Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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

Inside Daisy Clover (1965)

In director Robert Mulligan's strange and satirical, rags-to-riches melodrama (and musical show-business drama) of the perils of an adolescent Hollywood star seeking recognition, fame, and fortune:

  • the character of tomboyish, rebellious, angry, expressive 15-year old ragamuffin-urchin, Angel Beach boardwalk/pier-dwelling Daisy Clover (Natalie Wood at age 26) in Santa Monica, CA with her eccentric and senile Solitaire card-playing mother Mrs. Clover (Ruth Gordon), aka The Dealer, where Daisy sold movie-star pictures with forged autographs in 1936
  • Daisy's rise to teenaged stardom (she declared: "I'm gonna make a noise in the world") after she submitted a recording and was driven by limousine to an audition/screen test for manipulative, Svengali-like studio head Raymond Swan (Christopher Plummer), known as "The Prince of Darkness" - with her singing the memorable song: "You're Gonna Hear From Me"
  • her debut appearance after she was put on contract for five years, when she was heralded by Swan in 1936 Hollywood as "America's Little Valentine" - with a bow in her hair
  • the scene of Daisy left stranded at a Jawbone, Arizona motel after being deserted by honeymooning, self-absorbed, narcissistic groom and fellow actor Wade Lewis (Robert Redford) [Note: Swan's wife Melora (Katharine Bard) had at one time been Wade's lover as well, and almost committed suicide over him.]
  • Swan's drunken and neglected wife Melora's revelation to Daisy that Wade Lewis was a closeted homosexual: "Your husband never could resist a charming boy"
Daisy with Wade
After Break-Up - Wade to Daisy: "You see? Everything's wiped away"
The Start of Daisy's Affair with Studio Head Raymond Swan
  • Daisy's costuming as a rag-doll - when Wade gave her all the postcards that he had sent to her after leaving her, and told her: ("I came back"), and then removed her blonde wig and wiped away white grease-paint on her face, metaphorically asking for her to forget his "sins": ("You see? Everything's wiped away")
  • Raymond Swan's tender soliloquy/speech to Daisy by his pool following her quick breakup with Wade - and the beginning of his own affair with her; he told her: ("It's over Daisy. All over. I've got you the best divorce lawyer in town -- so sleep it off. Take a long deep sleep. Sandman's orders. (She stood up and cradled her head in his chest.) At least you know all about love. Hmm? (He picked her up in his arms.) All about love. Just nothing. Lost cause. Just like your husband. Who needs it? (He passionately kissed her. She wrapped her arms around his neck)
  • Daisy's big pink-colored production number - the performance of "The Circus is a Wacky World"
  • Daisy's histrionic-rich, nervous breakdown/crack-up in a sound-recording booth as she was dubbing in her voice to a film track
  • the concluding scene of her aborted efforts to suicidally gas herself to death by sticking her head inside her beachhouse kitchen's oven when she was interrupted by the phone - and her triumphant strut down the shoreline drinking coffee as she blew up the beach-house behind her (and her explanation to a passer-by on the beach of what happened: "Someone declared war" - the film's last line)

Daisy Clover
(Natalie Wood)

"You're Gonna Hear From Me"

"America's Little Valentine"

"The Circus is a Wacky World"

Daisy's Hysteria in Recording Booth

Daisy's Unsuccessful Suicide Attempt

Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939)

In Gregory Ratoff's romantic melodrama, an English-language remake of the 1936 Swedish film of the same name (also starring Ingrid Bergman), with the use of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring as a metaphorical idea and musical theme:

  • the early scene of married, world-famous virtuoso concert violinist Holger Brandt (Leslie Howard) playing a passionate (violin-piano) duet with Miss Anita Hoffman (Ingrid Bergman in her first American-Hollywood film), his 6 year-old daughter Ann Marie's (Ann E. Todd) comely piano teacher - it was the start of their entire doomed and forbidden love affair - he requested that she join him as a replacement accompanist on tour, and she was immediately enamoured of him
  • their acquaintance deepened in a restaurant, and then as they strolled through a park together, he expressed his happiness about her - Holger: "You know, there comes a night each year when one senses that winter is suddenly over." Anita: "Yes, that spring has come. How I look forward to it through the dreary months." Holger: "Look, there goes the winter now broken, rushing to the sea. Don't you feel when spring comes that the world is yours just for the asking? That there's nothing that you couldn't be?" Anita: "Tonight, I would dare anything!" - and they began to fall in love
  • the sequence when Anita confessed to Holger her shame about their secret affair - and that they must end it: "All along I've been hating this kind of thing. Always meeting you like this, in out-of-the-way places. Little dark corners. Sneaking about in fear of being seen...I'm ashamed. And I hate being ashamed...You don't like it any more than I do. We look what we feel: Two guilty people...I haven't any right to be happy the way I am happy with you...We must end it. We've got to stop seeing each other...We must. We can't go on lying to ourselves, and to people who trust us. It's impossible, unbearable"
  • the next scene in which Holger begged Anita to not get on a train (she was going away to Denmark to see relatives - AND - to escape their forbidden affair), but then after she did not depart, she asked anxiously: "What will happen now?"
  • the subsequent scenes of their continuing adulterous love affair as they completed their musical tour of Europe together (with Anita serving as his replacement accompanist), and she told him: "I hope it's true that I've helped you a little. I hope it's not only that....What am I? Your shadow. I don't exist without you....But it's enough. Let me be with you like this always"; he responded: "The tour is over. Now we can rest awhile"; she continued: "It has been the greatest happiness I've ever known and the greatest I'll ever know. Such happiness couldn't come more than once in one's life. I know it couldn't. Could it?"; with a worried look, he spoke: "Let's not speculate about happiness. We're here, and work's over for awhile"
  • the sequence during their holiday in the French Riviera, when they came upon a graveyard next to the coastline, where Anita expressed her happiness: "How lovely it is. So peaceful and unreal. Like a place in a dream"; Anita read the words from a tombstone: "Mon amour dure apres la mort (My love endures after death)"; Holger remarked: "That was written for us. And for everyone on earth who will ever feel as we do now"
  • the scene of Anita's receipt of a letter, offering her a coveted, career-advancing Jenny Lind musical scholarship; Holger insisted: "If it's an invitation, you can just turn it down. I'm not going to let you out of my sight for one moment, young lady"; later at dinner time, she fatefully decided to burn it in his presence, so that they would not become separated: ("But I don't want it now, Holger. No, I'm-I'm not taking it...This is how I feel about the letter, about anything that could come between us")
  • the scene of the loving couple on a yacht, when Anita wished to escape from reality with Holger forever: ("Oh, no, I don't want to go home. Not yet, please... I am afraid. I don't know why but I am afraid. I wish we could stay out here forever...What a wonderful day this has been!...I can't bear to see it end...Hold me close, Holg, hold me close")
  • the sequence of Anita realizing their love affair would not last, especially after Holger's wife Margit (Edna Best) asked him for a divorce; she realized: "I have been an intermezzo in his life"
  • the bittersweet, difficult scene of Anita bidding Holger goodbye (without telling him that she was leaving him forever) - culminating in a series of desperate hugs and kisses, and a final wave goodbye
Last Goodbye Scene
  • Anita's 'Dear John' letter: ("We have been pretending and hoping too long, Holger, pretending that what we had was splendid and good, hoping that we could make it so. But we know in our hearts that love like ours is wrong -- that it drags itself down with remorse and fears, and the unhappiness of others. And so I am going away. God bless you, Holger, and take you, some day, safely home. Anita")
  • the startling, heart-breaking scene in which Holger's daughter Ann Marie was struck by a car and seriously-injured when rushing to greet her father who had finally returned home
Car Accident - Holger's Daughter
Reconciliation Between Holger
and His Wife Margit in the Ending
  • the line of dialogue - Holger speaking to his bitter son Eric (Douglas Scott): "You see, Eric, even if you don't need me anymore, now it's I who need you"
  • the last shot in which Holger's wife Margit descended stairs and sought reconciliation - she forgave Holger for his mid-life crisis/affair as he returned home: ("Holger ...welcome home ...Holger, welcome home!")

Duet: Holger Brandt and Miss Anita Hoffman

The Start of Their Affair

Train Station Departure Scene - Anita: "What will happen now?"

Anita: "Such happiness couldn't come more than once in one's life. Could it?"

