That'll make the living happy - Die with me! Make me the happiest woman!"); as they were dying from the poison, she gave a deranged speech: ("Don't worry. I'll be with you for eternity. I'll ask God to perform our wedding ceremony. The flowers will never wither, while the paths will glitter with jewels. And nobody will ever take you away from me" - lightning struck ); Mr. Kim decided to climb down the stairs to die by his wife's side: ("You can take my body, but not my soul"), but the housemaid resisted his last request: ("If I lose you now, I'll never find you again in heaven"); she grabbed onto his left leg and ankle and was dragged down each step - with her head pounding or thumping into each stair-step; she either died from the poisoning or from a damaging head concussion; when he crawled into his wife's sewing room and collapsed dead at her feet - she spoke regretfully: "Oh, if only I hadn't wanted the new house"
The Housemaid's Death on the Stairs
  • the stunning and jarring plot twist ending (none of the deaths from the rat poison or the stairs had occurred) -- the camera pulled back to find both husband and wife alive; the scene returned to the opening pre-credits sequence; the entire story was a cautionary "what if" tale between the husband and wife:

    Wife: "I don't see how a man of good character could lose his head over a maid."
    Husband: "That's man's weakness. A high mountain challenges him to climb it. A deep lake prompts him to throw a rock into it. A beautiful girl stirs his most primitive desires."
    Wife: "Indeed! Men are beasts!"
Plot-Twist Ending
  • suddenly, the sliding door opened, and the housemaid delivered a tray of tea to the family! and then the husband broke the fourth wall and addressed the camera and audience, before ending with a laugh: "Ladies and gentlemen, as men get older, they spend more time thinking about young women. That's how they get drawn into women, which could lead to their destruction. This is true for all men!"

Pre-Credits: Husband with Wife Reading Newspaper Article

The Children with Cat's Cradle

Rat Trap

Housemaid with Dead Rat


The Housemaid's Seduction of Mr. Kim

The Deadly Stairway: The Housemaid's Miscarriage

The Younger Son's Death at Foot of Stairs

The Daughter's Force-Feeding

The Double-Suicide Poisoning

How Green Was My Valley (1941)

In John Ford's Best Picture-winning dramatic classic about a family of Welsh miners at the turn of the century facing social change:

  • the opening voice-over prologue (provided by the eloquent, mellifluous voice of Irving Pinchel) by a faceless adult man - Huw (pronounced Hugh) Morgan - who had packed some belongings and left a Welsh mining valley as a grown man after about fifty years. In his words, he idealistically and subjectively looked back and remembered (in flashback) earlier, rosier times of his life and 'green valley' home in South Wales as a winsome boy before it gradually disintegrated: ("I am packing my belongings in the shawl my mother used to wear when she went to the market. And I'm going from my valley. And this time, I shall never return. I am leaving behind me my fifty years of memory. Memory. Strange that the mind will forget so much of what only this moment has passed, and yet hold clear and bright the memory of what happened years ago - of men and women long since dead. Yet who shall say what is real and what is not? Can I believe my friends all gone when their voices are still a glory in my ears? No. And I will stand to say no and no again, for they remain a living truth within my mind. There is no fence nor hedge round Time that is gone. You can go back and have what you like of it, if you can remember. So I can close my eyes on my Valley as it is today - and it is gone - and I see it as it was when I was a boy. Green it was, and possessed of the plenty of the earth. In all Wales, there was none so beautiful")
  • as a ten year-old youth, Huw (Roddy McDowell) characterized his stern and firm but respected father Gwillym Morgan (Donald Crisp), as they slowly climbed up a hill in the attire of 1890's residents: ("Everything I ever learnt as a small boy came from my father, and I never found anything he ever told me to be wrong or worthless. The simple lessons he taught me are as sharp and clear in my mind as if I had heard them only yesterday")
  • the realistic depiction of family life - father and sons returning home from the grimy Welsh coal mines, and then bathing and sitting around the dinner table
  • crippled Huw's first feeble steps on a daffodil-covered hillside under the guidance of the preacher Mr. Gruffydd (Walter Pidgeon)
  • the preacher's romance with Huw's eldest sister Angharad (Maureen O'Hara) - ultimately unsuccessful
  • the last sermon of the preacher - his condemnation of his congregation for hypocrisy and vicious unfounded accusations and rumors: ("There is not one among you who has had the courage to come to me and accuse me of wrongdoing. And yet, by any standard, if there has been a sin, I am the one who should be branded the sinner. Will anyone raise his voice here now to accuse me? No. You're cowards, too, as well as hypocrites. But I don't blame you. The fault is mine as much as yours. The idle tongues, the poverty of mind which you have shown mean that I have failed to reach most of you with the lesson I was given to teach")
  • the heart-wrenching mining disaster tragedy, when Huw's father (Donald Crisp) drowned in a mine shaft accident, with his last words to his son who was cradling him in his arms: ("There's a good old man, you are")
The Death of Huw's
Father in His Lap
Idyllic Happier Days
  • the nostalgic ending in which Huw recalled the happier, more idylic memories of his youth as a crescendo of chorus voices sang during a montage of the Morgan family (now mostly deceased) at supper time, of Huw's first view of Bronwyn (Anna Lee) with the double basket on her hip, of Angharad at the gate watching and waving at Mr. Gruffydd and Huw returning through a hillside of blooming flowers; there was also a view of Huw and his father walking hand-in-hand over the crest of a hill, as they did in the film's opening sequence, and a glimpse of the five brothers in an open field.
  • the concluding, hopeful voice-over with Huw still looking back fondly and hopefully during the terrible time of tragedy: ("Men like my father cannot die. They are with me still - real in memory as they were in flesh, loving and beloved forever. How green was my Valley then") - he retreated into the glow of his purified memories

Opening Voice-Over Prologue

Life in Welsh Coal Mine Village

Young Huw Morgan

Huw's First Steps on Hillside

Preacher Mr. Gruffydd's (Walter Pidgeon) Romance with Angharad (Maureen O'Hara)

The Preacher's Last Sermon on Small-Mindedness, Hypocrisy and Rumor

Howard the Duck (1986)

In the George Lucas-produced sci-fi comedy about a humanoid duck (based upon the Marvel Comics' character):

