Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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L (continued)
Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions
Screenshots

Lolita (1997)

In director Adrian Lyne's controversial (but cinematographically-beautiful) version of Vladimir Nabokov's novel about the aberrant, still-taboo and touchy topic of underage sexuality and incestual pedophilia - a tragic and unhappy morality tale and love story:

  • the opening voice-over monologue (under the title credits) as Professor Humbert Humbert (Jeremy Irons) (bloodied and stunned) was weaving down a two-lane road in a wood-paneled station wagon - it was the beginning of a short explanatory flashback: ("She was Lo. Plain Lo in the morning. Standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. In my arms, she was always Lolita. Light of my life. Fire of my loins. My sin. My soul. Lolita")
Opening Voice-Over Monologue
Flashback to 14 Years of Age:
The Roots of Humbert's Obsession
Annabel Lee
(Emma Griffiths-Malin)
Young Humbert
(Ben Silverstone)
  • the subsequent scene of Humbert's revelation of how he was suffering from hebephilia (a sexual preference or obsession for pubescents) - in a flashback to Cannes, France in 1921, 14-year-old Humbert (Ben Silverstone) fell madly in love with teenaged Annabel Leigh (Emma Griffiths-Malin), but only four months later, she died of typhus: ("But there might have been no Lolita at all had I not first met Annabel. We were both 14. Whatever happens to a boy during the summer he's 14 can mark him for life...") - Humbert further explained his pedophilia: "The shock of her death froze something in me. The child I loved was gone. But I kept looking for her long after I'd left my own childhood behind. The poison was in the wound, you see. And the wound wouldn't heal...")
  • the next flash-forward was to New England in 1947, in the town of Ramsdale, where 40 year-old Humbert had accepted a teaching post at Beardsley College, beginning in the fall semester; for accommodations, he was offered a rented room by annoying, garish, chain-smoking, red-nailed, oppressive widow Mrs. Charlotte Haze (Melanie Griffith), and he was about to decline her $20/month offer when she suggested a last-minute view of her backyard piazza ("Don't say 'no' until you've seen the piazza") - that included Humbert's first heart-stopping view of her young nymphet daughter Dolores "Lolita" Haze (14 year-old Dominique Swain) (Charlotte pointed her out: "That's my Lo") - who was sunbathing in the garden where a lawn sprinkler soaked her pale sundress; Lo's upraised legs twisted and turned sensuously in the falling water, while she was reading a magazine filled with pictures of movie stars; when she smiled, she revealed her retainer; Humbert was stunned by the sight of Lolita and remarked: "beautiful" - referring to Lolita rather than Charlotte's garden of lilies; later, Humbert would call the little nymphet a "little deadly demon"
First View of Lolita Soaked by Lawn Sprinkler
  • one day, she wandered into his study, impulsively sat on his lap, and after a pause asked innocently: "Am I getting a zit?"; when Charlotte interrupted, she asked Humbert: "Is she keeping you up?"
  • the scene of Lolita packed up and ready to go off to Powattomie girls' summer camp, and her last-minute race up the stairs to bid goodbye to Humbert; she lept into his arms, gripped his torso with her thighs, and gave him a passionate kiss
  • Humbert's ultimate decision was to remain with overeager Charlotte in the empty house through the summer, become her "lifelong mate" and a "father" to Lolita; two weeks later, they married, but about a month later, Charlotte discovered his secret diary and realized he didn't love her (he had written that she was a "fat cow" and an "obnoxious mamma"); she called him a "despicable, criminal monster" for manipulating her to get close to Lolita; anguished and upset, she ran from the house and was struck and killed by a car (off-screen) when walking to the mailbox (with incriminating letters, never mailed) - her sudden death was reported by a phone call
  • the sequence of Humbert picking up Lolita at camp (but avoiding telling her that Charlotte was dead); Lolita confessed that over the summer, she had learned a few things: "Well, I didn't miss you. In fact, I've been revoltingly unfaithful to you. But so what? Cuz you don't care about me any more anyway....Well, you haven't kissed me yet, have you?" - Humbert immediately pulled the car over and they kissed
  • the introduction of the mysterious character of Claire Quilty (Frank Langella) - initially only viewed by his shoes in the lobby of the Enchanted Hunters Lodge with Lolita, and later on the Lodge's front porch with Humbert - he had immediately taken an interest in the "lassie" - at first calling her a "sweet" young person
Clare Quilty (Frank Langella) - Introduced to Lolita and Humbert
  • in one very controversial overnight scene (their first night together) at the Enchanted Hunters Inn, they were forced to share a double bed; after dinner, Lolita admitted that she had learned sexual games with a boy at camp - "If I tell you how naughty I was at camp, you promise you won't be mad?"...I've been such a disgusting girl. Just let me tell you"; the next morning - she greeted him with kisses, including an open-mouthed 'French kiss'; then, she whispered in Humbert's ear about a game she had played with Charlie at summer camp, and then said outloud: "Don't tell me you never tried it when you were a kid...I guess I'm gonna have to show you everything"; the volatile young girl initiated oral sex (and more) by untying his pajama bottoms (and removing her own retainer) - the screen faded to black, as Humbert provided a retrospective voice-over: "Gentlewomen of the jury, I was not even her first lover"
  • as they drove along, Lolita willingly admitted to her corrupted innocence: "Well, I need a gas station. I hurt inside. Well, what do you expect? I was a daisy-fresh girl, and look what you've done to me. I should call the police and tell them that you raped me, you dirty old man!" - then smiled teasingly
  • during their extended "circuitous route" road trip (after Lolita learned of her mother's death), the film's most provocative scene - Lolita rocked pleasurably on Humbert's lap while reading the newspaper comic pages
  • upon their return to Ramsdale, Lolita was enrolled in the all-girls Catholic school - Beardsley Prep - and in another provocative scene, Lolita manipulatively rocked his rocking chair and then stroked Humbert's thigh with her bare foot and asked: "You know how my allowance is a dollar a week?...Well, I think it should be two dollars" - she nuzzled next to his crotch, inched her hand up his inner thigh, and withdrew it when Humbert only agreed to a dollar fifty; she was ultimately able to successfully bargain for $2 dollars, and permission to perform in a school play (written by playwright Clare Quilty); as time went on, Humbert admitted in voice-over that he was forced to pay for sex from Lolita: "As she grew cooler towards my advances, I became accustomed to purchasing her favors"
Sexually Bargaining for $2 Dollars Allowance
  • during an angry and tense confrontational scene, Humbert began to distrust Lolita's excuses for missing her piano lessons; he feared she was spurning him, pulling apart, and planning on running away; when she called him a "pervert," he violently struck her across the face - she made a damning series of accusations during an emotional outburst: "Go ahead, murder me like you murdered my mother!"; shortly later, Lolita announced that she would leave Beardsley School, and proposed another road trip with Humbert ("...only this time she would choose where we would go....Did Humbert hum his assent? Oh, yes. I sealed my fate gratefully"); at home, Lolita seductively unbuttoned her blouse and asked: "Take me to bed"
  • in the midst of a second major road trip directed by Lolita, there was obvious sexual symbolism when Lolita was eating a banana and wearing a two-piece outfit; for an extended series of scenes, Humbert realized that they were being pursued, possibly by an unidentified detective or cop, and he felt guilty about it: ("His presence was as real to me as my own breath")
  • the sight of Lolita - with obviously smudged lipstick - when Humbert returned to their rented cottage after buying bananas and visiting a barber shop - and he suspected that she had gone out -- he threw her onto the bed, ripped open her white blouse and made love to her, as he aggressively asked and pleaded who had violated her: "You tell me who it is - who is it?" but Lolita wouldn't answer him
  • shortly later, she was driven away by someone named "Uncle Gustave" (aka Quilty) in a fancy Cadillac; the frantic Humbert engaged in a lengthy search for her (voice-over): "I searched all our old haunts and for several months the trail remained warm. The thief, the kidnapper, whatever you want to call him, he was clever" - but without any luck, Humbert returned to Beardsley, noting (in voice-over) that the kidnapper was not really like him: "Maybe you think it impossible that there could have been another like me. Another mad lover of nymphets following us over the great and ugly plains..."
  • three years later, an indebted Lolita (now married to Mr. Richard "Dick" F. Shiller - and pregnant - had experienced "much sadness and hardship") contacted Humbert by letter and asked for money; during a sad reunion in her humble dwelling in Coalmont, he learned that child pornographer Quilty who "liked little girls" ("He was the only man I was ever really crazy about") had taken her to his Pavor Manor in Parkington to be in one of his films, but she had refused and was thrown out
  • in a long voice-over, Humbert still described his ever-lasting love for Lolita: ("I looked and looked at her and I knew, as clearly as I know that I will die, that I loved her more than anything I'd ever seen or imagined on earth. She was only the dead leaf echo of the nymphet from long ago, but I loved her, this Lolita, pale and polluted and big with another man's child. She could fade and wither - I didn't care. I would still go mad with tenderness at the mere sight of her face"); after requesting her to leave with him, she rejected him ("I'd almost rather go back with Clare"); he gave her $4,000 dollars cash without asking for anything in return, and as he was about to drive away, he imagined her as a 14 year-old nymphet again on the porch
  • in the concluding scene, Humbert vengefully tracked down Quilty (nude under a gray robe) at his Manor and began threatening him with a gun: ("Quilty, I want you to concentrate. You're about to die....Do you want to be executed standing up or sitting down?...You cheated me of my redemption. You have to die"); Quilty meekly apologized and then attempted to bribe Humbert with a place to stay in his house, his clothes, a cleaning lady with more young girls to violate, the promise of a bribable chief of police, and his unique collection of erotica, but to no avail - before in a prolonged, excessively bloody and violent sequence, Quilty was shot multiple times in the back in his hallway and then, after crawling into his bed, was shot one final time
Quilty - "About to Die"
"You should not continue in this fashion, really"
Shot in Bed
  • shortly later, as he drove away, Humbert was pursued by police cars, and at a roadblock, he turned into a dairy-cow pasture where he was arrested after wandering off in the field; his epiphany in voice-over mused about Lolita's loss of childhood innocence: ("What I heard then was the melody of children at play. Nothing but that. And I knew that the hopelessly poignant thing was not Lolita's absence from my side but the absence of her voice from that chorus")
  • the sad postscript (title screen): "Humbert died in prison of a coronary thrombosis on November 16, 1950. Lolita died in childbirth on Christmas day, 1950"