Tombstone: "My love endures after death"

Anita Burning Scholarship Letter

Yacht Scene

Anita's Realization: "I have been an intermezzo in his life"

Anita's Dear John Letter

Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan (1972, HK) (aka Ai Nu)

In Yuen Chor's lesbian-tinged cult drama, an exploitational, semi-soft-core, not very graphic martial-arts tale of unrequited love and revenge in medieval China (one of the earliest erotic lesbian films in Chinese cinema):

  • the opening prologue (green-tinted, but replayed later in full color) - a night-time image of snowflakes falling into the open roof of a feudal-era estate, and dropping into the study, where the butler had found the corpse of an assassinated nobleman-aristocrat of the Liao family; police inspector Ji De (Yueh Hua) was investigating the murder allegedly committed by a vengeful prostitute named Ai Nu (Lily Ho) - the last person to see the wealthy dead man
  • the backstory flashback -- the forced subjugation and kidnapping of the film's heroine by brigands -- the hot-tempered young teacher Ai Nu; she was delivered to an exclusive and decadent brothel, the Four Seasons; the brothel was managed by regal, icy lesbian Lady Chun (Betty Pei Ti); the madame predicted: "Men will definitely go crazy for this girl"
  • the scene of the defiant, uncontrollable and willful Ai Nu who refused to eat, while the other female abductees were having their virginity tested (vaginally-inspected by red candle-light by an old woman)
Vaginal Inspections in Brothel
  • the sequence of one hapless girl who was sexually tortured by the candle with spread legs to divulge who had deflowered her three days earlier; shortly later, Lady Chun's minion Chou Hai (Hao Li), who had taken the girl's virginity, was identified and killed with one of her bare hands, using a secret kung-fu martial-arts technique known as "Ghost Hands" - she then threatened everyone watching: "I've told you people before. Don't ever mess with Lady Chun"; she was known for licking her bloody fingers after using her gruesome technique
  • Ai Nu resisted being treated with sexual brutalities and exploitation: ("I know this is hell. You're all beasts!"); to subdue her, she was imprisoned and then subjected to a cane-thrashing, after which Lady Chun licked blood from her open back wounds: ("You've got silky smooth skin...Why don't you just listen to me? You know what? You're really beautiful. I think I may have fallen for you"); Ai Nu was then given unsolicited oral sex (off-screen)
  • the auction scene, when four wealthy lecherous males were given the opportunity to bid on Ai Nu: "The highest bidder will enjoy her first" - although Ai Nu's price was set higher than usual; after being bought by the bearded, elderly father of the local governor, she was deflowered, and the other three were next in line, who raped her multiple times (ineffectively seen in slow-motion, reaction shots, in-and-out zooms, and freeze frames almost exclusively); methods of murder of her assailants varied: fire, an overdose of aphrodisiacs, a hairpin, and a whipping
Ai Nu's Auction - Followed by Multiple Rapes by the Highest Bidders
  • Ali Nu was driven by retribution to seek delayed revenge against the four bidders, while pretending to be Lady Chun's protégé and lover (as the brothel's most desirable hooker), in sapphic, soft-focus love scenes; the film contained a number of instances of topless courtesans in the background
  • the final sequence of Ai Nu's bringing of total carnage and revenge to the slavers and the brothel guards; Lady Chun assisted her - and thrust her right hand completely (with her "Ghost Hands" technique) into the chest of her major-domo enforcer Pao Hu (Lam Tung), as her right arm was chopped off at the same time; after Pao Hu fell dead (with her truncated arm stuck in his chest), Lady Chun asked about Ai Nu's reaction to her deformity: "Ai Nu, you won't stop loving me just because I'm now handicapped, would you?" - Ai Nu replied harshly: "No, I won't, because I never loved you"
  • then in the film's final fancy and frenzied swordplay confrontation, Lady Chun and Ai Nu fought against each other, as they discussed Ai Nu's revenge: "Looks like this is it. Today is the day for revenge. I wanted to use hatred for revenge, but I failed. Then I came up with the most brilliant idea in the whole world. I used love to take my revenge....To bring the brothel down, I used love to come between you and Pao Hu. Never could I imagine the damage love could inflict"; Lady Chun was shocked: "I didn't expect you to be more vicious than me"; Ai Nu responded that they had both become very alike: "Stop it. We are both despicable, heartless, merciless, cruel and sick. Now, perhaps, you've had a glimpse of how repulsive you are"; soon after some more fighting, Lady Chun's left arm was also chopped off (disarmed completely!)
  • Lady Chun spoke her last words, making a final request for a kiss: "You don't have to do this. I am dying anyway. I suppose this is karma. Even though you have killed me, yet I-I don't hate you a bit. Ai Nu, I love you. Could you kiss me once more before I die? It's my last request. Have pity on me. (They kissed) Thank you, Ai Nu"
Lady Chun to Ali Nu: "Could you kiss me...?" -- Dying Request
  • in the film's ending plot twist, Lady Chun revealed that she had secretly taken a poison capsule with the intent to poison Ali Nu during a kiss: ("Thank you for dying with me. I put a poisonous pill in my mouth. I was chewing it when you kissed me. You aren't like me. You still have a conscience. And a little love"); and then she abruptly expired; Ai Nu struggled to wipe her mouth, but to no avail - she also died

Corpse Discovered in Liao Family Estate

Abducted Ai Nu

Brothel Madam: Lady Chun

Lady Chun Licking Blood from Ai Nu's Thrashing Back Wounds

Topless Courtesans in Brothel

Lady Chung Licking Her Bloody Fingers After Using "Ghost Hands" Technique

Ali Nui - Lady Chun's Protege and Lover

Ai Nui and Lady Chun Allied Together to Fight with Martial Arts and Fancy Swordplay

Lady Chun's Right Arm Sliced Off as She Killed Pao Hu with "Ghost Hands" Technique

Lady Chun Disarmed Completely by Ali Nu

Into the Wild (2007)

In director/writer Sean Penn's documentary-styled, ill-fated odyssey and biopic drama, based upon Jon Krakauer's 1996 non-fiction book - about a quest for self-discovery:

  • the concluding sequence - titled 'Final Chapter: Getting of Wisdom' - of free-spirited, idealistic, arrogant college-grad adventurer Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) (renaming himself "Alexander Supertramp") on his way to a remote portion of Alaska in 1992 after forsaking his estranged family and many friends along his wanderlust journey
  • his brief encounter at an RV park with young Tracy (Kristen Stewart), a guitar player introduced to him as "little Joni Mitchell" - and he spent an enjoyable but brief time with her
  • his meeting up, at the Salton Sea (California) with kindly, elderly widower and leather worker Ron Franz (Oscar-nominated Hal Holbrook), and their discussion on a rocky hilltop - where they both climbed up - to talk about where to find human happiness: ("From the bits and pieces I've put together, you know, from what you told me about your family, your mother and your dad, and I know you've got your problems with the church too, but there's some kind of bigger thing we can all appreciate, and it sounds like you don't mind calling it God. But when you forgive, you love, and when you love, God's light shines on you")
  • during their tearful and heartfelt parting scene just before Ron dropped off hitchhiking 'Alex' at the start of his Alaskan adventure, he proposed paternalistically to adopt 'Alex': ("You know, my, uh, my mother was an only child and so was my father, and, uh, I was their only child, so, uh, when I'm gone, I'm the end of the line. My family will be finished. What do you say you let me adopt you? I can be, say, your grandfather"); unfortunately, 'Alex' demurred: "Ron, could we talk about this when I get back from Alaska? Would that be okay?" - they would never have another opportunity to speak
  • the final scene of Chris' prolonged, lonely, and painful death due to starvation and poisoning after eating inedible Wild Sweet Peas (mistaken for Wild Potato Alaska Carrot) - and his final words scrawled in block letters into his journal: "HAPPINESS ONLY REAL WHEN SHARED"
  • the incredible pull-back shot from his face (as a single tear dropped from the corner of his right eye and then his left eye) as he gazed up at the light in the back of his abandoned 'magic bus' home (an IH 1946 abandoned bus) as he expired - followed by an actual self-portrait photograph of Chris sitting next to his bus

Tracy (Kristen Stewart) with Christopher

Christopher's (or Alex's) Encounter with Ron Franz


Intolerance (1916)

In D. W. Griffith's epic silent film classic, with epic-sized sets, especially in the ancient "Fall of Babylon" segments - it was Griffith's expensive, most ambitious silent film masterpiece, and one of the milestones and landmarks in cinematic history:

(539 B.C.) in the time of King Belshazzar
(A.D. 1914) in America
(A.D. 1572) in Huguenot France
(A.D. 27) during Jesus' time in Jerusalem
  • the four widely separate, yet paralleled stories set in different ages - and in the original print, each story was tinted with a different color
  • the Mountain Girl's (Constance Talmadge) unsuccessful and futile efforts to avert the attack of Persian King Cyrus upon Prince Belshazzar (Alfred Paget); during a prolonged death scene, the Mountain Girl crawled toward the Prince, her hero, to be next to him, and then died at the base of a statue near the throne; an iris opened, revealing the toy chariot pulled by two white doves next to her body
  • the exciting last-minute rescue of the Boy (Robert Harron) from being hanged with the delivery of a pardon by his wife, the Dear One (Mae Marsh) in the early 20th century America segments, and his heart-warming reunion with her at the bottom of the scaffold
  • the innovative finale - an overwhelming, rhythmic, conglomerate sequence which placed all four stories into a stirring, fast-moving and exciting climax - as the suspenseful drama began to conclude, the cross-cutting increased in tempo and rapidity with shorter and shorter segments of each tale flowing together
  • and the recurrent, interwoven image of a mother (Lillian Gish) endlessly rocking a cradle, the film's final medium-close shot - accompanied by the title from Walt Whitman's poem Leaves of Grass: "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking. Uniter of Here and Hereafter - Chanter of Sorrows and Joys."