  • the clever opening credits sequence set in Howard T. Duck's Marshington DC apartment (3636 Lakeside Dr.) located on a "duck" version of Earth (Duckworld), with duck-versions of everything ("Rolling Egg" Magazine, a film poster for "Breeders of the Lost Stork" with Indiana Drake, Mae Nest and W.C. Fowls in a My Little Chickadee film poster, a centerfold in Playduck Magazine, etc.)
  • the sudden expulsion of Howard from his armchair through the length of his building (through the hallway and other people's residences, including through a bathroom with a topless duck in a bathtub) into outer space - and eventually landing in Cleveland
  • the scene of the interstellar duck Howard saving the life of Beverly Switzler (Lea Thompson), a musician in a struggling punk rock band known as Cherry Bomb, by declaring: ("That's it, no more Mr. Nice Duck"), and fighting off mean street thugs with strange martial arts: ("Let the female creature go! Every duck's got his limit, and you scum have pushed me over the line...No one laughs at a master of quack-fu")
  • the sequence of Howard the Duck having a "brewski" at Beverly's apartment, and admitting that he was having an identity crisis: ("What I don't know is what the hell I'm doing here! It's like a bad trip. I mean, talk about an identity crisis"), and then when he fell asleep, Beverly's peek into his wallet, where she found his ID, photos, credit cards (MallardCard and Bloomingducks), cash bills with a duck President, and a condom!
  • the hilarious scene in the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services where Howard was advised about finding a job by a large and outspoken counselor named Cora Mae (Virginia Capers) - warning that she didn't like dealing with a "slacker" or "misfit" like him: ("They think that by trapsing in here and looking outlandish, they are not gonna be able to find work....Do you think that by looking controversial, you is never gonna find a job and just go on coIlecting unemployment and living happy on the public dole. Well, dude, you've got another thing coming! Because Cora Mae always places her interviewee. I'm gonna find your ass a job that'll wipe that snarl right off your face, little - whatever you is. In fact, I think I got just the position for you! I got a feeling you're gonna take to this job like a duck to water")
Howard the Duck in Bed with Beverly
  • the strange seduction scene in Beverly's apartment when Howard complimented her figure: ("I have developed a greater appreciation for the female version of the human anatomy"); he joined her in bed to watch David Letterman on television, as he suggestively remarked: ("Maybe it's not a man you should be looking for"); she wondered: ("Do you think I might find happiness in the animal kingdom, duckie?") and he proposed: ("Like they say, doll, love's strange. We could always give it a try. Hmm?"); she called his bluff and began unbuttoning the front of Howard's shirt - as the feathers in the middle of his head flared up: ("OK, let's go for it, Mr. Macho...It's just that you're so incredibly soft and cuddly...I just can't resist your intense animal magnetism"); he expressed his worry: ("Anyway, where will it all lead? Marriage? Kids? A house in the suburbs?"), and as she began to remove her blouse: ("Let's just face it, it's fate"), he shied away from intimacy although she proposed to the nervous duckie: "Just one goodnight kiss, sweet duckie"; - they shared a few short kisses (on his extended duck bill), seen in silhouette after she turned out the light; however, three intruders interrupted them; when Carter (Miles Chapin) witnessed what was going on, he stated: "My God, this relationship defies all the laws of nature."
  • the long extended scenes (about getting Howard back home with a reversed cosmic ray) involving multiple chase scenes and lots of explosions, including Howard and scientist/janitor Phil's (Tim Robbins) ride in an ultralight aircraft
  • the character of researcher Dr. Jenning (Jeffrey Jones) becoming possessed while driving: ("Listen, an evil has landed. The world is in great danger...It feels like something inside me gnawing at my guts! What's wrong with me?..The pain. It's like I'm transforming inside. I'm afraid I'm about to become something else...Something's growing inside me...It's replicating and superceding all my internal organs!...That monster's shape I saw...It's inside my body...The end of the world is coming, and I will be the cause of it...I'm not Jenning any more. The transformation is complete. I am now someone else")
  • the scene in Joe Roma's Cajun Sushi restaurant, when the waitress asked the possessed Dr. Jenning about his food order: ("What do you think he'd like to eat?"), with his reply: ("I no longer need human food...You are about to witness the end of the old world and the birth of the new"); then he explained his transformation into the Dark Overlord: ("I told you, bird brain, I am not Jenning any more! I am now one of the Dark Overlords of the universe... Tonight the laser beam hit the Nexus of Sominus...It lies beyond the planets. It is a region of demons to which we Dark Overlords were exiled eons ago...Just as you were brought down here accidentally. Tonight, the laser beam released me from that region of demons and pulled me down into that lab...During the explosion, I entered Jenning's body. So, I have disguised my true form which would be considered hideous and revoIting here...This will mean the extinction of all existing life forms...My powers are growing"); he then showed them the code-key - that he would soon use that night to activate the laser spectra scope to bring down the other Dark Overlords; he ended with the threat: ("Soon the Dark Overlords will engulf the Earth - Nothing human will remain here") - and he soon destroyed much of the diner: ("If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen")
  • and the scene of the possessed Dr. Jenning driving a truck with Beverly as his hostage - and at one point - using his extended tongue to extract power from the vehicle's dashboard cigarette lighter; he then entered an Exhaust Emissions Testing area, where he used a laser-beam blast from his eyes to obliterate other cars - and then joked: "Smog inspection!"
  • the sequence of the Dark Overlord of the Universe (created by George Lucas' special effects division) transforming into a monstrous scorpion-like creature
  • Howard's coming to the saving rescue and defeating the monstrous creature by blowing it to smithereens with an experimental "neutron disintegrator" laser
  • the film's conclusion with Howard (strumming a red electric guitar) and Beverly on-stage and singing together: "Howard the Duck"

Opening Credits

Howard in Arm-chair with Playduck Magazine

Landing in Cleveland

Job-Hunting Howard

Kisses - Interrupted

Chase Sequence

Possessed Dr. Jenning

Scorpion-Like Monster

Destruction of Creature with Laser

Howl's Moving Castle (2004, Jp.)

In director Hayao Miyazaki and producer John Lasseter's Best Animated Feature-nominated enchanting fantasy based on English writer Diana Wynne Jones' book:

  • the evocative opening shot of a gigantic, anthropomorphic Castle (with legs) strolling past a farm ranch on its mechanical chicken legs
  • the character of roguish, narcissistic, immature, yet brave and principled powerful teenaged wizard Howl (voice of Christian Bale), who owned the Castle - Howl was cursed and seeking the love of young girl to help him break the curse
  • the memorable scene in which The Witch of the Waste (voice of Lauren Bacall) - looking like an obese woman - was spiteful and jealous over Howl's attentiveness and growing love for the pretty but mousy and shy young hatmaker and bookworm Sophie (voice of Emily Mortimer), so when Sophie refused to serve the Witch, the young girl was transformed with a spell into a 90 year-old woman (voice of Jean Simmons)
Sophie Transformed Into 80 Year-Old Woman
  • the scene of Sophie's flight to the countryside to break the curse, where she was led to the Castle by bouncing Turniphead, a living Scarecrow (voice of Crispin Freeman) also cursed
  • throughout the film - Sophie's fluid age-shifting depending upon her emotions, and the Witch's waning or changeable powers
  • the funny, exhaustive race up long, steep stairs between Sophie and The Witch - both tiring by the effort, although won by Sophie
  • the bizarre, creepy scene (involving giant light bulbs and dancing shadows) in which Howl's former tutor, now the King’s royal magic adviser or sorceress Madame Suliman (voice of Blythe Danner) stripped The Witch of her powers, causing her to regress to just an elderly woman; in another sequence, Mme Suliman cast a spell revealing to Sophie what Howl really was in his fierce, beastly/feathered flying form
  • the enchanting scene in which Sophie restored Howl's heart by pushing Calcifer into Howl's chest - this freed the Castle's talking ball of fire demon and source of energy - aka Calcifer (voice of Billy Crystal) - to become a starry sprite again
Happily-Ever-After Conclusion
  • the heart-warming, poignant, happily-ever-after shot of the restored family of Sophie (young again, but with silver-white hair), Howl, Howl's apprentice Markl, the Witch, the strange, wheezing dog Hean, and Calcifer returning to be with the others - now free of deceptions and curses - and sailing away in a new flying castle, as Howl and Sophie kissed