Widowed Mrs. Charlotte Haze (Melanie Griffith)


On Humbert's Lap:
"Am I getting a zit?"


Growing Attraction and Flirtations


Goodbye Kiss Before Leaving for Camp

Sudden Death of Charlotte

After Summer Camp, Kissing in the Car

Confession of Being "Naughty" at Camp

Overnighting in the Same Double Bed


Lolita's "French Kiss" and "I Guess I'm Gonna Have to Show You Everything"

Pleasurably Reading the Comics Page While Rocking on Humbert's Lap

"Go ahead, murder me, like you murdered my mother!"

"Take me to bed"

Eating a Banana


Lolita With Smudged Lipstick - Humbert Pleaded: "Who is it?"


Lolita - Three Years Later - Married, Pregnant and In Debt

Humbert's Voice-Over About His Love For Lolita

Sad Goodbye: Imagining Her as 14 Years Old Again


Humbert's Final Epiphany (in voice-over)

Lonesome (1928)

In Hungarian-born director Pal Fejos' silent film (a part-talkie actually) - a heart-warming, sentimental romantic melodrama with a bit of sound (a few dialogue scenes featured synchronized sound), and some innovative effects for the time (three color tinting, superimposition and double-exposure effects, ie, the Roman numerals of an enclosing clock around the female character, experimental editing, and a roving kinetic camera):

  • the opening - shots of the hustle-bustle of New York City, with the title card's statement: "In the whirlpool of modern life -- The most difficult thing is to live alone"
  • the characters of two average, desperately-lonely singles in NYC, who lived in tiny apartments: metal factory worker Jim (Glenn Tryon) and switchboard operator Mary (Barbara Kent); there were contrasting similarities and parallels between their two work-days (and lives), and unbeknowst to them, they lived next-door to each other
Jim with Mary at the Coney Island Beach
  • they casually met on a Fourth of July weekend trip to Coney Island where the two fell in love (during typical activities including a fortune teller, the beach, a photograph booth, a ball-tossing carnival game, a spinning wheel, a fun-house mirror, fireworks, and a roller coaster ride)
  • their dilemma - they became separated during a thunderstorm and only knew each other's first names!
  • the key to finding each other was in the surprise ending -- a 78 rpm spinning phonograph record of Irving Berlin's 1925 hit song Always, played in Jim's small apartment, with the lyrics: "That's when I'll be there, always" (on the soundtrack); it was the tune that he and Mary had danced to in the Coney Island dance hall; the song was heard by Mary in her next door apartment, who pounded on the wall in distress - Jim realized when he entered her place that she was his next door neighbor!
Record Label
Listening Through Wall to Song: Always
Reunited

The Hustle-Bustle on the Streets of NYC

Mary (Barbara Kent)

Jim (Glenn Tryon)


4th of July - Coney Island

The Long, Hot Summer (1958)

In Martin Ritt's sultry southern romantic melodrama that adapted a melange of William Faulkner stories - a film that was made during the passionate courtship of the two main performers (in their first film together before their marriage in the same year as the film's release):

  • the opening scene, introducing the character of sexy, determined and virile drifter-sharecropper Ben Quick (Paul Newman), an arsonist suspect, who was hitchhiking when he was picked up in a convertible by Clara Varner (Joanne Woodward) and her sister-in-law Eula (Lee Remick), and taken to Frenchman's Bend, Mississippi; as he left their car, Eula mentioned to Ben how they were related to the town's influential patriarch Will Varner (Orson Welles): "We two girls most particularly belong to Varner"
  • after becoming a sharecropper on a vacant farm owned by the Varners, Ben met up again with Clara; he interpreted her coldness because he was "mean and dirty" ("You correct me if I'm wrong, but I have the feelin' I rile ya. I mean, me being so mean and dirty and all"); she told him off: "I've spent my whole life around men who push and shove and shout and think they can make anything happen just by bein' aggressive. And I'm not anxious to have another one around the place"
  • the scene of Ben's introduction to Varner, who owned all the town's businesses; Ben claimed he had a "reputation for being a dangerous man" as a disreputable, suspected barnburner; the domineering Varner replied: ("You're a young, dangerous man. I'm an old one. You don't know who I am. I better introduce myself. I'm the big landowner and chief moneylender in these parts. I'm commissioner of the elections and veterinarian. I own the store and the cotton gin and the grist mill, and the blacksmith shop, and it's considered unlucky for a man to do his tradin' or gin his cotton or grind his meal or shoe his stock anywhere else. Now, that's who I am"); Ben responded: "You talk a lot"; Varner threatened Ben, knowing of his father's reputation of being an arsonist: ("Well, yes, I do, son. But I'm done talkin' to you except for passing you on this piece of information. I built me a new jail in my courthouse this year, and if during the course of your stay here, something, anything at all should happen to catch fire, I think you oughta know that in my jail, we never heard of the words 'habeas corpus.' You'd rot"); Ben asked instead for a decent job: ("Well, a smart man, he'd give me a job...None of this weed-scratchin'. I'm talkin' about a job that'll give me a white shirt and a black tie and three squares. You've got a place in your store and several other spots where you could use me. And you'd be writing yourself a fire insurance policy into the bargain"); when Ben wanted a yes or no answer right away, Varner called him "mighty bushy-tailed for a beginner"
  • the sequences of the reckless Ben's many unsubtle advances toward 23 year-old old-maid schoolteacher Clara Varner, the daughter of Ben's rich boss Will, with Clara's repeated turn-downs and Ben's seductive come-ons; on the porch after dinner, she called herself "just plain skittish" - he suggested that she loosen up: ("Let's go get in that old Lincoln car of yours and we'll go and plow up the countryside. Let's go holler off a bridge good and loud") - or if she just wanted quiet: ("You want quiet? Let's go find us a needle in a haystack"); she demurely declined: ("Mr. Quick, those are all lovely, colorful suggestions, but I'm afraid if I started out to follow you, I would hear the starch in my petticoat begin to rustle and I'd know I was out of character"); he challenged her and then became impertinent about her genteel Southern beau Alan Stewart (Richard Anderson): ("Get out of character, lady. Come on. Get way out....You'll never know till you try...But if you're savin' it all for him, honey, you've got your account in the wrong bank")
  • in a department store after closing time, with lots of on-screen chemistry, Ben was able to successfully proposition Clara for a kiss: ("Aw, school is out, Miss Clara. Them blinds are drawn, night's fallen. Nobody here to see if you make a mistake. You put them things down, Miss Clara, 'cause I'm gonna kiss you. I'm gonna show you how simple it is. You please me, and I'll please you. (She slapped him) Oh, I know what's troublin' you. It's all those boys hollerin' for Eula every night. And Eula with her hair hangin' down and Jody with his shirt off, chasin' her. And your old man at 60 and he's callin' on his lady love"); she submitted to a kiss and a close hug
Department Store: Ben Propositioning Clara for a Kiss
  • after their kiss, she reluctantly admitted: ("All right. You proved it. I'm human"); he replied: ("Yes, ma'am, you're human all right"); and then he sarcastically talked about his bad reputation when she angrily accused him of being a barn burner: ("Well, you hit on it. I can see my white shirt and my black tie and my Sunday manners didn't fool you for a minute. Well, that's right, ma'am. I'm a menace to the countryside. All a man's gotta do is just look at me sideways, and his house goes up in fire. And here I am, livin' right here in the middle of your peaceable little town. Right in your backyard, you might say. Guess that oughta keep you awake at night"); she turned and ran out of the store
  • and slightly later, Ben's shirtless delivery of a speech to Clara from her porch, as she lay in bed within view: ("You look mighty pretty with them readin' glasses on. You look pretty with them off. You look mighty young there, Miss Clara all curled up in your bed like you just washed your hands and brushed your teeth and said your prayers like a little girl. I'll bet you was a mighty appealin' little girl. I'll bet your hair hung in a tangle down your back. I'll bet you knew where to look for robins' eggs and blackberries. I'll bet you had a doll with no head on it. There's a church bazaar comin' up next week. Now, you wear a white dress and a ribbon in your hair and I'll waltz you around under the moon. (She turned out her light) Clara? Clara. Clar-ar-ar-a")
  • the scene "in the woods" (at a picnic table away from the crowds) after the romantically-persistent and aggressive Ben bid on Clara's boxed chicken supper basket and won it for an exorbitant $50 dollars, after which she made a memorable speech to him about not wanting him for marriage: ("You got some foolish ideas about me, Mr. Quick. I am no tremblin' little rabbit full of smolderin', unsatisfied desires... I'm a woman, full-grown, very smart and not at all bad to look at... And I expect to live at the top of my bent with no help from you....You are barkin' up the wrong girl, Mr. Quick, because it will never be you.... I don't know what arrangement you think you have with my father, but you'll find you have no bargain with me.... You have been hoodwinked, Mr. Quick. For once in your crafty life, you have been had...You're too much like my father to suit me, and I'm an authority on him....I gave up on him when I was nine years old and I gave up on you the first time I ever looked into those cold blue eyes.... I've got everything right, Mr. Quick....Mr. Quick, I am a human being. Do you know what that means? It means I set a price on myself, a high, high price. You may be surprised to know it, but I've got quite a lot to give. I've got things I have been savin' up my whole life, things like love and understanding and, and jokes and good times and good cooking. I'm prepared to be the queen of Sheba for some lucky man or at the very least, the best wife that any man could hope for. Now, that's my human history, and it's not gonna be bought and sold and it's certainly not gonna be given away to any passin' stranger")
  • in response, he spitefully spoke back with some hostility: ("All right. Then run, lady. And you keep on runnin'! Buy yourself a bus ticket and disappear. Change your name, dye your hair, get lost! And then maybe, just maybe, you're gonna be safe from me"); by film's end, as Ben was about to leave town, Clara made it clear that she would join him