Mountain Girl

Rescue of the Boy From Hanging

Recurring Cameo Image of Mother

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

In Don Siegel's cautionary sci-fi film, a metaphor for the Communist threat in the mid-1950s:

  • the opening prologue (and closing scene - added bookends) of Dr. Miles Bennell's (Kevin McCarthy) paranoic fear and mania about alien takeover in Santa Mira, California - as he shouted to an unbelieving group of nurses, interns, psychiatrists (including Whit Bissel as Dr. Hill), and doctors (including Richard Deacon as Dr. Harvey Bassett) in the emergency room of the city's Emergency Hospital; he warned them about seed pods taking over the planet: "Doctor, will you tell these fools I'm not crazy? Make them listen to me before it's too late"
  • the film's original opening, a flashback voice-over as Dr. Bennell returned home from a medical convention by train: "Well, it started - for me, it started - last Thursday, in response to an urgent message from my nurse. I'd hurried home from a medical convention I'd been attending. At first glance, everything looked the same. It wasn't. Something evil had taken possession of the town. Sick people who couldn't wait to see me, then suddenly were perfectly all right. A boy who said his mother wasn't his mother. A woman who said her uncle wasn't her uncle"
  • the sequence of the town's only psychiatrist, Dr. Dan Kaufman (Larry Gates), who dismissed the cases of delusional paranoia as: "A strange neurosis, evidently contagious, an epidemic mass hysteria. In two weeks, it spread all over town...Worry about what's going on in the world probably"
  • the eerie scene in the home of Jack Belicec (King Donovan), who had discovered a strange, corpse-like cadaver lying on his pool table - with an unfinished, half-formed, mannequin-like humanoid face and no fingerprints: "It's like the first impression that's stamped on a coin. It isn't finished"
  • Dr. Bennell's fearful discovery in the home of his intelligent ex-girlfriend/ sweetheart-fiancee, now recently divorced, Becky Driscoll (Dana Wynter), after he entered through a basement window, and in the darkness discovered a smooth-faced, replica "double" for Becky hidden in a bin - and obviously placed there by her father; frightened, Miles woke her from a drugged sleep state and carried her away to his house
  • also, the famous greenhouse scene during a barbecue at Miles' home with with friends Jack and his wife Theodora (Carolyn Jones), when they discovered two giant seed pods that burst and exploded open like rotten cabbages, with a milky fluid bubbling out [a mock birth scene]; in the terrifying scene, the disgorged pods revealed grotesquely duplicate similarities to their human counterparts - replicas covered with a sticky, sappy foam - Miles took a pitchfork and stabbed at the pods' hearts in a vampire-like killing
  • the scenes of Miles and Becky as exhausted fugitives, who ended up cornered in his office where they were forced to hide, fleeing from the police, as Miles pondered: "In my practice, I've seen how people have allowed their humanity to drain away. Only it happened slowly instead of all at once. They didn't seem to mind...All of us - a little bit - we harden our hearts, grow callous. Only when we have to fight to stay human do we realize how precious it is to us, how dear"
Miles and Becky Hiding Out - Their View of Trucks with Seed Pods
  • their window view of the invasion of 'body snatchers' - trucks arrived, loaded with freshly harvested seed pods, to be divided among friends and relatives in other towns, to spread the invasion in other communities - Miles sensed the deadly contagion spreading unchecked in the seemingly normal community, neighboring towns and cities: "It's a malignant disease spreading through the whole country"
  • the scene of Dr. Kaufman's shocking explanation of the alluring benefits and advantages to them of symbiosis with two fresh pods: "Less than a month ago, Santa Mira was like any other town. People with nothing but problems. Then, out of the sky came a solution. Seeds drifting through space for years took root in a farmer's field. From the seeds came pods which had the power to reproduce themselves in the exact likeness of any form of life...Your new bodies are growing in there. They're taking you over cell for cell, atom for atom. There is no pain. Suddenly, while you're asleep, they'll absorb your minds, your memories and you're reborn into an untroubled world...Tomorrow you'll be one of us...There's no need for love...Love. Desire. Ambition. Faith. Without them, life is so simple, believe me"
  • in the gripping and frightening finale, Miles and Becky fled from the town's space pods to try to elude the enemy and get help, while struggling to stay awake; they sought refuge in an old abandoned mine; he left the faint Becky when the aliens departed to discover the source of beautiful singing or music that they hear; when he returned, he took her in his arms to kiss her, and then drew away from her unresponsive lips - in a tight closeup shot of her face, he looked into the blank, dark, expressionless and staring eyes of his fiancée, realizing with a look of utter fright that she was now one of "them" - her body had been invaded, cloned and snatched
Shocking Realization - Becky Was One of "Them"
  • in an instant, Miles knew this was not Becky but a treacherous imposter and victim; she confirmed: "I went to sleep Miles, and it happened...They were right"; he was unbelieving: "Oh, Becky...I should never have left you"; his sweetheart of a moment ago now asserted: "Stop acting like a fool, Miles, and accept us"; she screamed to the pod-people searchers as he fled: "He's in here! He's in here! Get him! Get him!"; in voice-over, Miles explained: "I've been afraid a lot of times in my life, but I didn't know the real meaning of fear until, until I had kissed Becky. A moment's sleep and the girl I loved was an inhuman enemy bent on my destruction. That moment's sleep was death to Becky's soul just as it had been for Jack and Teddy and Dan Kauffman and all the rest. Their bodies were now hosts harboring an alien form of life, a cosmic form which, to survive, must take over every human man. So I ran, I ran. I ran as little Jimmy Grimaldi had run the other day. My only hope was to get away from Santa Mira, to get to the highway to warn the others of what was happening"
  • the final sequence of Miles' flight to a busy highway, filled with heavy traffic, as he attempted to flag down cars; crazed with fear, he rushed into the onrushing traffic, nervously shouting and crying words of warning to the unheeding cars and unconvinced drivers; Miles climbed onto the back of a passing truck with the names of cities on it, horrified to find it loaded with pods to be distributed and spread throughout the nation; he dropped off, jumping back on the highway - feeling completely helpless; as a crazed prophet of doom, he looked directly into the camera, desperately trying to warn others and the audience: "Help, help, wait. Help! Help! Wait! Wait! Wait! Stop! Stop and listen to me! Listen to me!...Those people that are coming after me! They're not human! Listen to me! We're in danger!... They're after all of us! All of us!....Listen to me! There isn't a human being left in Santa Mira!... Stop! Pull over to the side of the road! I need your help! Something terrible's happened!...Look, you fools. You're in danger. Can't you see? They're after you. They're after all of us. Our wives, our children, everyone. They're here already. YOU'RE NEXT!"

(Prologue Scene) Dr. Bennell: "I'm not crazy"

Opening Voice-Over

Mannequin-Like Corpse Discovered on Pool Table: "It isn't finished"

Greenhouse Scene - Miles Stabbed Figure with Pitchfork

Dr. Kaufman's Explanation: "There's no need for love"

Their Flight to Abandoned Mine

Highway Rant: "They're here already. YOU'RE NEXT!"