The Anthropomorphic Moving Castle

The Witch of the Waste


Race Up Stairs Between Sophie and Witch

Fire Demon Calcifer

Calcifer Pushed into Howl's Chest

Howl's Feathered Form as a Bird-Like Creature

Howrah Bridge (1958, India)

In Shakti Samanta's musical and film-noirish suspense-thriller:

  • the mystery surrounding the death of eldest son Madan (Brahm Bhardwaj), whose corpse was found on Calcutta's Howrah Bridge; just before his death, he was living in Rangoon, Burma with his brother Prem Kumar (Ashok Kumar) and his father, and stole priceless items from the family (including a jewel-encrusted dragon mask heirloom) and fled to India, to pay off his gambling debts
  • the sleuthing investigation of Prem (he assumed the false name of Rakesh) into his brother's death, first meeting en route in a seedy hotel with Uncle Joe (Dhumal) and Joe's beautiful niece Edna (Madhubala), a sexy dancer who assisted Prem in Calcutta in his search for his brother's killers; he was also helped by an old employee, his tanga driver Shyamu (Om Prakash)
  • characters also included a witness to the death: Shyamu's opium-smoking nephew Bhiku (Sunder), and the person to whom the dragon mask was sold - villainous smuggler Mr. John Chang (Madan Puri) who limped with a cane (and had a high-pitched, Chinese-accented voice), and Chang's chief murderous henchman Pyarelal (K. N. Singh)
Edna (Madhubala)
Mr. Chang
Chin Chin Chu
  • the dancing sequence of the seductive and flirtatious Chin Chin Chu (Helen Jairaj Richardson Khan in a star-making role) from Shanghai (first seen in a Chinese costume) in Mr. Chang's hotel, especially her number: "Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu" (translated "My Name is Chin Chin Chu")

Headlines: "Police Find Dead Body on Howrah Bridge"

Stolen, Jewel Encrusted Dragon Mask

Hud (1963)

In Martin Ritt's emotionally-powerful, revisionist western drama - a fascinating portrayal of irresponsible, wayward, rude, non-hero Texas cowboy Hud Bannon (Paul Newman):

  • Hud - known for driving a big pink Cadillac convertible, and his constant womanizing of housekeeper Alma Brown (Oscar-winning Patricia Neal) with lines such as: ("The only question I ever ask any woman is: 'What time is your husband comin' home?' What's keeping ya? You're over the age of consent, ain't ya?"), and ("Ya still got that itch?..Well, let me know when it gets to botherin' ya.")
  • Hud's advice to idolizing teenaged nephew Lon (Brandon de Wilde): "You don't look out for yourself, the only helping hand you'll ever get is when they lower the box"
  • the scene of the discovery of the Bannon herd possibly stricken with hoof-and-mouth disease - and Hud's disregard for the law by shooting at a flock of assembled buzzards nearby, while principled patriarch Homer Bannon (Melvyn Douglas) objected: ("I wish you wouldn't do that, Hud. They keep the country clean. Besides, there's a law against killin' buzzards," but Hud didn't care: ("Man, I always say the law was meant to be interpreted in a lenient manner. And that's what I try to do. Sometimes I lean to one side of it, sometimes I lean to the other"); Homer added: "I don't like to break the law in my place, Hud"; Hud concluded: "Well, she ain't gonna sit up and tell us herself"; later, the Bannon herd had to be slaughtered
  • the scene of Homer's condemnation of his drunken son Hud: ("You don't give a damn. That's all. That's the whole of it. You still don't get it, do ya? You don't care about people, Hud. You don't give a damn about 'em....Oh, ya got all that charm goin' for ya, and it makes the youngsters wanna be like ya. That's the shame of it 'cause you don't value nothin'. You don't respect nothin'. You keep no check on your appetites at all. You live just for yourself and that makes ya not fit to live with"), and Hud's drunken (and angry) admission to end the conversation: "My mama loved me, but she died"
Homer's Condemnation of Hud's Drunkenness
  • Homer Bannon's comment about the changing country to his grandson Lon, and the corruptive influence of Hud: "Little by little the look of the country changes because of the men we admire....You're just gonna have to make up your own mind one day about what's right and what's wrong" - he was referring to the choice of either admiring Hud or someone better
  • the shocking and terrifying attempted rape scene of Alma by Hud
  • the bus station goodbye scene between Alma and Hud, after the rape attempt, and Alma's disgust-attraction at Hud while he tried to assuage her feelings: ("Well, it looks like we're losin' a good cook. Maybe we should've boosted your salary a little. You ain't lettin' that little ruckus we had run ya off, are ya?...It seems I'm the first guy that ever stuck his foot in your door?...I'm the first one ever got rough, huh? Well, I'm sorry. That ain't my style. I don't usually get rough with my women. Generally don't have to"); although she complimented his appearance, she was ready to leave: ("You're rough on everybody...You want to know something funny, it would've happened eventually without the rough house. You look pretty good without your shirt on, you know. Sight of that through the kitchen window made me put down my dishtowel more than once"); as she boarded the bus, he shouted out: ("I'll remember ya, honey. You're the one that got away")
  • the scene of Homer's death after he fell from a horse, after which Hud asserted to Lon: "It was the best thing. He was wore out and he knew it....Tryin' to get up, hurtin' himself. He couldn't have made it. Lonnie, any way in this world, he couldn't have made it another hour....You don't know the whole story. Yeah, him and me fought many and many a round together. But I guess you could say that I helped him about as much as he ever helped me"; Lon questioned Hud's sincerity and complicity: "How did you help him, Hud? By tryin' to sell him out? By takin' the heart out of him? By makin' him give up and quit? Is that how you helped him?"
Final Scene
  • the final scene of Lon walking off from the ranch and speaking to Hud in his car, and deciding not to follow his ways: ("I'm goin' somewhere else and work for awhile if I can happen onto a job...I won't be back this way"), and Hud's rebuttal in the film's last lines of dialogue: ("Well, I guess you've come to be of your granddaddy's opinion that I ain't fit to live with. That's too bad. Yeah, we might've whooped it up some, you and me. That's the way you used to want it ...You know somethin' Fantan? This world is so full of crap, a man's gonna get into it sooner or later whether he's careful or not")

Hud Bannon with Alma Brown

Hud to Alma: "Ya still got that itch?"

Hud Shooting at Buzzards - Interpreting the Law Leniently

Attempted Rape of Alma

Bus-Station Goodbye Scene Between Hud and Alma

Death of Homer

Lon to Hud About His Dead Grandfather: "How did you help him, Hud?"