Suspected Arsonist and Hitchhiker Ben Quick (Paul Newman) with Clara and Eula


Clara Varner Telling Off Ben



Ben Threatened by Domineering Patriarch Will Varner

Ben with Schoolteacher-Spinster Clara Varner

Ben's Shirtless Speech Delivery to Clara


Winning Clara's Boxed Chicken Supper Basket


Clara to Ben: "You are barkin' up the wrong girl, Mr. Quick, because it will never be you..."

Ben to Clara: "All right. Then run, lady..."

The Longest Day (1962)

In 20th Century-Fox studio chief/producer Darryl F. Zanuck's semi-documentary war epic, with over three dozen international stars (including John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Henry Fonda, Sean Connery, Rod Steiger, Robert Wagner, Richard Burton, etc.) and three directors (Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, and Bernhard Wicki):

  • the recreation of the Allied invasion of Normandy Beach (D-Day, June 6, 1944) from five separate invasion points, with sweeping B/W Cinemascopic views of the assault as the various Allied troops left their gunships and advanced onto the beachhead
Allied Invasion of Normandy - D-Day
  • the spectacular POV sequence of the beach being hit by strafing gunfire from Luftwaffe planes
  • the U.S. Ranger Assault Group's ascent up the 100 foot tall steep cliffs of Pointe du Hoc, in order to take over German fortifications and artillery
  • the counter-attack sequence of US 505th group of infantry paratroopers parachuting into Sainte-Mère-Église, where one of the soldiers, Pvt. John Steele (Red Buttons) - who was caught in a high church steeple, watched in horror as his fellow paratroopers were gunned down on the ground by the Germans when they landed

Ascent up the 100 Foot Steep Cliffs

Paratrooper Steele Caught in Church Steeple

Longtime Companion (1990)

In Norman Rene's sensitively-told, independent ensemble AIDS film about the devastating effects of the epidemic (regarded first as a mysterious "cancer") told in vignettes involving seven gay New Yorkers - it was the first major feature film to deal explicitly with AIDS - two earlier limited release films that also dealt with AIDS were Buddies (1985) and Parting Glances (1986):

  • the story of white Manhattanites in the 80s decade, including David (Bruce Davison in an Oscar-nominated performance) as the lover of a deteriorating AIDS patient, soap opera scriptwriter Sean (Mark Lamos); the scene of David's loving, calm advice to his dying partner and 'longtime companion' Sean: ("It's OK, you can go. Let go now, baby. It's all right. Don't be afraid. I'm here...You let go of everything. Don't hold on...Let go. Just relax, let everything go. Let go. Let go...I know you're tired. Just let go. I've got ya. Now nothin' bad's gonna happen. Let go of everything. Don't worry. Let go. All your pain. Just let it all go. Just let go. There you go")
  • the famous closing "Fire Island Fantasy" in which the three surviving friends Willy (Campbell Scott), Alan/Fuzzy (Stephen Caffrey) and Lisa (Mary-Louise Parker) strolled on an empty Fire Island beach when Willy wistfully mused: ("It seems inconceivable, doesn't it... there was ever a time before all this, when we didn't wake up every day wondering who's sick now, who else is gone?...I just want to be there if they ever do find a cure") - as bluegrass singer Zane Campbell's haunting Post-Mortem Bar was heard in the background
  • the heart-breaking fantasy of the joyous reunion/party of the three survivors and their dead loved ones, when all of the dead reverted back to their healthy selves for a few moments and were greeted by the threesome before cutting back to them on the beach alone, as Willy repeated: "I just want to be there" - the film's last line

David to Sean: "Let go"



"Fire Island Fantasy"

Lord of the Flies (1963, UK)

In Peter Brook's adaptation of William Golding's dark novel - a nightmarish and pessimistic story of about 30 English schoolboys (all non-professionals) stranded on a deserted tropical island following a North Pacific Ocean plane crash (seen in a montage of still photographs during the opening credits, hinting at a nuclear war threatening England and the subsequent evacuation), who became savages and murderers - [Note: also remade in color as Lord of the Flies (1990) by director Harry Hook]:

  • the early scene of the marooned castaways assembling together to elect a thoughtful, democratic leader or chief named Ralph (James Aubrey); the second in command choir leader Jack Merridew (Tom Chapin) announced to the group: "We're on an uninhabited island. We shall have to look after ourselves. But it's a good island. There's lots of fruit, water, and I'm pretty sure there aren't any dangerous animals. So things aren't so bad. None of us are hurt. There isn't any danger, and we can build shelters and be comfortable. So if we're sensible, if we do things properly, if we don't lose our head, we'll be all right"
  • afterwards, Ralph then advised them: "And another thing. We can't have everybody talking at once. We shall have to put our hands up, like we do at school. Then I'll give him the conch"; Jack agreed with Ralph - and added the ironic statement: "We've got to have rules and obey them. After all, we're not savages, we're English, and the English are best at everything...so we'll have lots of rules, and when anybody breaks them..."
  • the capture of a wild pig - its slaughter, roasting, and devouring - and the boys' repetitive chant afterwards - repeated often in the film: "Kill the pig! Slit her throat! Bash her in! Kill the pig!..."
  • the scenes of Jack's obsessed belief in a threatening, shape-shifting but imaginary "Beast" - and his creation of a sow's head on a stick (with flies swarming around) as an offering to the mythical "Beast" - their new God - and as a way to align the war-painted 'hunter' boys behind him for protection
Pig on a Stick: "The Beast"
or "Lord of the Flies"
The Firelight Dance
  • the sequence of the frenzied firelight dance around a large campfire by Jack's followers - soon followed by the accidental murder of young, innocent, blonde-haired Simon (Tom Gaman) who raced back to the camp with news of the discovery of the sow's head (the titular "Lord of the Flies"), and was mistaken for the "Beast" itself - the boy was impaled to death with sharpened spears by the others in the darkness
  • the two emerging leaders in the group: warlike and cruel Roger (Roger Elwin), along with Jack, who were only interested in hunting, feasting, dancing, and combat, and his remaining two rivals: the exiled Ralph and his friend - the pudgy, asthmatic and bespectacled Piggy (Hugh Edwards) (who had lost his glasses, and found them smashed); the boys who were allied with the barbaric Roger (now wearing body paint) stood at the top of the cliff and ignored that Piggy had the 'conch' in his hand and was speaking to them: "Let me speak. I've got the conch. Which is it better to be, a pack of painted savages like you are, or sensible like Ralph is? Which is better, to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill?"; Piggy was answered by a large rock boulder dislodged from the cliff by Roger above that fell on him and crushed him to death
  • and the concluding scene - the island burned while the body-painted boys rushed to the beach to pursue after Ralph; a naval officer (dressed in white) was shocked to discover Ralph at his feet and crawling up to him while being hunted by the more sinister, violence-prone and savage rival Jack and his tribal followers; one of the younger boys Percival (Kent Fletcher) approached the officer to speak to him, but was unable to remember his name (a symbol of lost civilization); the rescued Ralph stared at the officers of a landing party standing on the shore, dropped his head, and silently sobbed as the film ended (with flames and smoke behind him)
The Savage Boys Discovered by Naval Officers

Jack: "We're not savages"

Roasting Wild Pig


Piggy: "I've got the conch..."

Roger Toppling Boulder


The Deadly Assault on Piggy - Crushed by the Falling Boulder

The Schoolboy Castaways - Turned into Wild, Painted and Tribal Warriors

Jack Looking Down at Piggy's Death

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

In Peter Jackson's first installment of J.R.R. Tolkein's legendary Middle-Earth saga, a fantasy-drama epic:

  • at the Bridge of Khazad-dum in the dark Mines of Moria, the scene of Wizard Gandalf's (Ian McKellen) stand-off against the fiery ancient demon Balrog ("You shall not pass") so the others could escape, although he fell (seemingly to his death) into the chasm (following after Balrog) when his leg was caught by Balrog's giant whip; as he fell, he called out to the fellowship: "Fly, you fools!"
  • the tragic, sacrificial death of Prince Boromir (Sean Bean) at the hands of Saruman's (Christopher Lee) advanced breed of warriors known as Uruk-hai; he was shot with three big black arrows in his torso from the bow of the fiercesome Orc Commander Lurtz (Lawrence Makoare); after angered Ranger Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) (aka Strider) attacked Lurtz and killed him, Aragorn promised that he wouldn't allow the kingdom of Gondor to fall into ruin: "I do not know what strength is in my blood, but I swear to you, I will not let the White City fall nor our people fail." Boromir's dying words expressed his allegiance to Aragorn as his king: "Our people. Our people. I would have followed you, my brother. My captain. My king."

Standoff at the Bridge: Gandalf vs. Balrog


Death of Prince Boromir

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

In Peter Jackson's second installment of the Middle-Earth saga:

  • the climactic and dramatic scene of the Battle at Helm's Deep, when Saruman sent his vast ten-thousands of troops (composed of monster warriors called Uruk-hai - Orcs cross-bred with Men) from Isengard to attack the small overwhelmed army of 300 (with bows and arrows) and destroy the world of Men; the archers were advised: "Their armor is weak at the neck and beneath the arm"
  • although the situation looked dire and impossible, a last horseback attack into the midst of the enemy was led by King Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) (to allow the women and children to escape on a mountain pass), bolstered by the arrival at sunrise of reborn Gandalf the White (Ian McKellen) (on his white horse) and Eomer (Karl Urban) (and his cavalry warriors) who then triumphed over Saruman's Uruk-hai/Orc troops


Battle at Helm's Deep: Uruks vs. King Aragorn's Forces With Bows/Arrows

Lost Horizon (1937)

In director Frank Capra's classic adventure and romantic fantasy about Shangri-La:

  • the opening scene of the last group of white westerner refugees flown out to Shanghai on a plane, as bullets flew about an airfield in war-torn China in 1935, and the introduction of the main character: courageous British diplomat (Foreign Secretary-designate), Far Eastern writer and idealistic dreamer Robert Conway (Ronald Colman)
  • after being hijacked, the plane's crash-landing in the Tibetan Himalayas, followed soon by the first views of the idyllic valley of Shangri-La - a paradise on Earth - where the group of survivors was led by Chang (H.B. Warner)
  • Robert Conway's spying on 30 year-old Sondra (Jane Wyatt in her film debut) skinny-dipping in a mountain pool, and his growing romance with her
  • the scene of Sondra explaining to world-weary Robert how she was orphaned after her explorer-parents died during a lost expedition in the "wild country beyond the pass," and how she was brought up at Shangri-La and the aging process had slowed: ("Perhaps because you've always been a part of Shangri-La without knowing it... I'm sure of it, just as I'm sure there's a wish for Shangri-La in everyone's heart. I've never seen the outside world, but I understand there are millions and millions of people who are supposed to be mean and greedy. And I just know that secretly, they are all hoping to find a garden spot where there is peace, security, where there's beauty and comfort, where they wouldn't have to be mean and greedy. Oh, I just wish the whole world might come to this valley") - Robert was still astounded by the promise of life at Shangri-La and his feelings of deja-vu, as they talked in a cherry-blossoming orchard
  • the High Lama's (Sam Jaffe) discussion with Conway about the reason and purpose for the establishment of Shangri-La: ("We have reason. It is the entire meaning and purpose of Shangri-La. It came to me in a vision long, long ago. I saw all the nations strengthening, not in wisdom, but in the vulgar passions and the will to destroy. I saw their machine power multiplying until a single weaponed man might match a whole army. I foresaw a time when man exulting in the technique of murder, would rage so hotly over the world, that every book, every treasure would be doomed to destruction. This vision was so vivid and so moving that I determined to gather together all things of beauty and culture that I could and preserve them here against the doom toward which the world is rushing. Look at the world today. Is there anything more pitiful? What madness there is! What blindness! What unintelligent leadership! A scurrying mass of bewildered humanity crashing headlong against each other, compelled by an orgy of greed and brutality. The time must come, my friend, when this orgy will spend itself, when brutality and the lust for power must perish by its own sword. Against that time is why I avoided death and am here and why you were brought here. For when that day comes, the world must begin to look for a new life. And it is our hope that they may find it here. For here, we shall be with their books and their music and the way of life based on one simple rule: Be kind. When that day comes, it is our hope that the brotherly love of Shangri-La will spread throughout the world"); when he finished, the High Lama stood and smiled with a broad, toothless grin
The High Lama's Description of the Purpose for Shangri-La
  • the sequence of the High Priest's designation of the idealistic, like-minded Robert Conway as his successor (the High Priest had arranged with Sondra for Conway's abduction) before he was to peacefully expire at about 200 years of age: ("I am placing in your hands the future and destiny of Shangri-La, for I am going to die. I knew my work was done when I first set eyes upon you. I've waited for you, my son, for a long time. I've sat in this room and seen the faces of newcomers. I've looked into their eyes and heard their voices, always in hope that I might find you. My friend, it is not an arduous task that I bequeath, for our order knows only silken bonds. To be gentle and patient, to care for the riches of the mind, to preside in wisdom while the storm rages without...You, my son, will live through the storm. You will preserve the fragrance of our history and add to it a touch of your own mind. Beyond that, my vision weakens but I see at a great distance a new world stirring in the ruins, stirring clumsily but in hopefulness, seeking its lost and legendary treasures, and they will all be here, my son, hidden behind the mountains in the Valley of the Blue Moon, preserved as by a miracle")
  • while leaving the Valley, Robert's one last look back, in a closeup image, for a final tearful and anguished view of the paradise refuge - one of the film's most memorable and powerful moments - as he departed from Shangri-La
  • the withered aging of Maria's (Margo) face after leaving the idyllic paradise where she had grown up, as Robert's impulsive younger brother George (John Howard) screamed at his brother who was carrying Maria slung on his back: ("Look at her face! Her face! Look at her face!"); George could not bear to see the decomposing body of the beloved woman (who was actually over 60 years of age) - and he committed suicide by throwing himself off the cliff
George's Reaction to Maria's Withering Face
  • the next-to-last scene regarding the missing Robert Conway, who had been found alive in a Chinese mission suffering from amnesia (about the entire previous year); as Conway was being brought home to England by explorer Lord Gainsford (Hugh Buckler) aboard the SS Manchuria, he remembered Shangri-La on his return voyage - and jumped ship - determined to return to Shangri-La; back in England after a futile 10 month search for Conway, Gainsford offered a toast and salute: ("Yes. Yes, I believe it. I believe it because I want to believe it. Gentlemen, I give you a toast. Here's my hope that Robert Conway will find his Shangri-La. Here's my hope that we all find our Shangri-La")
  • the film's final image - a bearded and fatigued Robert Conway struggled through the snow to regain and recapture his lost dream by returning to Shangri-La - he viewed the sanctuary of the lost valley through an elusive mountain entrance, and the bells pealed again