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

In Philip Kaufman's effective remake of the 1956 classic sci-fi/horror film about an invasion of extra-terrestrial aliens that 'snatched' bodies:

  • the cameo of Kevin McCarthy (the star of the original film) running through the San Francisco city streets, hysterically warning and accosting everyone about the alien menace: ("They're coming!..Help! Help! They're coming. They're coming. Listen to me! Listen! Help me. You're next. Please! Please! You're next. We're in danger! Please, listen to me... Something terrible! Please. You're next! Here they are. They're already here! Help! You're next! They're coming. They're coming...") - as seen through a cracked windshield - and then soon after found dead after being run over (off-screen)
San Francisco - Warning About Alien Menace
  • the shocking discovery of a lifeless, half-formed (or deformed) doppelganger human being covered with plant fibers in the mud bath business owned and operated by Jack Bellicec (Jeff Goldblum) and his wife Nancy (Veronica Cartwright): ("It's a monster. It's got hair all over it"); Department of Health inspector Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) examined the body and exclaimed: ("Nose, lips, hair"); Jack added: ("Hands, everything, but it's got no detail, no character. It's unformed"); Nancy warned: ("Jack, don't touch it. You don't know where it's been"); and the chilling recognition that the body, with no respiration or fingerprints, was like a fetus that partially resembled Jack
  • and later that night, the frightening moment that the pod opened its eyes - scaring Nancy; she jumped back and rushed to her husband Jack, trying to rouse him from his sleep; when he was jolted from his sleep and opened his eyes, the eyes of his pod double closed
  • the sequence during the unloading of truckloads of pods, and the scream of San Francisco's Public Health Department chemist Elizabeth Driscoll (Brooke Adams) at the sight of a dog-man hybrid - forcing both she and her colleague Matthew to flee and jump onto the open back of a moving truck; they were driven to a giant warehouse at the docks where they saw pods being grown before being loaded into cargo ships
  • the confrontational scene between Matthew and Elizabeth, after a long pursuit, with alien duplicates of Jack and psychiatrist Dr. Kibner (Leonard Nimoy), who wished to inject them with a sedative to sleep; Kibner lectured them: ("We don't hate you. There's no need for hate now, or love...Don't be trapped by old concepts. Matthew, you're evolving into a new life form. Come and watch. We came here from a dying world. We drift through the universe from planet to planet, pushed on by the solar winds. We adapt and we survive. The function of life is survival") - they rejected his advice and fled when they saw the two pods prepared for their future
  • the despairing, climactic ending in which a nude pod-replica of Elizabeth rose from the bushes
Recognition by Matthew (Cloned!) of Still-Human Nancy!
  • the startling conclusion, in which Matthew Bennell, who had seemingly escaped being replaced by a pod likeness, left work near City Hall; he was summoned by the still-human Nancy Bellicec - the last to not be absorbed; after she called out his name ("Matthew, Matthew"), he turned to confront her; he screamed with a piercing, accusatory howl (and the camera descended into the blackness of his open mouth) while pointing his finger at her; she also screamed, realizing that he had become a cloned, transformed pod person

Matthew Bennell's Examination of Cloned Doppelganger in Mud Bath Business

Pod With Opening Eyes

Pod-Person Take-Over

Mutant Dog-Man Hybrid

Matthew and Elizabeth in Back of Truck

Dr. Kibner's Advice

Nude-Pod Replica of Elizabeth

The Invisible Man (1933)

In director James Whale's horror sci-fi classic about a scientific researcher whose experiments with a new drug led to invisibility - and insanity:

  • the scene of scientist Jack Griffin (Claude Rains) taunting the authorities and others who threatened to arrest him and lock him up, after they barged into his second story lab/apartment in the small English village of Iping in Sussex - he begged for them to leave him alone: ("All right, you fools. You've brought it on yourselves. Everything would have come right if you'd only left me alone. You've driven me near madness with your peering through the keyholes and gaping through the curtains")
  • in the miraculous scene, Jack challenged them to watch him strip off his bandaged-wrapped facial and body coverings: "And now you'll suffer for it! You're crazy to know who I am, aren't you? All right! I'll show you!"
  • as the scene continued, he gave away "souvenirs" of his disguise ("There's a souvenir for you. And one for you. I'll show you who I am and what I am") --- he removed his stage nose, dark glasses hiding his eyes, fake hair on his head, and gloves concealing his hands and his clothing (shirt, hat, underwear, shoes, and socks) to amaze everyone by revealing absolutely - nothing - thin air - emptiness
  • during his unwrapping, the sound of Jack's insane and hysterical laugh and the comments of a policeman: "Look, he's all eaten away" - Jack replied: "How do you like that, eh?" - the group fled down the stairs
  • in the local pub, Constable Jaffers (E.E. Clive) worried that if he was 'invisible' and naked, he would never be caught: "He's invisible, that's what's the matter. If he gets the rest of them clothes off, we'll never catch him in a thousand years"
  • and then later when the same authorities arrived to arrest him a second time before he could disappear forever, Griffin declared: ("They've asked for it, the country bumpkins. This'll give them a bit of a shock. Something to write home about. A nice bedtime story for the kids, too, if they want it"); when he danced in front of them wearing only his shirt, and ran around the room with them in pursuit, the constable was flabbergasted about where to place the handcuffs: ("How can I handcuff a bloomin' shirt?")
"This'll give them a bit of a shock!" - Running Around With Shirt Only
  • after stripping off his shirt, the completely invisible Griffin described his crazed plan for ultimate control of the world, before fleeing to the street: ("Are you satisfied now, you fools? It's easy, really, if you're clever. A few chemicals mixed together, that's all, and flesh and blood and bone just fade away. A little of this injected under the skin of the arm every day for a month. An invisible man can rule the world. Nobody will see him come, nobody will see him go. He can hear every secret. He can rob and rape and kill!")
  • the impressive technical and visual special effects, especially regarding invisibility, e.g., when Griffin stole a bicycle and rode it through the town, or when he retrieved his notebooks, or left his footprints in the snow
  • the hysterical almost insane joy described by Griffin to Dr. Arthur Kemp (William Harrigan) after his many experiments finally brought forth results: "I began five years ago in secret, working all night, every night, right into the dawn. A thousand experiments, a thousand failures, and then, at last the great, wonderful day...The last little mixture of drugs...Just a scientific experiment at first. That's all. To do something no other man in the world had done. But there's more to it than that, Kemp. I know now. It came to me suddenly. The drugs I took seemed to light up my brain. Suddenly I realized the power I held, the power to rule, to make the world grovel at my feet. (Chuckling) We'll soon put the world right now, Kemp. You and I"
  • to Kemp's shock and surprise, Griffin asked for him to be his "visible partner" in a devious plot to dominate the world - "I must have a partner, Kemp, a visible partner, to help me in the little things. You're my partner, Kemp. We'll begin with a reign of terror. A few murders here and there. Murders of great men, murders of little men, just to show we make no distinction. We might even wreck a train or two. Just these fingers round a signalman's throat, that's all"
  • the scene in the village, where Griffin had traveled (with Kemp) to retrieve his scientific notebooks; at the same time during a police inquiry, the skeptical police inspector was announcing that everything was a hoax ("I shall announce this evening that the whole thing's a hoax, and you'll be the laughing stock of the entire country"), but then he was squirted with pen-ink in his face - and the innkeeper's wife Jenny Hall (Una O'Connor) screamed out: "He's here! The invisible man!"; in the ensuing chaos, the police inspector was strangled to death
  • the sequence of Griffin's insane description to his fiancee Flora Cranley (Gloria Stuart) (he called her "my darling") of the meaning of his work: ("I wanted to do something tremendous, to achieve what men of science have dreamt of since the world began, to gain wealth and fame and honor, to write my name above the greatest scientists of all time. I was so pitifully poor. I had nothing to offer you, Flora. I was just a poor, struggling chemist. I shall come back to you, Flora, very soon now. The secret of invisibility lies there in my books. I shall work in Kemp's laboratory till I find the way back. There is a way back, Flora. And then I shall come to you. I shall offer my secret to the world, with all its terrible power! The nations of the world will bid for it - thousands, millions. The nation that wins my secret can sweep the world with invisible armies!" - Griffin didn't know that Kemp had set her up to try and persuade Griffin to give himself up and work with her father to find a cure, but the crazed scientist was single-mindedly obsessed with his terroristic goal: "Power to walk into the gold vaults of the nations, into the secrets of kings, into the holy of holies. Power to make multitudes run squealing in terror at the touch of my little invisible finger. Even the moon's frightened of me, frightened to death. The whole world's frightened to death"
  • Griffin's reign of terror - by strangling a volunteer searcher and tossing a few bodies off a cliff, derailing a train and causing hundreds of deaths, stealing an entire Lloyds Bank cash drawer and throwing the money and coins into the air out on the street
  • the scene of Griffin's 10 pm murder of the traitorous Kemp (who had been disguised as a uniformed police officer) - Griffin sent Kemp (tied up in the front seat of a car) to his death when he pushed the car down a steep hill and off a cliff - he described the killing just before its execution: ("Just sit where you are. I'll get out and take the handbrake off and give you a little shove to help you on. You'll run gently down and through the railings. Then you'll have a big thrill for 100 yards or so till you hit a boulder. Then you'll do a somersault and probably break your arms, then a grand finish-up with a broken neck. Well, goodbye, Kemp. I always said you were a dirty little coward. You're a dirty, sneaking little rat as well. Goodbye")
  • in the finale during a snowstorm, Griffin was located sleeping in a barn; the authorities set it on fire and as Griffin fled in the snow, his tracks became visible and he was shot and mortally wounded; on his hospital deathbed, Griffin made his final confession to Flora about his failed objectives: ("I failed. I meddled in things that man must leave alone"); as he died, his face was slowly revealed and visible in stages: ("His body will become visible as life goes") - first the skull, then flesh, and then his full face

To Authorities and Village-folk: "You're crazy to know who I am, aren't you?"