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)

In RKO's and director William Dieterle's classic adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel about the hunchbacked Notre Dame Cathedral bell-ringer and his love for a gypsy girl in 15th century France:

  • during the Feast of Fool's Day annual parade celebration in medieval Paris, as part of the proceedings, a King of Fools was to be selected; Louis XI, the King of France (Harry Davenport) noted: "The ugly is very appealing to man... it's instinct. One shrinks from the ugly, yet wants to look at it. There's a devilish fascination in it. We extract pleasure from horror"
  • in the opening sequence, pretty gypsy Esmeralda (Maureen O'Hara in her film debut) danced before an appreciative audience, even though gypsies were persecuted and considered outcasts (and prohibited from entering Paris); she was thrown a coin by the King who remarked: "Who cares about her race? She's pretty!"; as she danced, one eye peered out to secretly watch her and she shrunk back in horror: "That eye, staring at me," as various onlookers commented: "It's an animal. It's a fiend"; it was the first hideous view of deafened Quasimodo (Charles Laughton), the hunchback bellringer of Notre Dame - only part of his deformed face was visible; he was seized and led to the stage by a throng of people and offered to be crowned and proclaimed the new King of Fools
  • the extremely touching scene in which radiantly-beautiful gypsy girl Esmeralda mercifully offered a drink of water to the deformed hunchback bellringer Quasimodo after a public scourging during his one hour on the pillory
Quasimodo's Daring Rescue of Esmeralda
Holding Her Aloft: "Sanctuary, Sanctuary"
  • the sentencing of Esmeralda - framed and falsely accused of witchcraft ("bewitched") and murder (of her soldier-lover Captain Phoebus (Alan Marshall)) by the sexually-repressed and jealous Chief Justice Jean Frollo (Cedric Hardwicke), Quasimodo’s adoptive father figure - she was taken to be hanged on a wooden scaffold within view of the Notre Dame Cathedral; the sequence was topped by Quasimodo's thrilling and daring rescue of the gypsy girl by swinging to her on a rope, seizing her, and taking her up to the towering structure, and crying as he held her above his head: "Sanctuary, Sanctuary"
  • the vengeful scene in the ND belltower, when Quasimodo confronted Frollo seeking to harm Esmeralda with a dagger; Quasimodo struggled against Frollo, then grabbed him and threw him off the top of the cathedral
Esmeralda's Love for Captain Phoebus
Frollo's Jealous Lust for Esmeralda
Quasimodo Confronting Frollo and Heaving Him Off Top of Cathedral
  • in the bittersweet ending after Esmeralda was pardoned, Quasimodo's heartbreaking closing line next to a gargoyle high atop Notre Dame: "Why was I not made of stone like thee?"
"Why was I not made of stone like thee?"
Zoom Back From Cathedral
  • the tremendous zoom back of the camera from the cathedral with choruses of 'Hallelujah' to end the film

(l and r): King Louis XI (Harry Davenport), and Chief Justice Frollo (Cedric Hardwicke)

Esmeralda - Dancing Gypsy Girl (Maureen O'Hara)

First Partial View of Bellringer Quasimodo

The Hunchback - Proclaimed the King of Fools

Quasimodo Offered a Drink by Esmeralda

Condemned to be Hanged in Front of the Cathedral

Hunger (2008, UK/Ire.)

In Steve McQueen's compelling biographical drama about a politically-defiant individual on a hunger strike in the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland in 1981:

  • the 24 minute (mostly long-shot) conversational scene at a prison table, between 27 year-old hunger strike IRA (Provisional Irish Republican Army) leader Bobby Sands (Michael Fassbender) and a priest, Father Dominic Moran (Liam Cunningham), who incessantly smoked cigarettes as they talked about the morality of suicide, and Sands' defense of his actions on political, emotional, and moral grounds: ("You want me to argue about the morality of what I'm about to do and whether it's really suicide or not? For one, you're calling it suicide. I call it murder. And that's just another wee difference between us two. We're both Catholic men, both Republicans. But while you were poaching salmon in lovely Kilrea, we were being burnt out of our house in Rathcoole...Similar in many ways, Dom, but life and experiences focused our beliefs differently. You understand me?"); and Sands' conclusion about his own sacrifice: ("Putting my life on the line is not just the only thing I can do, Dom. It's the right thing")
  • also, Sands' concluding realization - a metaphor of his own reasoned suicidal sacrifice - with a tale about a wounded, four or five-days old foal (with snapped back legs from the sharp rocks) next to a stream - whose suffering (and "real pain") and life he ended by drowning it, although he knew he would be punished: ("So it's clear to me in an instant. I get down on my knees and I take the foal's head in my hands and I put him underwater. He's thrashing around at the start, so I press down harder until he's drowned...But I knew I did the right thing by that wee foal, and I could take the punishment for all our boys. I had the respect of them other boys now, and I knew that. (pause) I'm clear of the reasons, Dom. And clear of all the repercussions. But I will act and I will not stand by and do nothin'")
  • ("Faced now with the failure of their discredited cause, the men of violence have chosen in recent months to play what may well be their last card. They have turned their violence against themselves through the prison hunger strike to death. They seek to work on the most basic of human emotions, pity, as a means of creating tension and stoking the fires of bitterness and hatred")
  • a doctor's description of the results of a hunger strike on the human body: ("And from week one there has been a gradual deterioration of the liver, kidney and pancreatic function. Also the bone density decreases substantially due to calcium and vitamin deficiencies. The muscles of the heart is also undernourished causing impaired function and eventually cardiac failure. The left ventricle can shrink to 70% of its normal size. He will have low blood sugar, low energy and muscular wasting. He will be experiencing gastro- intestinal ulcers with the thinning of the intestinal wall and sub-mucosal hemorraging. There will have been degenerative changes to the mucous membranes of the intestines, and indeed all the organs in the body")
  • the death scene of an emaciated and skeletal Sands after a 66 day hunger strike - as he had flashbacked visions of his youth as a runner (through trees) for his school in Belfast, with birds flying
  • the final postscript and results of the hunger strike: ("Bobby Sands died after 66 days on hunger strike. At that time he was elected to the British Parliament M.P. for Fermanagh and South Tyrone. After 7 months the strike was called off. A further 9 men had died. during the 'blanket' and a 'no-wash' protests. In the following days and months, the British Government effectively granted all the prisoners' demands but without any formal recognition of political status")

Conversational Scene in Prison

Bobby Sands' Chosen Suicidal Sacrifice

The Hunt for Red October (1990)

In John McTiernan's action spy-thriller set in the mid-1980s late Cold War era - an adaptation of Tom Clancy's novel:

  • the memorable performances of over-the-top, magnanimous, pompous, rogue Soviet submarine Captain Marko Ramius (Sean Connery), a defecting naval commander of the prototype Russian nuclear submarine Red October, and his cynical hard-nosed American counterpart Commander Bart Mancuso (Scott Glenn) of the USS Dallas, commissioned to intercept the Russian sub (and its commander) and determine its motivations
  • the early scene of the main protagonist - American CIA analyst and book author Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin), briefing US government officials and military personnel on the threat of the Red October, and his tantalizingly bold prediction that Capt. Ramius was not insane or on the attack, but was motivated to defect and seek asylum in the US: ("I was just thinking that perhaps there's another possibility we might consider. Ramius might be trying to defect")
  • Ryan's plan - with only a few days to spare - was to get in contact with and rendezvous with the vessel: ("We definitely grab the boat, sir...Maybe it's enough then to just get some people onboard to inspect it. Call it whatever you want to - a Coastguard safety inspection...Well, first, we need to contact the commanders in the Atlantic directly. If the Russians get one whiff of this through the regular communications circuits, the game is up. Second, we need to figure out what can we do to help them. We need to devise a plan to intercede - ready to go at a moment's notice. And third, somebody's gonna go out there and make contact with Ramius and find out what his intentions really are")
  • the thrilling action sequences including Ryan's perilous helicopter-to-submarine transfer into the Red October to prove his theory
  • the sequence of Ramius' first officer Vasily Borodin (Sam Neill) describing his dream of life in America to Ramius: ("Good, then I will live in Montana and I will marry a round American woman and raise rabbits. And she will cook them for me. And I will have a pickup truck or possibly even a recreational vehicle and drive from state to state...Well then, in winter, I will live in Arizona. I think I will need two wives")
  • the stunning gunfight set within the bowels of the Red October, among towering red pumps, between saboteur-cook Igor Loginov (Tomas Arana) and Ryan - and Ryan's firing on Loginov to kill him
Ryan's Gunfight With Saboteur Loginov
Captain Tupolev
(Stellan Skarsgård)
First Mate: "You arrogant ass! You've killed us!"
  • the death scene of the opposing Soviet attack submarine V. K. Konovalov and its Captain Tupolev (Stellan Skarsgård) and crew by their own fired torpedo during diversionary tactics (a game of chicken with Capt. Mancuso) with the Soviet Captain's first mate growling back: "You arrogant ass! You've killed us!"
Underwater Explosions Rock
Soviet Attack Submarine Konovalov
  • the closing exchange on the Red October between Ramius and Ryan, who had navigated the vessel to a blue-lit river in New England (Maine), where they spoke about the aftermath: (Ramius: "Maybe some good will come from it. A little revolution now and then is a healthy thing, don't you think? Do you still like to fish, Ryan?...There's a river not unlike this one near Vilnius where my grandfather taught me to fish. 'And the sea will grant each man new hope. As sleep brings dreams of home.' Christopher Columbus"; Ryan: "Welcome to the New World, sir")

Soviet Captain Marko Ramius (Sean Connery)

US Commander Capt. Bart Mancuso (Scott Glenn)

Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin): "Another possibility we might consider..."

Ryan's Plan: "Find Out What His Intentions Really Are"

Soviet First Officer Vasily Borodin (Sam Neill): "Life in America"

Closing Scene Between Ryan and Ramius

The Hurricane (1937)

In director John Ford's adventure/disaster drama and intense love story:

  • in the opening sequence, the nostalgic description of the deserted South Pacific, French-controlled colonial island of Manakoora by Dr. Kersaint (Thomas Mitchell) on the deck of a cruise ship passing by many years later: "It's a little in disrepute, madame...It's the island of Manakoora. That was once the most beautiful of all the islands that raised their little green heads above these waters. The most beautiful and enchanting bit of paradise in all the world, madame. I always throw it a kiss when I pass it....It made the mistake of being born in the heart of the hurricane belt" - leading to the film's flashbacked tale
  • the iconic images of bare-chested lover Terangi (Jon Hall) with childhood sweetheart Marama (Dorothy Lamour) (and future wife) in her tropical sarong on the island of Manakoora
  • the freedom-loving Polynesian sailor Terangi's many efforts to escape imprisonment and confinement, after being harshly and unjustly imprisoned following a bar-room brawl incident in Tahiti with an antagonistic white man
  • the first of Terangi's many daring prison escape attempts from his island encampment, when he dove from a steep cliff and swam toward a passing schooner, but was recaptured and brought back to his cell, and resentenced: "It just hangs another year on your sentence. That's the penalty. That's what I've got to go by: The law. Lucky you didn't break from the inside. That would've added five years. Now you behave yourself. We don't want to keep you here any longer than we've got to"
  • the sequence of Terangi's return to Manakoora, and his dangerous and risky decision (while being pursued) to remain and warn the people about what to do about the impending hurricane: "The great storm is coming, the wind that overturns the land. Go to Tavi's store. Get ropes. Anchor your houses. Take to the trees if the sea should cover the land. Go quickly!"
  • the spectacular, but disastrous hurricane sequence in which the local church, a place of refuge, was soon devastated by the rising waves; after tying Marama to a tree, Terangi rushed back and offered rescue to save Father Paul (C. Aubrey Smith) (who refused) and French Governor's wife Mme. Germaine De Laage (Mary Astor), as its walls were breached and caved in, and the entire structure was washed out to sea
The Church in the Hurricane
  • the final line in which the strict, recently-appointed French Governor Eugene De Laage (Raymond Massey) observed through his binoculars wrongly to his wife Madame Germaine De Laage: "You're right, Germaine, it's only a floating log," in order to save Terangi, whom he realized had rescued some of the survivors (including Germaine) and was escaping in a canoe

Dr. Kersaint
(Thomas Mitchell)

Terangi with Marama

One of Terangi's Daring Prison Escape Attempts

Marama Seeking Shelter From the Storm in a Tree

De Laage: "It's Only a Floating Log"

The Hurt Locker (2009)

In Kathryn Bigelow's fact-based, but fictional character study and action thriller about the defusement and detonation of dangerous IED based upon the actual experiences of journalist and screenwriter/producer Mark Boal (Note: a "hurt locker" was the destination of explosion victims):