First View of Shangri-La

Sondra Caught Skinny-Dipping

Sondra's Wish: "Oh I just wish the whole world might come to this valley"

Growing Romance


The High Priest Designating Robert as His Successor

Robert's Last Look Back at Shangri-La

Lord Gainsford's Toast to Robert and Shangri-La

Robert's Return to Shangri-La

Lost in America (1985)

In Albert Brooks' funny road-trip comedy about Los Angeles yuppies finding the 'American dream' - a couple gave up their upwardly mobile, workaholic lives to 'drop-out' in exchange for a free-spirited, Easy Rider-inspired road-trip in a Winnebago motorhome:

  • the early scene of neurotic adman David Howard's (writer/director Albert Brooks) last day at work when he had a long telephone conversation with Mercedes dealer Hans (Hans Wagner) about buying one of the luxury vehicles; when negotiating about the total price, the dealer replied that everything was included in the price ($44,420), and he would have to add only one thing: "Just leather, that's all you'd have to add, nothing else"; David was astounded: "Really?...It doesn't come with leather?" - the dealer specified: "It's what they call Mercedes leather"; David asked about the inferior leather: "What would that be?" - and he was told: "It's a very thick vinyl, a beautiful seat"
  • the scene of David's firing in executive Paul Dunn's (Michael Greene) office, after eight years of service, when he was offered a transfer to New York rather than a promotion to the position of senior vice-president, and he refused to take no for an answer; when his boss tried to reason with him: "Look, I know you're upset, and I can appreciate it. And I'm gonna forget what you said a few minutes ago. I'm sure you don't want to blow eight years with this company" - David audaciously replied: ("F--k you!); the boss simply answered: "David, you're fired!"; David went on a rampage: ("Fired? Oh, I'm fired! Oh, this is great. How dare you? I want my eight years back! I've wasted my youth for you. I'm wasted! I'm over. Come on. I want 'em back! I'm gonna stand in this office until you give them back to me! Better than that, I'm gonna start taking things home with me. I want your clock, right behind you. Give me that clock!")
  • the sequence of David's conversation immediately after with ditzy wife Linda (Julie Hagerty) about his firing, and his urging of her to quit her job too: ("Quit your job...I did, you do it!...Well, I didn't really quit, but I got fired but it was the same thing. Linda, you were right! No more 'Responsible David'. I'm free. I was responsibly blind, honey. I was a dead man...I'm giving you credit for saving my life....Linda, they were jacking me off. I was on the road to nowhere. Do you know the road? It's a nowhere road. It goes nowhere! You're on it! You don't know it? It's a nowhere road. It just goes around in a circle. It's the carrot on the stick, and the watch when you're 70")
  • the upwardly mobile, workaholic couple's dropping out of society after selling their house, and combining their assets to create a comfortable 'nest-egg' of $100,000; and their drive out of Los Angeles to Las Vegas in a recreational vehicle Winnebago for a road trip, while David chowed-down on a micro-waved melted cheese sandwich: ("The further we get from LA, the better it tastes") - and his nervousness about their plan to remarry: ("I'm nervous, but I can't wait to marry you....Clara says that the Silver Bell Chapel is the cutest one...We'll get there at 10:30, do it, and then we're on our way. Las Vegas here we come!")
  • the sequence of Linda's disastrous night-long experience at a roulette table in Las Vegas' Desert Inn casino (gambling on # 22: "Twenty-two, twenty-two, come on back to me, come on back to me!") when she had gambled away their nest-egg - to David's dismay: ("Say it! Say it! Say 'I lost the nest-egg.' Go on, say it!")
  • David's painful begging and unconvincing proposal to the casino manager (Garry Marshall) to get their money back: ("As the boldest experiment in advertising history, you give us our money back....Give us our money back. Think of the publicity...You gave my wife and I our money back because you reviewed our situation, and you realized that we dropped out of society, and we, we, we weren't just gamblers. And we made a mistake and you gave our money back. Do you know -- you couldn't get a room in this place in ten years....You keep all the money. It's just that, that that my wife and I aren't gamblers. That's what I'm saying. That's the distinction....We represent the people who have taken the chance and we made a mistake. And the Desert Inn corrects it and gives it back. There's a warm feeling here...In the campaign, you make a clear distinction between the bold - who would be my wife and I - and then all the other schmucks who come here to see Wayne Newton....This costs you nothing. To give us our money back is nothing. You would be the one who would benefit")
  • the central scene of the couple's complete and utter meltdown and self-destruction at the Hoover Dam, when they both stood on the edge of the railing looking down, and David suggested: ("Nice dam, huh? Do you want to go first, or should I?") - and then he ranted and raved at her about their impoverishment: ("You took my nest-egg and you broke it all over the Desert Inn. You filled up the casino with yolk....I was sleeping....Don't treat me like I'm an insane patient, please! ...Out here? Out where? We live here. Get used to the cement, honey. This is our house, forever! This is it. We found ourselves. Boy, did we find ourselves in the middle of nowhere, with nothing!")
The Couple's Meltdown at Hoover Dam
  • inside the recreational vehicle, David's lengthy description of the concept of the sacred 'nest-egg' principle to Linda: ("Oh, God. I guess this was my fault. That's what I'm thinking. Maybe I just didn't explain the nest egg well enough. If you had understood, you know, it's a very sacred thing, the nest egg, and if you'd understood the Nest Egg Principle, as we will now call it, in the first of many lectures that you will have to get, because if we are to ever acquire another nest egg, we both have to understand what it means. The egg is a protector, like a god, and we sit under the nest egg, and we are protected by it. Without it? No protection! Want me to go on? It pours rain. Hey, the rain drops on the egg and falls off the side. Without the egg? Wet! It's over. But you didn't understand it and that's why we're where we are"); Linda briefly responded: ("I understood the nest egg"); David continued: ("Oh, please. Do me a favor. Don't use the word. You may not use that word. It's off limits to you! Only those in this house who understand nest egg may use it! And don't use any part of it, either. Don't use 'nest.' Don't use 'egg.' You're out in the forest you can point: 'The bird lives in a round stick.' And, and, and you have things over easy with toast!")
  • David's interview with an employment agency in a small Arizona town for a job, when the obnoxious, cynical counselor reminded him he had already been fired from a high-paying $100,000 job, and that he wouldn't be interested in a lowly job: ("You couldn't change your life on a $100 thousand dollars?...What I do have, you wouldn't be interested in....Coming from your position and your salary you wouldn't be interested in it"); when David asked about the salary, the counselor joked: ("A hundred thousand dollars!...It pays $5.50 an hour plus benefits"); David persisted, asking about the existence of "a box of higher-paying jobs," when the counselor sarcastically replied: ("Oh, I know, you mean the $100,000 box!")
  • the last view of David working as a school crossing guard and being taunted by obnoxious school kids on bikes

Negotiating with a Mercedes Car Dealer

David's Firing: "I want my eight years back!"

David to Linda: "Quit your job!"