Stripping Away Everything To Reveal Nothingness

Escaping on a Bicycle

Griffin to Dr. Kemp - Requesting That He Become His "Visible Partner"

Skeptical Police Inspector - Squirted with Ink (Woman: "He's here!")

With Fiancee Flora
(Gloria Stuart)

Kemp Listening to Griffin's Mad Description of His Own Murder

Griffins' Tell-Tale Footprints in Snow

Griffin's Hospital Death Scene Revelation

The Iron Giant (1999)

In Brad Bird's enchanting animated Cold War parable:

  • the opening sequence set in a forest in 1957 near the small Maine town of Rockwell, when young, isolated, fatherless preteen Hogarth Hughes (voice of Eli Marienthal) discovered a 50-foot alien robot (voice of Vin Diesel) from outer space; the robot had a steam-shovel mouth, rounded head, gyrating eye shutters, and a triangular torso; the "iron giant" was originally created to be an inter-stellar weapon, but whose nature was changed due to crashing into the ocean during a hurricane; it was capable of munching metal as food, flying, and speaking a few English words
  • the scene of Hogarth saving the metal-eating giant's life in the woods from electrocution when it attempted to consume the electrical lines of a power plant sub-station; after saving the giant, Hogarth taught the robot the difference between a rock and a tree, and then became ecstatic about his new pal: "My own giant robot. I am now the luckiest kid in America! This is unbelievable. This is the greatest discovery since, I don't know, television or something. I gotta tell someone. I should call -- No, they'll panic. People always wig out and start shooting when they see something big like you"
Hogarth's Encounters with The Iron Giant
  • the life lessons taught by Hogarth to the Iron Giant after hunters shot a deer with a gun: ("I know you feel bad about the deer, but it's not your fault. Things die. It's part of life. It's bad to kill, but it's not bad to die...You're made of metal, but you have feelings, and you think about things, and that means you have a soul. And souls don't die"); Hogarth's lesson about choice: ("Guns kill. And you don't have to be a gun. You are what you choose to be. You choose. Choose")
  • the educational short film - an animated "Duck and Cover" spoof
  • the sequence of Hogarth attempting to hide the Giant's disembodied or severed hand in his house
  • the frustrations of beatnik Dean McCoppin (Harry Connick, Jr.) that the Giant, situated in his metal junkyard, was eating his art-work rather than the scrap-metal ("There are two kinds of metal in this yard. Scrap and art. If you gotta eat one of 'em, eat the scrap. What you currently have in your mouth is art!!")
Giant Stuffing Mouth with Metal in a Junkyard Owned by Beatnik Dean (Harry Connick Jr.)
  • the character of odious, paranoid and villainous federal government agent Kent Mansley (voice of Christopher McDonald), who was obsessed with efforts to capture and destroy the Giant - at first calling it "Something Big!"; while eating an ice cream soda with Hogarth (who had doctored Kent's glass with Coco-Lax), Kent delivered a delusional rant about destroying the 'foreign threat': ("You know, Hogarth, we live in a strange and wondrous time: the Atomic Age. But there's a dark side to progress, Hogarth. Ever hear of Sputnik?... Foreign satellite, Hogarth, and all that that implies. Even now it orbits overhead. Boop! Boop! Watching us. We can't see it, but it's there. Much like that giant thing in the woods. We don't know what it is or what it can do. I don't feel safe, Hogarth. Do you?... What am I talking about? WHAT AM I TALKING ABOUT?! I'm talking about your goldarned security, Hogarth!...All I know is, we didn't build it, and that's reason enough to assume the worst and blow it to kingdom come! Now, you are going to tell me about this thing. You are going to lead me to it. And we are going to destroy it before it destroys us!") - Kent then ran to the restroom
  • the Giant's cannonball dive into a lake - causing a large tidal wave, and later, the crowd-pleasing moment when the Giant flew for the first time (with turbo-engines firing in his feet) while holding Hogarth in his fist: (Hogarth: "You can fly?! YOU CAN FLY!") as they attempted to escape from jet-fighter pilots trying to shoot them down
  • the Giant's climactic, tear-jerking, noble self-sacrifice ("I am not a gun") to save the town of Rockwell from a nuclear missile launch; after bidding farewell to Hogarth ("Hogarth. You stay. I go. No following!" - Hogarth replied: "I love you") - it soared into the air to neutralize the missile by striking it head-on, as it heard the words of Hogarth: "You are who you choose to be." Just before the explosion in outer space, the Giant realized his heroism and identity as "Superman!"
The Iron Giant's Sacrifice and Rebirth
Neutralizing the Missile
Reassembling - Resurrection
  • the Iron Giant was memorialized in a statue in the town of Rockwell, Maine, created by Dean; there, Hogarth was handed a cardboard box mailed from the General, with "the only part recovered" (a bolt) from the Giant's body; that evening the bolt blinked and was energized to leave Hogarth's bedroom (Hogarth called out: "See you later" - the film's last line) - the final shot was of the smiling Giant as his eyes opened - and he began to self-repair on an Icelandic glacier - signaling for all his disassembled parts to regroup, beginning with the bolt

Gov't Agent Kent Mansley: "Something big!"

"Duck and Cover" Spoof

Hogarth's Lesson to Giant: Difference Between Rock and Tree

Hogarth's Attempt to Hide Giant's Severed Hand in His House From His Mother

Soda Fountain Scene: Kent's Rant To Hogarth About Foreign Threats

The Giant's Massive Cannonball

The Iron Giant's First Flight with Hogarth

The Giant Bidding Farewell to Hogarth: "You stay. I go"

The Giant's "Only Part Recovered" - A Metal Bolt

It Happened One Night (1934)

In Frank Capra's classic Best Picture-winning screwball romantic comedy, putting together mismatched individuals in various uncomfortable misadventures - a spoiled socialite heiress and an unscrupulous reporter:

  • the opening scene of the flight of runaway heiress socialite Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) from her wealthy father Alexander Andrews' (Walter Connolly) yacht in Miami, Florida after a temper tantrum with him: ("I come from a long line of stubborn idiots") - she jumped off the luxury yacht in her clothes to flee and take a Greyhound bus northward to New York to meet up and elope with her fortune-hunting fiancee - an aviator named King Westley (Jameson Thomas)
  • the early phone booth scene in a bus station during the firing of rogue newspaper reporter Peter Warne (Clark Gable) (nicknamed "The King") for drunkenness on the job, who yelled at his boss Joe Gordon (Charles C. Wilson) on the phone as a crowd gathered outside the booth: (Peter: "In a pig's eye, you will!...Hey listen monkey face, when you fired me, you fired the best newshound your filthy scandal sheet ever had...That was free verse, you gashouse palooka!"); and then after his boss fired him and hung up, Warne made up the remainder of the call for the benefit of onlookers: ("Oh, so you're changing your tune, eh? You're a little late with your apologies. I wouldn't go back to work for you if you begged me on your hands and knees. And I hope this will be a lesson to you!")
  • after leaving the booth, Warne took a swig from a bottle, then told the many admiring witnesses: "We don't need anymore of his lip...I guess he knows now, how I feel about his job.... Is my chariot ready?"; he was ushered away as they shouted and escorted him: "Make way for the king. Make way for the king. Long live the king"
  • a long overnight bus ride to New York, beginning with Peter's loss of his rear bus seat when Ellie sat in his place (while he stashed his luggage) and the driver announced: "First come, first serve"; Peter was forced to share a cramped seat in the back; after the bus lurched forward, she fell into his lap, and he quipped: ("Next time you drop in, bring your folks")
  • the "Walls of Jericho" sequence in a rural autocamp when Peter separated their shared twin bedroom with a clothesline and a blanket, as Ellie dryly observed: "That, I suppose, makes everything quite all right?"; he explained the arrangement: "Well, I like privacy when I retire. Yes, I'm very delicate in that respect. Prying eyes annoy me. Behold the walls of Jericho! Uh, maybe not as thick as the ones that Joshua blew down with his trumpet, but a lot safer. You see, uh, I have no trumpet"
  • as the sequence continued, he gave her a memorable lesson on the various ways men undress - he flirtatiously undressed in front of her, taking one article of clothing off at a time: ("Perhaps you're interested in how a man undresses. You know, it's a funny thing about that. Quite a study in psychology. No two men do it alike. You know, I once knew a man who kept his hat on until he was completely undressed. Now he made a picture. Years later, his secret came out. He wore a toupee. Yeah. I have a method all my own. If you notice, the coat came first, then the tie, then the shirt. Now, uh, according to Hoyle, after that, the, uh, pants should be next. There's where I'm different..."); when he was in the midst of undressing, she fled to her side of the bedroom, but he reassured her: " got nothin' to worry about. The walls of Jericho will protect you from the big bad wolf"
  • Peter and Ellie's discussion in separate beds with the lights turned out, when he introduced himself as Peter Warne ("I'm the whippoorwill that cries in the night. I'm the soft morning breeze that caresses your lovely face...Yeah, I got a name. Peter Warne"); when she said she didn't like his name, he responded by suggesting a new temporary last name for her - to pretend that they were married for the one night: ("Don't let it bother you. You're giving it back to me in the morning...The pleasure is all mine, Mrs. Warne")
  • and later, Peter's breakfast lesson on how to dunk donuts and how real folks eat: ("Dunking's an art. Don't let it soak so long. A dip and (he stuffed the donut in his mouth) plop, in your mouth. Let it hang there too long, it'll get soft and fall off. It's all a matter of timing. Aw, I oughta write a book about it")
  • the scene of their deception of two nosy private investigators by impersonating a make-believe, quarreling married couple - he berated her for flirting with a "big Swede" on the Elks' dance floor and then insulted her: ("You're just like your old man. Once a plumber's daughter, always a plumber's daughter. There's not an ounce of brains in your whole family"); when the flabbergasted detectives left, the auto-camp manager commented: "I told you they were a perfectly nice married couple"
  • the busload of passengers singing "The Man on the Flying Trapeze"
  • after leaving the bus for a trek cross-country, the scene of Peter serving as a male protector by carrying Ellie slung over his shoulder across a moonlit stream; as he waded through the water, he taught her yet another lesson on piggyback carrying, arguing with her about what it takes to be a "piggy-backer" - an ability he claimed that her family of rich people didn't have: ("I'll bet there isn't a good piggy-back rider in your whole family. I never knew a rich man yet who could piggy-back ride...You show me a good piggy-backer and I'll show you a real human. Now you take Abraham Lincoln for instance. A natural born piggy-backer. Where do you get all of that stuffed-shirts family of yours?")
Hitch-Hiking Competition
  • the thumb vs. show-some-leg hitchhiking technique scene at the side of the road; Peter condescendingly lectured Ellie: ("It's all in that ol' thumb, see?...that ol' thumb never fails. It's all a matter of how you do it, though"); after a detailed lecture on the three proper and correct ways that common people hail passing cars while thumb hitchhiking, he failed miserably and she suggested her method: ("Oh, you're such a smart alec. Nobody knows anything but you. I'll stop a car and I won't use my thumb...It's a system all my own") - she provocatively raised her skirt above the knee, exposing a shapely, stockinged leg and garter - an immediately effective technique - the next car screeched to a halt; she joked: ("Well, I proved once and for all that the limb is mightier than the thumb"); he quipped back: ("Why didn't you take off all your clothes? You could have stopped forty cars")
  • the night-time scene of Peter's idealistic speech to Ellie, as they both were outstretched on adjacent beds, when he described a dream of a Pacific island paradise where social pressures and restrictions would disappear, and he could live with a woman isolated from the world's worries: ("Sure, I've thought about it. Who hasn't? If I could ever meet the right sort of girl. Ahh, where you gonna find her? Somebody that's real, somebody that's alive! They don't come like that way anymore. Have I ever thought about it? Boy, I've even been sucker enough to make plans. You know, I saw an island in the Pacific once. I've never been able to forget it. That's where I'd like to take her. She'd have to be the sort of a girl who'd jump in the surf with me and love it as much as I did. Nights when you and the moon and the water all become one. You feel you're part of something big and marvelous. That's the only place to live. The stars are so close over your head you feel you could reach up and stir them around. Certainly, I've been thinking about it. Boy, if I could ever find a girl who was hungry for those things..."); Ellie responded with wet eyes and love for him ("Take me with you, Peter. Take me to your island. I want to do all those things you talked about"), but he was taken aback by her love for him and told her twice: "You'd better go back to your bed," where she cried herself to sleep
  • the aborted wedding scene when Ellie fled from the altar of her wedding as a runaway bride with her long veil trailing behind
  • the last scene, set in another autocamp, this time in Michigan, with Peter and Ellie in possession of a marriage license; the auto-camp manager and his wife discussed the couple: ("Funny couple, ain't they?...They made me get them a rope and a blanket on a night like this. What do you reckon that's for?"); when the manager mentioned they had requested a trumpet, the wife was puzzled: ("But what in the world do they want a trumpet for?"); suddenly, they heard the sound of a tinny trumpet blast - a signal that the blanket had 'fallen' (off-screen) and the "walls of Jericho" had toppled

Heiress Ellie Andrews Diving Off Yacht

Reporter Peter Warne - In A Phone Booth, Fired by His Boss

"Make way for the King!"

Sharing a Cramped Bus Seat: "Next time you drop in, bring your folks"

The "Walls of Jericho"

Lesson on Undressing

The Art of Dunking Donuts

Nighttime Discussion: Divulging His Name

Pretending to Be A Married Quarreling Couple

Wading Through Stream With "Piggy-Backer"

Dreaming Together

Ellie's Aborted Wedding

The Italian Job (2003)

In F. Gary Gray's remake of the original 1969 British heist film (with Michael Caine):

  • the opening sequence - a daring Venice heist of gold bullion by a group of high-class thieves, involving an exciting boat-chase; the entire 'Italian Job' was supervised by retiring life-long professional safecracker-criminal John Bridger (Donald Sutherland)
  • the advice offered in dialogue by John Bridger to fellow mastermind-thief Charlie Croker (Mark Wahlberg) about two kinds of thieves in the world: ("You know, Charlie, there are two kinds of thieves in this world: the ones who steal to enrich their lives, and the ones who steal to define their lives. Don't be the latter. Makes you miss out on what's really important in this life"); then Bridger questioned his own fatherhood: ("Sitting in prisons doesn't make you a good father. I spent half my kid's life in prison. Don't get to be my age with nothin' but this, Charlie. Find somebody you want to spend the rest of your life with and hold onto her forever")
John Bridger: Speech About Values in Life
  • the double-crossing betrayal of Steve Frazelli (Edward Norton), one of the thieves, who turned traitorous on his own partners in crime on a road near the group's secluded retreat in the Alps - he murdered John Bridger, and then absconded with all of the gold bullion from the Venice heist, and fled to Los Angeles
Confrontation Scene Between Steve (l) and Charlie (r)
  • a year later in Los Angeles, the confrontational scene in a restaurant when Charlie alerted the calculating, devious and paranoid Steve Frazelli (Edward Norton) to the fact that his gang were going to vengefully re-steal the gold bullion, after being double-crossed and betrayed in Europe; Steve claimed that he had already laundered most of the gold bricks in LA, and that Charlie had blown any element of surprise: ("That gold is already gone....No, really, it's over Charlie. I'm trying to move the last two bricks. You want to come after me over a couple of lousy bricks? I mean, really, be my guest. But you're off to a bad start, you know? 'Cause you just blew the best thing you had going for ya. You just blew the element of surprise"); Charlie abruptly punched out Steve, asked: "Surprised?", and then added: "It's over when I say it's over"
  • the character of reluctant, fellow expert safecracker Stella Bridger (Charlize Theron), John Bridger's estranged daughter, who agreed to aid Steve and his gang
  • the amazing action sequences that snarled traffic in downtown Los Angeles - during the vengeful attempt to recapture the gold from Steve's LA mansion; the plan began with the overhead view of a trio of Mini Coopers (red, white, and blue) driving down the sidewalk of Hollywood's Walk of Fame, and careening down stairs to enter an LA Metro subway station and rail tunnel; in a race to get to the tracks, they had to speed past a Metro train with only seconds to spare; afterwards, the group of vehicles retreated from gunmen on motorcycles, and navigated through the narrow storm drain tunnels or tubes into a Los Angeles River bed, where they also had to evade Steve piloting a helicopter in the air and race through a pre-planned Los Angeles traffic jam
  • the concluding celebratory montage of Croker's team enjoying the fruits of their newfound wealth: getaway driver Handsome Rob's (Jason Stratham) Aston Martin car ("Handsome Rob got his Aston Martin"), hearing-impaired demolitions expert "Left Ear"'s (Mos Def) dream house ("Left Ear got his dream house in the south of Spain with a room just for his shoes"), computer techie-hacker Lyle's (Seth Green) fame and powerful audio speakers ("Lyle finally made the cover of Wired Magazine...And he got that kick-ass stereo he wanted...with speakers so loud they'd blow a woman's clothes off"), and Croker's love and respect from Stella Bridger (Charlize Theron): ("And me? I took John Bridger's advice. I found somebody I want to spend the rest of my life with and I'm gonna hold on to her forever")