  • the stressful and tense series of war scenes/set-pieces of an elite group of three bomb-squad specialists or EOD bomb defusers (Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal Squad) in Bravo Company (cognizant of a 39-day countdown until their home-leave deployment-rotation)
  • the film's opening with the death of team leader SSG Matt Thompson (Guy Pearce) in a bulky Kevlar suit after the failed defusement of a dangerous IED (improvised explosive devices) bomb with a robotic device in the rubble and garbage-strewn streets of Bagdad in 2004 Iraq, when they were threatened with sniper fire and the bomb was set off by a cellphone from a marketplace butcher shop
  • the fears and difficulty of level-headed African-American Sgt. J.T. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and nervously fearful and pessimistic Spc. Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) ("Pretty much the bottom line is, if you're in Iraq, you're dead") in comfortably accepting Thompson's replacement (Sanborn calls him "a redneck piece of trailer trash") - newcomer and risk-taker Army Staff Sergeant William James (Jeremy Renner)
  • in scene after scene, James displayed bravado, recklessness and fearlessness:
Sgt. William James Holding Gun on Cab Driver
  1. he activated a flare, obscuring everyone's visibility, and drew his pistol on a suspected Iraqi-haji cab driver during a stand-off while commanding him to back up and get out of the car ("Where are you goin'?...You wanna back up?...You wanna get back?") - and then after clipping the wires to one bomb detonator found it attached to seven others buried nearby, and
  2. his disregard for orders when he attempted to defuse bombs in an illegally-parked, torched car near an evacuated UN building and removed his protective helmet and gear ("If I'm gonna die, I wanna die comfortable") - and also threw away his headset while searching to dismantle the devices and defuse the bombs, and
  3. the sequence of the tense stake-out in the hot desert sun when aiding a party of British army contractors (including Ralph Fiennes) caught in an ambush by an insurgent sniper (Nader Tarawneh), and the use of scopes to zero in on targets - and James' fumbling unwrapping of a juice pack and straw to give a drink to dehydrated partner Sgt. Sanborn, and
  4. the unsuccessful attempt to break the bolts of locks holding strapped explosives with a timer to an Arabic family man's waist
James to Col. Reed:
"The Way You Don't Die, Sir"
Angered Eldridge
  • the sequence in which curious Colonel Reed (David Morse) asked how many bombs "wild man" James had disarmed (he was told 873) - and his remark: "That's just hot s--t", and his follow-up question about the best way to disarm a bomb, with James' dry reply: "The way you don't die, sir"
  • the scene of the three comrades after a tense day - in their compound swigging alcohol, punching each other, and wrestling (and discovering that James kept souvenirs of his bomb dismantlings and components under his bed): "This box is fuII of stuff that aImost kiIIed me...You know, I just think it's reaIIy interesting to hoId something in your hand that couId have kiIIed anyone"
  • the scene of the wounding of Eldridge with a gunshot shattering his femur during an unnecessary nighttime mission and his anger at James as he was airlifted for medical treatment: "We didn't have to go out looking for trouble to get your f--king adrenaline fix, you f--k!"
  • the scene of James' sense of extreme disorientation when confronted by so many choices of frozen pizza and boxed cereal in a US supermarket during home-leave

Failed Defusement of IED

Defusing One of Seven Bombs

Removal of Protective Helmet and Gear While Inspecting Car Trunk Filled With Explosives

In Desert - Contractor Team Leader (Ralph Fiennes)

Sgt. Sanborn in Desert With James

Arabic Man With Strapped Explosives

James' Disorientation in a US Supermarket

Husbands and Wives (1992)

In Woody Allen's last true masterpiece to date, famously-filmed during (and severely overshadowed by and paralleling) the real-life breakup of Allen's marriage to longtime companion/actress Farrow, and presented with interviews of the characters and some hand-held camera work:

  • the opening apartment scene of middle-aged married man Jack Simmons (Sydney Pollack) and his distraught, neurotic wife Sally's (Oscar-nominated Judy Davis) glib and calm announcement about their separation-divorce before dinner to couple Gabriel "Gabe" Roth (Woody Allen) and Judy (Mia Farrow): ("Jack and I are splitting up"), and then their insistences that it wasn't a big deal that they had grown apart: ("Don't turn this into a tragedy, OK, 'cause it's a very positive step for both of us")
  • the subsequent documentary-styled account of their marriages all crumbling (with new flings) following the news - complete with violently-panning handheld camera shots and jump-cutting
  • the disastrous new romances: Jack with younger, sexy yet ditzy 24 year-old blonde aerobics instructor Sam (Lysette Anthony) and Sally's relationship with romantic Irishman Michael Gates (Liam Neeson), one of Judy's co-worker colleagues
  • the relationship between professor Gabe and his bright, 20 year-old creative writing student Rain (Juliette Lewis) - and her (voice-over) reading of Gabe's sublimely-written manuscript about relationships and sex: ("...of course men would make love at any given moment with any number of women, while females were selective. They were in each case catering to the demands of only one small egg, while each male had millions and millions of frantic sperms screaming wildly 'Let us out! Let us out!'...")
Gabe with Student Rain
(Juliette Lewis)
Rain's Voice-Over Reading of Gabe's Manuscript
Rain's Assessment of Gabe's Book
  • during a car ride, Rain's honest assessment of Gabe's book, and her expression of some disappointment, causing him to feel defensive: ("I was a little disappointed, I guess, with, uh, some of your attitudes...The way your people just casually have affairs like that...Are our choices really between chronic dissatisfaction and suburban drudgery?....You have to be careful not to trivialize things like that (marriage)...The lead character's views on women is so retrograde, it's so shallow, you know?...Isn't it beneath you as a mature thinker, I mean, to allow your lead character to waste so much of his emotional energy obsessing over this psychotic relationship with a woman that you fantasize as powerfully sexual and inspired when in fact she was pitifully sick")
  • the sour, embarrassing party scene in which Jack (who just learned that Sally was dating Michael) became jealous and took it out, in an intense argument, with Sam; when he heard her speaking about her logical belief in astrology: ("Why wouldn't the position of the planets have an influence on our personalities?...Because, you know, the position of the planets, it's like, is crucial to your life"), he dragged her from a party after rudely berating her: ("If you don't know what the hell you're talkin' about, why don't you try not talking?...I'm sick of listening to your crap about soybeans and Zen foods, and the f--kin' Zodiac") - she screeched at him and begged for "Help!" (to deliberately embarrass him) when he tried to drag her to the car (twice!) - leading soon after to their breakup when he realized his mistake in leaving Sally: ("God damn it, I must have been out of my mind. You're crazy! Totally crazy!")
  • during an interview, Sally's brilliant "hedgehogs and foxes" internal, neurotic monologue about unromantic, frigid sex with Michael, when she was asked: "Why were you able to have an orgasm with Michael and not with your husband?...What makes it so difficult for you?" - Her response: "I didn't. I was trying very hard to go with it. I was tense. I came close...My mind just gets racing with thoughts. You'd laugh if I told you. I get so mentally hyperactive...I thought that I liked what Michael was doing to me, and it felt different from Jack. More gentle and more exciting. And I thought how different Michael was from Jack. How much deeper his vision of life was. And I thought Michael was a hedgehog and Jack was a fox. And then I thought Judy was a fox, and Gabe was a hedgehog. And I thought about all the people I knew, and which were hedgehogs, and which were foxes. Al Simon, a friend, was a hedgehog, and his wife Jenny was a hedgehog. And Cindy Salkind was a fox. And Lou Patrino was a hedgehog..."
  • the awkward scene when Jack returned home in an effort to reconcile with Sally, and he found Michael and Sally together in bed: (Jack: "This is my f--king house!" Sally: "No, this is MY f--king house!")
  • the breathtaking kiss between Gabe and Rain (on the occasion of her 21st birthday) during a rainstorm accompanied by thunder and lightning: (Gabe: "Do you want a kiss? I mean, do you want a real kiss?...You want an actual, professional kiss, right?...Both lips, upper and lower simultaneously?"), and Gabe's decision not to pursue a romantic relationship with his seductive student
  • the downbeat final interview with Gabe, now single, after Judy left him to marry Michael, and his musings about his life: ("I'm out of the race at the moment. I-I don't want to get involved with anybody. I-I don't want to hurt anyone. I don't want to get hurt. I just, you know, don't mind, you know, living by myself and working. You know, it's temporary. I mean, these feelings will pass and then I'll have the urge to get back into the swing of things. And that seems to be how it goes....I'm writing, I'm working on a, a novel, a new novel. Not the old one anymore, and, um - it's fine"), with his closing line to the interviewer: "Can I go? Is this over?"