Leaving Los Angeles in a Winnebago

Linda's Disastrous Night at a Vegas Roulette Table

David Begging Casino Manager To Return Gambling Money

David's 'Nest-Egg Principle' Speech to Linda

Interview at a Small-Town Employment Agency

David as a School Crossing Guard

Lost in Translation (2003)

In director/writer Sofia Coppola's award-winning romance-drama:

  • the opening views of a garish-nighttime Tokyo from within a limo after arrival at the New Tokyo International Airport, and his transport to the Park Hyatt Tokyo luxury hotel
  • the funny scene of middle-aged, disconnected, aging movie star Bob Harris (Bill Murray) shooting a Suntory whiskey commercial in Tokyo that required many takes due to loss of meaning and language differences with the director; in the short commercial, his only line was: "For relaxing times, make it Suntory time"; the director insisted through his translator: "Could you do it slower, with more intensity?"
  • the scene of a Japanese call girl (a "Premium Fantasy" girl) who entered Bob's room, offered a massage, and then demanded: "Lip my stocking" - when he finally understood, he asked: "You want me to rip your stocking?"
  • the sequence of Bob's problems with the hotel's exercise walking machine, that shouted out computerized Japanese instructions, sped up, and went backwards
  • the awkward hotel lobby encounter between photographer husband John John (Giovanni Ribisi) who was on a shooting assignment in Tokyo with his recent college-graduated wife Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), when he met up with ditzy Hollywood actress Kelly (Anna Faris) who gushed about her life: ("I'm here promoting that action movie I did. Yeah, you know...I'm doing 20 million interviews a day...It's crazy. It's so good to see you...John, John, you are my favorite photographer. No, you are. I only want you to shoot me. It's true... Oh my god, I have the worst B.O. right now. I'm so sorry"); she was amazed that he was married when introduced to Charlotte, and afterwards told them she was registered under the pseudonym Evelyn Waugh; when Charlotte noted to John: "Evelyn Waugh was a man" - he criticized her: "Oh come on, she's nice. You know, not everybody went to Yale. It was just a pseudonym, for Christ's sake....Well, why do you have to point out how stupid everybody is all the time?"
  • the short sequence of Charlotte alone, lost and isolated in her hotel room, while her husband was away on a photo shoot, when she listened on headphones to Michael Rohatin's self-help CD audio book titled "A Soul's Search" -- "Do you ever wonder what your purpose in life is? This book is about finding your soul's purpose or destiny. Every soul has its path. Sometimes that path is not clear. The Inner Map Theory is an example of how each soul begins with an imprint, all compacted into a pattern that has been selected by your soul before you've even gotten here"
  • and later, Charlotte's overhearing of Kelly's press conference in the hotel about her film "Midnight Velocity" when she spoke about her co-star Keanu Reeves: ("He was always so -- he was always, you know, giving me ideas, and, you know, really helpful. He made me feel really comfortable, so -- and we both have two dogs, and we both live in L.A., so we have all these different things in common. So, you know, we both really like Mexican food and yoga and karate!")
  • Bob's scenes of a growing and intimate friendship with the bored Charlotte after meeting her in the luxury hotel bar; in their first conversation, he introduced himself and told what he was doing after 25 years of marriage: ("Taking a break from my wife, forgetting my son's birthday, and, uh, getting paid $2 million to endorse a whiskey when I could be doing a play somewhere, but the good news is, the whiskey works"); she told a bit about herself, and how she had been married already for two years: ("My husband's a photographer, so he's here working and, uh, I wasn't doing anything, so I came along. And we have some friends that live here"); soon the two spent off hours in various locales within the hotel (the elevator, hallway) and throughout the city (karaoke bars, pachinko parlors, etc.) as they shared their disoriented bewilderment about their married lives and problems
  • the scene of Bob and Charlotte talking while lying on a bed, when she asked about life and marriage: "Does it get easier?" - and his responses in their conversation: ("No, yes. It gets easier...The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you...We used to have a lot of fun. Lydia would come with me when I made the movies, and we would laugh about it all. Now she doesn't want to leave the kids, and she doesn't need me to be there. The kids miss me, but they're fine. It gets a whole lot more complicated when you have kids...It's the most terrifying day of your life the day the first one is born...Your life, as you know it, is gone. Never to return. But they learn how to walk, and they learn how to talk, and, and you want to be with them. And they turn out to be the most delightful people you will ever meet in your life")
Enigmatic Goodbye and Ending
  • the enigmatic ending in which there was a whispered secret message (was it? - "I have to be leaving, but I won't let that come between us. OK?") and a kiss between Bob and Charlotte on a busy Tokyo street as they said goodbye to each other - when he was on his way to the airport in a taxi


Suntory Whiskey Commercial

"Premium Fantasy" Girl: "Lip my stocking"

Hotel's Exercise Machine


Ditzy Hollywood Actress Kelly

Charlotte Alone and Lost

Meeting in the Hotel Bar

Conversing on Bed

The Lost One (1951, Germany) (aka Der Verlorene)

In actor/director-writer Peter Lorre's sole directorial effort after leaving the Hollywood studio system - an expressionistic, bleak, low-budget, film noirish crime-drama thriller reminiscent of Lorre's earlier film - Fritz Lang's M (1931, Germ.), and serving as a confessional symbol of Germany's collective war guilt:

  • the protagonist: the chain-smoking and hard-drinking, world-weary resident physician Dr. Karl Neumeister (Peter Lorre) - working at a post-war displaced-persons refugee camp near Hamburg, delivering inoculations - and his flashbacked chronological story about the war years
  • at the refugee camp, he met up with unrepentant Nowak (Karl John) - a renamed acquaintance and lab assistant from his past who was assigned to be his new helper in the camp; Neumeister was reminded of his guilty activities and overwhelmed when he recalled a traumatic war crime years earlier in 1943
  • Note: Neumeister was known as Nazi Germany scientist Dr. Karl Rothe, while conducting secret research on pathogenic microbes in Nazi-era Hamburg, although someone was leaking results of his secret studies to the Allies
  • Dr. Rothe's fiancee Inge Hermann (Renate Mannhardt) had been discovered to be working as a spy for the Allies; her duplicity was revealed by Hösch (aka Nowak) (Karl John), an undercover Gestapo Nazi hired by intelligence chief Col. Winkler (Helmut Rudolph) to determine the source of the leak of Rothe's research; Rothe was provoked by Hosch into a jealous rage to kill his fiancee Inge for the double-betrayal - for having cheated on him with Hosch, and for her treason
  • the gripping scene of Rothe's murder (off-screen) of Inge (by strangulation) when she tried to win him back; as she knelt before him and closed her eyes, she helped him to gently caress and touch her hair, necklace, and neck before rising up (black covered the screen) and presumably tightening his hands around her neck; afterwards, he was seen sitting with her necklace no longer on her neck; he calmly put the necklace into his pocket; after the crime, the government authorities - including Hosch and Rothe - covered up the crime (making it appear like a suicide)
Rothe's Strangulation Murder of Fiancee Inge Hermann
For Treason and Infidelity
  • Rothe's transformation into a pathological, cold-blooded serial killer - and the powerful scene of his murderous intent in an empty staircase with an intuitive, street-walking prostitute (Gisela Trowe) (who looked at him, recognized him as a death-threatening man filled with evil, labeled him a "Killer!", and ran off)
  • Rothe's subsequent murder of a seductive married woman (Lotte Rausch) in a train compartment, as he stared at her while lighting his cigarette, and she realized - although too late - that she was about to be murdered due to the sick impulses of Rothe
  • the concluding downbeat pair of chilling sequences: Neumeister's revenge against Nowak by point-blank shooting him with a gun, and then his own self-destructive suicide when Neumeister walked out to nearby train tracks, and stood with his back to an oncoming train, covered his face with his hand, and awaited obliterating death
Shooting Nowak
Neumeister's Suicide

Dr. Karl Neumeister (Peter Lorre)

Dr. Neumeister's Camp Helper Nowak



Rothe's Threatened Murder of Prostitute


Murder of Married Woman in Train Compartment

The Lost Patrol (1934)

In John Ford's bleak war/adventure drama set during WWI, with a stirring Max Steiner musical score:

  • the opening scene of a British patrol commander shot by an unseen Arab sniper ("right through the lung") and the fall off his horse; the "Sergeant" was angered: ("Blasted Arabs. Hide like sand-flies. Never see 'em")
  • the "Sergeant" (Victor McLaglen), now in charge, and his response to finding an abandoned desert oasis with food and water: "And not a ghost of an idea where we're at, what we're here for and where we're going"
  • the drama as the members of the lost patrol were picked off one-by-one by the hidden enemy, until only the Sergeant was left
  • the sole-surviving and dazed Sergeant's mad machine-gunning of a group of six Arab snipers, and wildly bragged to his fallen comrades after killing them: ("We got 'em, I got 'em")
  • the mirage-like appearance in the desert of a British rescue column (a second rescue party) amidst the sand dunes
  • in the memorable film ending of the Sergeant's rescue by another British patrol, his silent answer to the Colonel's question: "Where are your men? Speak up, man. Where's your section?" - the Sergeant pointed to the gleaming row of sabers marking the heads of all the graves of the men who had perished in his patrol group
"Where are your men?"
Graves Marked by Sabers

British Commander Shot by Sniper

Commanding "Sergeant"
(Victor McLaglen)


Mad Machine-Gunning: "We got 'em, I got 'em"

Appearance of Rescue Column On Sand Dunes

The Lost Weekend (1945)

In Billy Wilder's social problem film about alcohol addiction:

  • the opening scene with a hidden half-full bottle of whiskey dangling out the window of NY wanna-be writer Don Birnam (Oscar-winning Ray Milland) who was struggling with writer's block, and packing for a short five-day vacation when his devoted brother Wick (Phillip Terry) discovered the bottle and emptied it in the bathroom sink, while Don falsely vowed: ("I didn't know it was there. Even if I had, I wouldn't have touched it")
  • the memorable dialogue between Birnam and his favorite bartender Nat (Howard da Silva) in a Third Avenue bar near 42nd Street - and his delusion about how drinking improved his mind: ("It shrinks my liver, doesn't it, Nat? It pickles my kidneys. Yes. But what does it do to my mind? It tosses the sandbags overboard so the balloon can soar. Suddenly, I'm above the ordinary. I'm confident, supremely confident. I'm walking a tightrope over Niagara Falls. I'm one of the great ones. I'm Michelangelo molding the beard of Moses. I'm Van Gogh painting pure sunlight. I'm Horowitz playing the Emperor Concerto. I'm John Barrymore before the movies got him by the throat. I'm Jesse James and his two brothers. All three of 'em. I'm W. Shakespeare. And out there, it's not Third Avenue any longer. It's the Nile, Nat - the Nile, and down it floats the barge of Cleopatra. Come here")
  • the scene of aspiring writer Birnam's confession of his drinking problem to girlfriend Helen St. James (Jane Wyman), about how his soaring, creative juices flowed with just a few drinks, but then spiraled down into despair and agony when the booze wore off - he described how he was helplessly and schizophrenically divided between Don the Drunk and Don the Writer: ("That made all the difference. Suddenly, I could see the whole thing. The tragic sweep of the great novel beautifully proportioned. But before I could really grab it and throw it down on paper, the drinks would wear off and everything would be gone like a mirage. Then there was despair, and I'd drink to counter-balance despair. And then one to counter-balance the counter-balance. And I'd sit in front of that typewriter trying to squeeze out one page that was half-way decent...")
  • believing that he was a terminal drunk and a "zero" person who lived off his brother Wick's charity, 33 year-old Don challenged Helen to leave him: ("Look Helen, do yourself a favor. Go on, clear out"), but she lovingly refused to admit that either of them were defeated: "I'm gonna fight, and fight and fight..."
Confession of His Drinking Problem
to Girlfriend Helen (Jane Wyman)
  • the shadowy outline of a whiskey bottle in his overhead light fixture
  • the scene of alcoholic Birnam's pitiful attempt to sell his typewriter and his desperate search from one closed pawn shop to another along Third Avenue on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur
  • his psychiatric incarceration in the alcoholic ward of Bellevue Hospital where he was mocked by cynical male nurse 'Bim' Nolan (Frank Faylen) and warned of the DT's when detoxifying: ("They'll happen to be a little floor show later on around here. It might get on your nerves...Ever have the DT's?...You will, brother...After all, you're just a freshman. Wait'll you're a sophomore. That's when you start seeing the little animals. You know that stuff about pink elephants? That's the bunk. It's little animals! Little tiny turkeys in straw hats. Midget monkeys coming through the keyholes. See that guy over there? With him it's beetles. Come the night, he sees beetles crawling all over him. Has to be dark though. It's like the doctor was just telling me - delirium is a disease of the night. Good night")
In Bellevue Hospital - Warned of the DTs
  • his nightmarish hallucinations of a bat and a mouse in his apartment (accompanied by the first major (and effective) use of the spooky-sounding theremin during this and other nightmare sequences)
  • in the final scene, Birnam's rescue by Helen from suicide (he wrote a suicide note and was planning to shoot himself in his bathroom)

Whiskey Bottle Dangling From Window


The Delusionary Birnam Speaking to Third Avenue Bartender Nat


Shadow of Whiskey Bottle Hidden in Overhead Lamp Fixture


Attempt to Pawn Off His Typewriter on Third Avenue on a Holiday


Hallucinatory Effects of Alcoholism - Bats Flying

Suicide Note

The Love Bug (1968)

In Disney's very popular and charming family comedy film (Walt's last live-action film!) about a remarkable 1963 fabric-topped, white-colored VW Beetle - the first in a series of remakes and a TV series, including four full-length feature film sequels (with the car's name "Herbie"): Herbie Rides Again (1974), Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977), Herbie Goes Bananas (1980), and the remake Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005) (starring Lindsay Lohan, Michael Keaton, and Matt Dillon):

  • the film's tagline, reflecting the late 60s and Herbie's anthropomorphic abilities: "It's a Love-in for Herbie... the incredible little car who shifts for himself!"
  • the early scene of a used VW's (later named Herbie) first appearance in the car showroom of an upscale European car dealership, owned by British race driver Peter Thorndyke (David Tomlinson), with his attractive sales assistant/secretary Carole Bennett (Michele Lee); customer Jim Douglas (Dean Jones) admitted that he was looking for "cheap, honest transportation"; Herbie affectionately bumped Jim the leg, but Thorndyke despised the low-cost car - he kicked the car, called it an "eyesore," and ordered it removed
  • the discovery of Herbie parked outside the lodgings on San Francisco Bay of unlucky, bachelor race-car driver Jim the morning after he had visited Thorndyke's car dealership; the car had driven itself to Jim's home; Jim's eccentric mechanic friend and roommate Tennessee Steinmetz (Buddy Hackett) called the car "a cute little fella"; Jim asked: "How did that little car get here?" - nonetheless, he was suspected of "grand theft" and was obligated to return Herbie to the dealership
  • the scene of Jim's test drive with Carole to check out the car's driveability; when Jim took over the driving, the car demonstrated its speed and magical trick capabilities; the car refused to let Carole out of the car, forced them to have a date, and drove the couple to a drive-in; Carole was locked into the car and shouted for help from some hippies in a nearby psychedelic van: "Help, I'm a prisoner, I can't get out"; one of the hippies (Dean Jones in disguise) replied: "We all prisoners, chickie-baby. We all locked in (he turned to his partner) A couple of weirdos, Guinevere!"; when Carole tried to get out the driver's side, she ended up in Jim's lap, and the loud-mouthed drive-in carhop (Iris Adrian) cautioned them: "Hey, knock it off, will ya, Sis; I ain't sayin' this is the classiest joint in town, but we gotta draw the line somewhere. Come on, back in your seat. Why don't you go up to Seabreeze Point? Fuzz don't bother ya much up there"
"I'm a prisoner"
"We all prisoners"
Drive-In Car Hop: "Knock it off, will ya, Sis!"
  • Jim's praise to Tennessee about the "something special" Herbie: "This baby happens to have an extra turn of speed which is the only thing I care about....I may be kidding myself, but I think I can make something out of that sad bucket of bolts"
  • the budding romance between Carole and Jim - encouraged by Herbie
  • Herbie's jealousy and anger over Jim's acquisition of a new Lamborghini 400GT in exchange for Herbie; and Herbie's suicidal threat to drive off the Golden Gate Bridge
Herbie's Suicidal Threat To Drive Off The Golden Gate Bridge
  • the iconic scene of Herbie skipping or skimming across the surface of a body of water during a race
  • the subsequent races at California raceways between Thorndyke and Jim's "Herbie" - to win the VW back, culminating in a major race known as the "El Dorado" (traveling round-trip from Yosemite in California to Virginia City in Nevada); in the climactic race to the finish-line, Herbie split and elongated his body into two and was able to be victorious - taking both 1st and 3rd places
Victory at El Dorado
  • the happy ending - a wedding and honeymoon for Carole and Jim (chauffeured and driven in the back seat by Herbie); when Tennessee asked where the couple was going, Jim answered: "We don't know. Herb hasn't told us yet. Let's go, Herbie"