Venice Boat-Chase During Heist

Heist of Bars of Gold Bullion in Underwater Safe

Double-Cross Murder of Bridger by Steve

Stella Bridger
(Charlize Theron)

Trio of Mini Coopers

Racing in Tunnels

Evading Steve's Helicopter

It's A Gift (1934)

In director Norman Z. McLeod's very funny comedy, about a small-town grocery clerk who was beset by harrassments from his children, his nagging wife and customers, who ultimately decided to pack up his family and belongings into their car for a trip out West to California to his "orange grove":

  • the opening scene of helpless and henpecked Harold Bissonette (W. C. Fields) suffering in his home due to his shrewish wife Amelia (Kathleen Howard), and having to share the mirror while attempting to shave in the home's single bathroom with his prim daughter Mildred (Jean Rouverol); his shaving arm (precariously poised with a sharp razor) was continually threatened ("If you want me to cut my throat, keep that up!")
  • the hilarious grocery store sequences (with a number of slapstick segments and sight gags) involving bumbling, long-suffering New Jersey store owner Harold and his incompetent store clerk Everett Ricks (Tammany Young)
  • also, Bissonette's eccentric patrons included a disruptive and grumpy Mr. Jasper Fitchmueller (Morgan Wallace) who kept requesting "ten pounds of kumquats - and I'm in a hurry", a cantankerous, blind/deaf and destructive Mr. Muckle (Charles Sellon) - a house-detective wearing sunglasses and wielding a cane, and Baby Ellwood Dunk (Baby LeRoy) spreading molasses all over the floor; all the while, Harold rushed around responding to an increasingly-exasperated Mr. Fitchmueller, promising: "Coming, coming..."
Mr. Muckle Creating a Path of Destruction
  • as Muckle approached the store, Bissonette screamed out to Everett: "Open the door for Mr. Muckle" - knowing that full-scale destruction of the store was about to happen; unable to get to the closed front door in time to open it, the irrascible old Muckle smashed its plate glass window with his wildly waving cane, shouting out: "You got that door closed again!"
  • with an ear trumpet, the hard-of hearing Muckle only purchased a stick of chewing gum after a prolonged, difficult conversation with Harold - and then proceeded to destroy a display of light bulbs that exploded as they dropped to the floor; when leaving the store after demanding the delivery of the gum, Muckle successfully smashed the other front door's window on his way out, cheerfully adding: "Well, you got that door closed again!"
  • a later tour-de-force episode: the funny sequence of the bedeviled Harold's continued attempts to peacefully sleep on his faulty back porch swing while bothered by a milkman and his rattling glass milk bottles (Harold requested: "Please stop playing with those sleigh bells, will ya?"), a coconut noisily bouncing down the steps, an insurance salesman (T. Roy Barnes) looking for Carl LaFong, by Baby Dunk dropping grapes on him ("Right on the proboscis!" and his exclamation: "Shades of Bacchus!"), a chattering, sing-song repartee-conversation between young Miss Abby Dunk (Diana Lewis) and her mother about whether she should buy ipecac or syrup of squill for Baby Dunk, a squeaky clothesline, and a noisy vegetable/fruit vendor (Jerry Mandy)
  • the priceless scene of Harold's conversation with a salesman named Carl LaFong:
    - Salesman: Carl LaFong, Capital L, small a, capital F, small o, small n, small g. LaFong. Carl LaFong.
    - Harold: No. I don't know Carl LaFong - Capital L, small a, Capital F, small o, small n, small g. And if I did know Carl LaFong, I wouldn't admit it!
  • the entire California trip sequence - Bissonette's dreamland where he imagined owning an orange grove - including their family picnic scene (not at a camp or picnic grounds, but on the private lawn of an exclusive mansion) where they littered everything with garbage and pillow feathers
Disastrous Family Picnic Scene
Plucking an Orange for His Screwdriver
  • their arrival at Harold's property - located in a disaster area - a dessicated section of sunbaked desert land with a "Tobacco Road" ramshackle shack on it - although due to good fortune, the worthless land was immediately purchased by a developer for a race-track and grandstand for a windfall amount of $44,000!- in the final scene, a triumphant, vindicated and relaxed Harold was on the porch of his new prosperous property: "Bissonette's Blue Bird Oranges" where he was mixing screwdriver cocktails and lazily reaching out and effortlessly plucking an orange from a nearby lush tree

Harold Sharing a Bathroom Mirror with His Daughter Mildred

Customer Demanding Kumquats

The Back Porch Swing Sequence

Interrupted by Salesman Carl LaFong

Packing Up Family for Drive to California

It's A Wonderful Life (1946)

In Frank Capra's dark and ultimately uplifting Christmas classic about a small-town lender-banker in Bedford Falls, originally a box-office failure and once-forgotten, but then revived after repeated TV showings in the 1970s and 80s:

  • the simple opening scene of stars blinking and celestial angels talking about small-town Bedford Falls resident and banker George Bailey (James Stewart) and his suicidal fate on Christmas Eve
  • the flashback scenes of young George's (Bobbie Anderson) rescue of his younger brother Harry (Georgie Nokes) from a fall through the ice and potential drowning
  • the counter scene of young Mary Hatch's (Jean Gale) whispered secret to young George in the local drugstore (that he didn't hear), when she leaned over the counter, asked: ("Is this the ear you can't hear on?"), and then vowed: ("George Bailey - I'll love you till the day I die")
  • the sequence of George's saving of the drunk and grieving druggist Mr. Gower (H.B. Warner) from mistakenly mixing up a prescription of poisonous cyanide to an ailing child: ("You put something wrong in those capsules. It wasn't your fault, Mr. Gower")
  • the comedic scene of the high school dance with the gymnasium dance floor opening over a swimming pool as George and grown-up childhood sweetheart Mary (Donna Reed) obliviously danced the Charleston and fell into the pool
  • George Bailey's walk home after the dance with Mary while singing Buffalo Gals, and their throwing of stones at the deserted old Granville house (with Mary's prophetic wish: "I love that old house...It's full of romance, that old place. I'd like to live in it"), and George's statement of dreams for the future: ("I'm shakin' the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I'm gonna see the world. Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Coliseum. Then, I'm comin' back here to go to college and see what they know. And then I'm gonna build things. I'm gonna build airfields, I'm gonna build skyscrapers a hundred stories high, I'm gonna build bridges a mile long...")
  • during their walk home, George's idealistic offer to Mary - a poetic, imaginative fantasy about lasso-ing the moon and bringing it down to Earth to her: ("What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You-you want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey, that's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon...Well, then you could swallow it. And it'll all dissolve, see. And the moon beams that shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair...Am I talking too much?"), ending with the bald, overweight neighbor (Dick Elliott) nearby challenging George to do less talking and try more romantic action: "Why don't you kiss her instead of talking her to death?"; and afterwards, the humorous scene of the loss of Mary's bathrobe and George's teasing of her, and talking to the shrubbery where she was hiding
  • after the death of George's father, his inspired address in defense of his father's character, fighting selfishness and deceitfulness with honesty and decency against the town's vengeful Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore), and his speaking up for the common folk: ("Do you know how long it takes a working man to save five thousand dollars? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you're talking about. They do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn't think so. People were human beings to him, but to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they're cattle. Well, in my book, he died a much richer man than you'll ever be")
George's Defense of His Father's Character
  • the marvelous scene of an extended angry and intimate shared phone conversation with George and Mary on the same end of the phone, when Mary encouraged George: ("He says it's the chance of a lifetime"), and George's outburst at her: ("Now, you listen to me! I don't want any plastics, and I don't want any ground floors, and I don't want to get married - ever - to anyone! You understand that? I want to do what I want to do. And you're...and you're...") but then immediately embracing and kissing her passionately - and their wedding in the next scene
Intimate Telephone Conversation
  • immediately after their marriage, the scene of the bank run threatening the solvency of the Bailey Building and Loan Society, and George's impassioned plea to the worried investors: ("Can't, can't you understand what's happening here? Don't you see what's happening? Potter isn't selling. Potter's buying! And why? Because we're panicky and he's not. That's why. He's pickin' up some bargains. Now, we-we can get through this thing all right. We've, we've got to stick together, though. We've got to have faith in each other!")
  • Mary's question to a depressed, troubled and disheartened George: "Why must you torture the children?", and George's complaints about his life: ("This drafty old barn! Might as well be living in a refrigerator! Why did we have to live here in the first place and stay around this measly, crummy old town?...Everything's wrong. You call this a happy family? Why do we have to have all these kids?")
  • small-town father and husband George's rescue by guardian angel Second Class Clarence Oddbody (Henry Travers) on a bridge when he considered suicide on Christmas Eve; and then, the despondent George's wish: ("I suppose it'd been better if I'd never been born at all") - and Clarence's granting of the wish: ("You've got your wish: you've never been born") -- and soon after, Clarence's explanation: ("Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives, and when he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?")
  • the nightmarish, 'alternate reality' sequence of Bedford Falls (now named Pottersville after the town's despotic tycoon) without George as he staggered through the town - with the visit to his brother Harry's (Todd Karns) gravesite who would have died in the childhood sledding accident ("at the age of nine" according to Clarence) because George wasn't there to save him - and Harry would have never grown up to be a war hero, saving all the lives of the men on the naval transport: ("Every man on that transport died. Harry wasn't there to save them because you weren't there to save Harry"); Clarence reminded George: ("You see, George, you've really had a wonderful life. Don't you see what a mistake it would be to throw it away?")
  • George's encounter with Mary, now an unhappy old-maid librarian with spectacles, who didn't recognize him and screamed for him to get away
  • George's breakdown and heartfelt plea to Clarence to live again: ("Get me back!...I want to live again") - his life-affirming and joyful discovery that his wish was granted and that he was alive (because his mouth was bleeding, he had a deaf ear, and he felt daughter Zuzu's petals in his pocket) ("Ha, ha, ha, ha! My mouth's bleeding, Bert! My mouth's bleeding! Zuzu's petals... Zuzu... Merry Christmas!"), followed by the sequence of his resounding ecstasy as he ran down the wintry Bedford Falls street yelling "Merry Christmas" at everything in sight (the movie house, the Building and Loan, etc.)
  • the heartwarming reunion in his home with friends and other depositors who had paid his rent, the toast by his war-hero brother Harry: ("A my big brother, George. The richest man in town"), and the singing of Hark the Herald Angels Sing and Auld Lang Syne
  • he and Mary looked at the handwritten inscription by angel Clarence in the front of the book Tom Sawyer: ("Dear George: - Remember no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings! Love Clarence"); and Zuzu noted how an ornamental bell was ringing on the Christmas tree (signifying Clarence's promotion to an angel with wings): (Zuzu: "Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings")
Reunited With His Family and Zuzu --
"Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings"