Gabe Roth with Judy

Jack Simmons with Sally

Intense Argument Between Jack and His New Fling Sam

Sally's "Hedgehogs and Foxes" Monologue About Sex with Michael

Jack's Confrontation with Sally in His Home After Finding Her in Bed with Michael

Kiss Between Rain and Gabe

Gabe's Final Interview: "Can I go? Is this over?"

Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)

In producer/director Robert Aldrich's follow-up film (and a sequel of sorts) to Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) - a gory, suspenseful Southern Gothic crime-horror drama and psychological thriller:

  • the film's pre-credits prologue set in 1927, regarding the Hollis family who lived in an ante-bellum mansion located in Ascension Parish, Hollisport, Louisiana; patriarchal father Samuel Eugene 'Big Sam' Hollis (Victor Buono) was chastising John Mayhew (Bruce Dern), the philandering husband of Mrs. Jewel Mayhew (Mary Astor in her last film), for wanting to elope with his young Southern belle daughter Charlotte Hollis (Bette Davis) during a dance the next evening; he vehemently objected to their affair: "This house, this plantation, this whole damned parish belonged to my family before your people stepped aboard the stinkin' cattle boats that brought 'em to this country. Don't you dare talk back to me, boy! My family's seen this state crawlin' with lousy carpetbaggers that knew more about behavin' like a gentleman than you do! I can't even look at Charlotte without ugly thoughts rip my guts. I'd sooner it had been one of my field boys. I could have killed him. Do you know what it's costin' me not to kill you? My daughter and Jewel Mayhew's husband. You gutless, soft, sucklin' swine! My daddy sat out there on that veranda, and let the whole place slide to dust. When he died, there was nothin' but debts and dirt. I touched that dirt and made it blossom. I fought to keep this house and to bring it back up. I don't have a son to give it to. Only Charlotte. And she ain't gonna give it to you. You ain't gonna have my home or my child. I created both and I'm gonna keep 'em. I ain't watched over my girl all these years to have some, to have some, to have some creature like you take her away"
  • in the opening scene set the next night during the dance, married lover John broke the news to Charlotte that they had to break up ("I made a mistake, Charlotte, that's all. Don't cry. Look, I know it's no consolation to you, but I really loved you at one time. Try and understand that. I really loved you"); she was devastated by the news, and stomped off: "I could kill you!'; then, in a graphic and brutal murder scene, John's right hand was severed by a meat cleaver (wielded by an unseen figure seen in dark shadows), and then he was beheaded - blood splattered on a white marble statue of a cherub (or cupid)
John Mayhew's Murder by an Unseen Assailant
  • the sight of Charlotte, who returned to the party in progress and walked in with a huge blood stain on the front of her white dress; her father approached and solemnly told her: "Charlotte, honey, you come with me now....Come with me, baby" before a fadeout
  • later, newspaper headlines from 1927 exclaimed: "GRUESOME MUTILATION MURDER - Parts of Body Missing", and "SOCIALITE LOVE TRIANGLE BARED"; Charlotte claimed that she had discovered John's decapitated body in the summer-house gazebo; although she was the prime murderess suspect and assumed to be the guilty one, she was acquitted; Charlotte feared that her father had killed John (and subsequently he had committed suicide)
  • flashforward to 1964: the aging Charlotte was still residing in her childhood bayou home, having turned demented, eccentric, reclusive and sheltered; she was known to fire her shotgun at road construction crew workers led by a foreman (George Kennedy) - due to ongoing efforts of the Louisiana Highway Commission to evict her and tear the home down in order to build a road and bridge
  • the deranged Charlotte was cared for by longtime, loyal, 'white trash' housekeeper Velma Cruther (Agnes Moorehead); Charlotte's close childhood cousin Miriam Deering (Olivia de Havilland) was also called to the decaying plantation home to help; meanwhile, she rekindled a relationship with longtime local family doctor Dr. Drew Bayliss (Joseph Cotten)
  • visiting Englishman Harry Willis (Cecil Kellaway), curious about the decades-old murder, conducted an insurance investigation; he was invited to tea on the outdoor veranda of ailing, tired widow Mrs. Jewel Mayhew, Charlotte's cynical age-old rival; she admitted her imminent death: "I'm not a well woman. You can see that much for yourself. Who was it said, 'This long disease, my life'? Well, it's, it's comin' to an end. Perhaps a month, a few weeks. Who knows?...I think I'm even glad" - she handed Willis a envelope - not to be opened until after her death: ("You'll know what to do when the time comes, or what not to do"); she then added wistfully: "Ruined finery. That's all I have left. I'm, uh, stony broke - is that the phrase? It's a relief to admit it"
  • the sequences of Charlotte's tormented hallucinations and nightly hauntings - she called for "John" at night, heard a harpsichord playing one of John's songs written for her, and experienced sights of Mayhew's disembodied hand and meat cleaver - and his head rolling down the stairs
  • the sequence of the death of Velma, who suspected that Miriam and Dr. Drew Bayliss were conspiring to drug Charlotte to inherit her estate and to drive her insane; she frantically tried to rescue Charlotte and help her escape from the house; she asked: "What's goin' on up there that you don't want me to see?", but Miriam smashed a chair over her head and pushed her down the spiraling staircase to silence Velma's suspicions and interference forever
Murder of Housekeeper Velma by Miriam
  • the scene of the two-faced conspirators who tricked Charlotte into shooting and 'killing' Drew (the gun had blanks in it); the two drove off with the body in the back seat, as Charlotte complained: "Miriam, I can't touch him. Don't make me do it, Miriam"; Miriam berated and snarled back at Charlotte: "Get out. Do what I say!"; the two rolled the corpse down a hill to bury it in muddy swamp water; as they drove back to the mansion, and Charlotte was wimpering - claiming that she couldn't lie to authorities if they found the body and asked her questions, Miriam scolded: "Will you stop that?"; then, Miriam abruptly stopped the car, and repeatedly slapped the cowering Charlotte across the face: "Damn you! Now will you shut your mouth? You'll do as I tell you. And if I tell you to lie, you'll do that too. I'm never going to suffer for you again. Not ever. Do you understand?"
  • the scene of Drew's 'return from the dead' in a muddy suit; at the top of the stairs, his muddy feet and trousers had left a trail of footprints - to her horror, Charlotte crawled backwards down the stairs, emitting feral sounds and screams
  • the film's major plot twist: Miriam's revelation to Drew that in 1927, she had witnessed Jewel Mayhew murder her own husband John, and had been using it as blackmail against Mrs. Mayhew (and Charlotte) for many years
  • the great climactic sequence when Charlotte overheard Miriam and Drew's plotting, embracing and kissing; she crushed both of them to death by dropping a huge stone urn with a potted plant onto their heads from the balcony above them
Charlotte's Murder of Miriam and Drew as They Embraced
  • in the conclusion, as Charlotte was driven away (possibly to be a suspect and charged with murder for a second time), Willis handed her Mrs. Mayhew's envelope: ("Miss Hollis, this letter's for you. I think you've been waiting a long time for it") with the written confession that Mrs. Mayhew had murdered her husband John; upon hearing of Miriam's and Drew's deaths the night before, Mrs. Mayhew had suffered her third stroke and died that morning

'Big Sam' Chastising John Mayhew For Elopement Plans with His Daughter Charlotte

Charlotte Implicated in Murder of John Mayhew

Years Later, the Deranged Charlotte

Family Doctor Dr. Drew Bayliss and Charlotte's Childhood Cousin Miriam

During an Investigation, Mrs. Jewel Mayhew's Prediction of Her Coming Death

Charlotte's Hauntings Regarding John's Murder

Conspiracy of Miriam and Drew to 'Murder" Dr. Bayliss and Blame Charlotte

Dr. Drew Bayliss' 'Return from the Dead'

Concluding Scene - Charlotte Received Mrs. Mayhew's Confession in Envelope

The Hustler (1961)

In Robert Rossen's exciting drama about the sports world of high-stakes pool:

  • the realistic pool play [sometimes by real-life player Willie Mosconi] and authentic sleazy pool-room milieu in the pool bar including the performance of legendary Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason) and the challenge match from arrogant pool shark "Fast" Eddie Felson (Paul Newman) for $200 per game
  • "Fast" Eddie's admiring compliments about Minnesota Fats' play: ("Boy, he is great! Geez, that old Fat Man. Look at the way he moves, like a dancer...And those fingers, them chubby fingers. And that stroke, it's like he's uh, like he's playin' a violin or somethin'.")
  • late into the night during the marathon match, when "Fast" Eddie finally was able to play, he boasted about his coming hot streak: ("You know, I gotta hunch, Fat Man. I've gotta hunch it's me from here-on in...I mean, did that ever happen to you? When all of a sudden, you feel like you can't miss? 'Cause I dreamed about this game, Fat Man. And I dreamed about this game every night on the road...You know, this is my table, man, I own it...")
  • as the match continued between "Fast" Eddie and Minnesota Fats, Eddie was persistent and arrogantly wanted to force Fats to admit defeat and acknowledge his superiority in the marathon contest, when evil gambling promoter Bert Gordon (George C. Scott) labeled Eddie a 'loser': (Eddie: "I came after him and I'm gonna get him. I'm goin' with him all the way. The pool game is not over until Minnesota Fats says it's over. Is it over, Fats? (Fats turned to Gordon for the answer) (To Gordon) I'm gonna beat him, Mister. I beat him all night and I'm gonna beat him all day. I'm, I'm the best you ever seen, Fats. I'm the best there is. Now even if you beat me, I'm still the best"); Gordon responded to Fats: ("Stay with this kid. He's a loser") - and before long, the self-destructive and drunken Eddie didn't bow out, Fats gained the upper-hand, and Eddie was defeated; the victorious champion declared the match over: "Game's over, Eddie"
The Marathon Pool Match Between Eddie and Fats
"I gotta hunch it's me from here-on in..."
"The pool game is not over until Minnesota Fats says it's over. Is it over, Fats?"
  • the painful breaking of Eddie's thumbs with his face pressed against a glass window of the men's room - in retaliation for being a 'pool shark' and 'hustler'
  • the monologue during a picnic when Eddie told alcoholic and crippled girlfriend Sarah Packard (Piper Laurie), an aspiring writer, the rush he experienced in playing a perfect game of pool, comparing it to a jockey riding a horse: ("When I'm goin', when I'm really goin', I feel like a, like a jockey must feel when he's sittin' on his horse, he's got all that speed and that power underneath him, he's coming into the stretch, the pressure's on him - and he knows. He just feels, when to let it go and how much. 'Cause he's got everything workin' for him - timing, touch. It's a great feeling, boy - it's a real great feeling - when you're right and you know you're right. Like all of a sudden, I got oil in my arm. Pool cue's part of me. You know, it's a - pool cue, it's got nerves in it. It's a piece of wood; it's got nerves in it. You can feel the roll of those balls. You don't have to look. You just know. You make shots that nobody's ever made before. And you play that game the way nobody's ever played it before"); taken over by his description, Sarah confidently stated her belief in him as a "winner" - and her love: ("You're not a loser, Eddie. You're a winner. Some men never get to feel that way about anything. I love you, Eddie"); she further asked for him reciprocate her love: (Eddie: "You know, someday Sarah, you're gonna settle down. You're gonna marry a college professor. You're gonna write a great book - maybe about me, huh? Fast Eddie Felson, Hustler." Sarah: "I love you." Eddie: "Do you need the words?" Sarah: "Yes, I need them very much. If you ever say them, I'll never let you take them back")
  • the tragic suicide of Sarah after writing "Perverted, Twisted, Crippled" on her mirror; she had degraded herself by allowing a sexual assault by Bert during Eddie's pool tournament with the exploitative Bert at the Kentucky Derby
  • the stunning ending scene in NY after a redemptive concluding match between Fats and Eddie, whom Eddie beat soundly; when Bert demanded his cut of the winnings and threatened him with violence, Eddie stood up to Bert; Eddie admitted that in his own single-minded pursuit of pool, he had wasted the one meaningful thing in his life, Sarah, and given up his humanity: ("I loved her, Bert. I traded her in on a pool game. But that wouldn't mean anything to you, because who did you ever care about. 'Just win,' 'Win!' you said, 'win, that's the important thing.' You don't know what winning is, Bert. You're a loser. 'Cause you're dead inside and ya can't live unless you make everything dead around ya! Too high, Bert - the price is too high. If I take it, she never lived. She never died. And we both know that's not true, Bert, don't we, huh? She lived, she died. Boy, you better, you tell your boys they better kill me, Bert. They better go all the way with me, but if they just bust me up, I'll put all those pieces back together again, then so help me, so help me God, Bert, I'm gonna come back here and I'm gonna kill you"); Bert's thugs moved toward Eddie, but Bert conceded and gestured to his goons to back off, and then delivered an ultimatum that Eddie must never enter a NY pool hall again: ("All right. All right. Only, uh, don't ever walk into a big-time pool hall again")
  • the film's final words were between the two combatants: challenger Eddie and the beaten Fats: "Fat Man, you shoot a great game of pool"; Fats responded: "So do you, Fast Eddie"

Minnesota Fats
(Jackie Gleason)
(Eddie: "Look at the way he moves...")

"Fast" Eddie Felson
(Paul Newman)

Promoter Bert Gordon (George C. Scott)

The Painful Breaking of Eddie's Thumbs

Picnic Scene Between Eddie and Sarah

Sarah's Suicide: Words Written on Mirror

Eddie's Confession to Bert: "I loved her, Bert"

Eddie Standing Up to Bert Gordon

Fats: "So do you, Fast Eddie"

(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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