Young Mary Hatch: "George Bailey - I'll love you till the day I die"

High School Dance Scene with Mary

"Buffalo Gals" Walk Home - Promising Mary to Lasso the Moon

George's Pleas to Worried Bank Investors

Despairing and Ready to Commit Suicide

With Angel Clarence

Harry's Gravesite

Mary as Spinster Librarian

Wish Granted to Return

Running Through Bedford Falls Yelling "Merry Christmas"

Ivan (1932, Soviet Union) (aka Иван)

In Ukrainian director/writer Aleksandr Dovzhenko's propagandistic Stalinist drama, his first sound film and one of his greatest works of cinema, a treatise about collective work during the Soviet Union's era of industrialization:

  • the opening - a poetic, lush and visual sequence of a river reflecting trees and the sky, placid and beautiful - but capped with views of cascading and churning water (to be harnessed by a power-generating, ecologically-unfriendly dam)
  • the film's main plot: the construction of a huge hydro-electric dam on the Dnieper River
  • the main characters - a Ukrainian peasant family composed of stubbornly-proud, bearded illiterate father Stepan Iosovich Guba, the Idler (Stepan Shkurat), and his unschooled teenaged farm boy son Ivan (Konstantin Bondarevsky) - a personification of optimistic country youth, who were both forced to leave their rural agricultural village to work on the construction project; however, contemptuous slacker Stepan refused to join in the construction work - he preferred fishing from a scaffolding platform-plank at the site
  • meanwhile, Ivan was transformed into a physically-strong, hard-working and dutiful socialist worker, although he was reprimanded for his shoddy work; he eventually realized that his physical might was limited - and that he needed to be trained and educated
  • the sequence of the death of another young Communist League construction worker (coincidentally also named Ivan), whose grieving mother (Elena Golik) helped to cover over the corpse
  • in the film's most audacious sequence, the distressed mother resolutely fled through the site (filmed at a low angle and viewed as a gauntlet), among ominous cranes, transport trains and other threatening forms of machinery to the office of the construction manager - where she was seen flinging open ten sets of double doors in a series of startling jump-cuts; in his inner office, she overheard the angry manager on the phone speaking to a subordinate about the lethal accident caused by negligence and careless inspections; when finished with his call, he asked the mother what she was there for, and she responded: "Nothing"
Distressed Grieving Mother
Mother Entering Office of Construction Manager
Construction Manager on Phone
  • the dramatic scene of Stepan's lecturing of everyone in a public Communist Party meeting - and his repudiation of his role as the father of a conforming working-class son: "Am I the father or am I not? I am a unique individual! I do not want such a son, and declare that I repudiate him"; when his words fell on deaf ears, he was laughed out of the auditorium and his son denounced his shirking father (even declaring that he was ashamed to have been born in the same village); the bereaved mother of the dead worker also spoke to the assembled workers
  • in the film's conclusion, Ivan took his seat among his comrades in a university classroom, as the film faded to black on a close-up of him ready to learn from his professors

Opening Views

Father Stepan Fishing

Son Ivan - Strong Socialist Worker

Stepan's Lecture to Communist Party Meeting - Repudiated

Ivan Joining Socialist Comrades in Classroom

Ivan the Terrible, Part I (1945, Soviet Union) (aka Ivan Groznyy, or Иван Грозный)

In writer/director Sergei Eisenstein's film (his last film directed and completed) was released in the mid-1940s and hailed as a success, followed by Part II (Ivan Groznyy. Skaz vtoroy: Boyarskiy zagovor (1958)) completed by 1946, but suppressed and delayed until 1958 due to a ban by Stalin himself (who objected to the depiction of the ruler) - the epic, stagey film (harkening back to highly-stylized silent film techniques) characterized by expressionistic sets, facial closeups, heavy costuming, angled camera shots for contrast, stark light and shadows, huge sets, religious imagery and a score by Prokofiev:

  • this was an historical, costume-rich, operatic pageantry film about the idealistic and stern 16th century Ivan Vasilyevich, or Ivan IV, Duke of Moscow who ruled Russia from 1533 to 1547 as the anointed Tsar; his nickname Groznyy was usually translated as Terrible - and served as a parody of Russian ruler Josef Stalin; the entire film was mostly about court intrigue and his struggle against the plotting of the Boyars and his efforts to make them submit to his powerful will as Tsar; Ivan eventually consolidated power in himself through personal guards, secret police or "iron men" known as Oprichniki
  • the opening sequence - the coronation of young Grand Prince of Muscovy Ivan (Nikolai Cherkasov), by the approval of a land-owning nobility/bourgeoisie class (affluent and hereditary) known as the Boyars
Opening Sequence: Coronation of Grand Prince Ivan
  • Ivan's marriage to Anastasia Romanovna (Lyudmila Tselikovskaya), the Czarina, bearing a child - infant son Dmitri
  • his campaign against the Tartars in Kazan, Ivan's serious illness on his deathbed, and battles and campaigns to reclaim lost Russian territory
  • the scenes of major conflict with his own witchy and scheming boyarina Aunt Efrosinia Staritskaya (Serafima Birman) who plotted to assassinate him with the help of other traditionalists; she wanted to appoint her own dim-witted simpleton son Vladimir Andreyevich Staritsky (Pavel Kadochnikov) as the new Tsar; she also encouraged one of Ivan's friends, Prince Andrei Kurbsky (Mikhail Nazvanov), who lusted after Anastasia, to betray him; another friend Fyodor Kolychev (Andrei Abrikosov), became Archbishop Philip and then became part of a religious group that opposed Ivan along with the Boyars
  • Staritskaya's plotting and murder of Ivan's wife by having her drink from a large poisoned goblet of wine
Poisoning and Death of Ivan's Wife
  • Ivan's abdication of the throne in Moscow and self-imposed exile at the Alexandrov monastery before a populist movement (and an endless and massive procession of supporters streaming to him) demanded his return to save the country

Ivan with Anastasia

Ivan Groznyy (the Terrible)

Battle Against Tartars

Serious Illness

Ivan's Self-Imposed Exile

(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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