Car Dealership Owner Peter Thorndyke
(David Tomlinson)


Thorndyke's Sales Assistant Carole (Michele Lee)

"Love Bug" (Herbie) Nudging Jim's Legs in Showroom

Thorndyke Kicking The VW and Considering it an "Eyesore"

Speedy Test Drive

Jim with Friend/Mechanic Tennessee

Herbie Skimming Over Surface of a Lake


Herbie's Car Races


Enroute to Honeymoon

The Love Eterne (1963, HK) (aka Liang Shan Bo yu Zhu Ying Tai)

In writer/director Han Hsiang Li's stylized musical operetta and tragic love-story (a dreamy romance about forbidden and unrequited love set in the 4th century) - one of the most famous and successful Chinese-language films ever made, with lavish sets, exquisitely-bright costuming, and elegantly staged scenes, and based on a legendary folk tale ("The Butterfly Lovers"), similar to Disney's animated Mulan (1998), and Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet:

  • the character of Zhu Ying-tai (Betty Loh Ti), a teenaged, 16 year-old girl and heiress from a wealthy family, who cross-dressed to disguise herself as a male in order to get an otherwise forbidden education, at the college at Hangzhou
  • Ying-tai's meeting at school with 17 year-old male Liang Shan-bo (portrayed by actress Ivy Ling Po), a working class boy and bookworm; they became close friends ("brothers") during their three years of schooling
  • the scene of their memorable long journey home when at a fantasy bridge, the teasing Ying-tai (secretly in love with Shan-bo) attempted multiple times to reveal that she was really a female to the dense and unsuspecting Shan-bo, who had accompanied her part-way home; all she could do was get him to give his consent to be matched with her "twin sister"
  • after he had returned to school Shan-bo eventually realized his passion for Ying-tai, but he was three months too late -- Ying-tai's conservative parents had blocked the young pair's budding romance by promising her hand in marriage to a son in the powerful and wealthy Ma family
  • in the magical and poignant conclusion, Shan-bo was so grieved by the loss of Ying-tai that he died and was entombed; during a visit to Shan-bo's grave site while on her way to her fiancee's home, Ying-tai (in mourning clothes) pledged her undying love: ("Alive, we couldn't unite, by death we will"); and miraculously, a tornado storm and earthquake cracked opened the brick-covered, dome-shaped tomb and Shan-bo appeared from inside; Ying-tai threw herself in, and the funnel cloud covered the sealed tomb with sand
Shan-bo's Grave-Tomb Cracked Open
Appearance of Shan-bo Inside Tomb
Ying-Tai Threw Herself Into Tomb
  • the final image: when the storm cleared, two remnants of cloth from Ying-tai's mourning clothes were visible on the outside of the tomb; when pulled out, they transformed into two beautiful butterflies that fluttered away into the heavenly skies together, as a chorus sang: "Flowers bloom under rainbow bridge, Butterflies flutter in pairs, Time goes by but their love won't die, That's Liang Shan-bo and Zhu Ying-tai!"

Ying-tai with Shan-bo at Fantasy Bridge

Shan-bo Grieved

Tornado Storm


Two Remnants of Cloth from Ying-Tai's Clothes

Pieces of Cloth Transformed into Heavenly Butterflies

Love Happy (1949)

In director David Miller's anarchic comedy - the Marx Bros' final starring feature, and noted for Marilyn Monroe's small but early memorable walk-on role:

  • Detective Sam Grunion's (Groucho Marx) beautiful blonde client (Marilyn Monroe), who made a dramatic entrance into Grunion's Detective Agency, while Sam held the door open
  • after she sashayed into the office, Sam asked: "Is there anything I can do for ya?" - followed by a pause, reflection, a glance at the audience, and then an aside: "What a ridiculous statement!"; she put her hand on his right shoulder and responded: "Mr. Grunion. I want you to help me"; Grunion was cooperative: "What seems to be the trouble?"; she told him: "Some men are following me," after which he replied: "Really? I can't understand why" - and then rolled his eyes; he volunteered to accompany her to the bus station when she was asked to leave: "I'll take ya down to the bus station. Oh, if I'm not back tonight, go ahead without me. That's been the history of all my romances"

Blonde Client's Dramatic Entrance

"Some men are following me"

"Really? I can't understand why"

Love Story (1970)

In director Arthur Hiller's sentimental and "weepie" romance melodrama:

  • the opening line of Harvard pre-law hockey player Oliver "Preppie" Barrett IV (Ryan O'Neal) as he thought back - in flashback - to the love story he experienced with Radcliffe music student Jenny Cavalleri (Ali MacGraw): ("What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died? That she was beautiful and brilliant? That she loved Mozart and Bach, the Beatles, and me?")
  • the first encounter between the two principals at the front desk of the Radcliffe library when the quick-witted Jenny called him a "preppie" ("You look stupid and rich!"), and her own self-description: "I'm smart and poor"; and his invitation to take her out for coffee, where she learned that he was the heir to the Barrett fortune already demonstrated by buildings named after the Barretts on the Harvard campus; when he was incensed by her repeated insults, he asked: ("If you think I'm a loser, why did you bulldoze me into buying you coffee?") - she memorably replied: "I like your body"
  • the major scene of the star-crossed couple walking across the Harvard campus and talking about their relationship, when he delivered an ultimatum for her to give up her emotional defenses: ("Look, Cavalleri, I know your game, and I'm tired of playing it. You are the supreme Radcliffe smart-ass - the best - you can put down anything in pants. But verbal volleyball is not my idea of a relationship. And if that's what you think it's all about, why don't you just go back to your music wonks, and good luck. See, I think you're scared. You put up a big glass wall to keep from getting hurt. But it also keeps you from getting touched. It's a risk, isn't it, Jenny? At least I had the guts to admit what I felt. Someday, you're gonna have to come up with the courage to admit you care"); when she responded that she cared ("I care"), they kissed and the scene dissolved into their nude embracing and kissing during love-making in his dormitory room
  • in a snowy montage, the loving couple played in the snow, made snow angels, ran and chased after each other, wrestled together, ate snow, made a snowman (and kissed), tossed a football at each other in a stadium, and collapsed in each other's arms with kisses and flecks of snow on their faces
  • the scene of Oliver's impromptu marriage proposal to Jenny after she told him she had a scholarship to study in Paris the following year -- she had told him it was "inevitable...that we're gonna graduate and go our separate ways, and that you're gonna go on to law school...You're a preppy millionaire and I'm a social zero" -- and then he popped the question: "Don't leave me Jenny. Please...What about our marriage?...I'm saying it, now"; she was astounded: "You want to marry me?...Why?"
  • the marriage ceremony and the exchange of vows (as the camera circled around them) between a very poetic Jenny and Oliver, although their wedding was disapproved by Oliver's rich, snobbish, and powerful father Oliver Barrett III (Ray Milland): Jenny: ("When our two souls stand up erect and strong Face to face, silent, drawing nigh and nigher Until the lengthening wings break into fire at either curved point, What bitter wrong can the earth do to us That we should not long be here contented? Think! In mounting higher, the angels would press on us And aspire to drop some golden orb of perfect song Into our deep, dear silence Let us stay rather on earth, Beloved, Where the unfit contrarious moods of men recoil away And isolate pure spirits And permit a place to stand and love in for a day With darkness and the death-hour rounding it"); Oliver responded: ("I give you my hand! I give you my love more precious than money. I give you myself before preaching or law. Will you give me yourself? Will you come travel with me? Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?")
  • the "Love means never having to say you're sorry" scene (Jenny's original statement), when she was found by Oliver crying on the front porch, and they were making amends with each other after a fight; when he apologized: ("Jenny, I'm sorry"), she cautioned him: ("Don't. Love means never having to say you're sorry")
  • the serious scene of the doctor informing Oliver that his 24 year-old wife Jenny was not only incapable of becoming pregnant - she was also dying of an unnamed disease: ("Jenny is very sick... She's dying"); and Oliver's emotionally-numbing walk back to his apartment
  • Jenny's strong reaction to her own diagnosis, and her steadfast insistence that Oliver remain strong and "merry" in the face of her death: ("I'm counting on you to be strong, you god-damn hockey jock...You, after all, you're gonna be the merry widower... Yes, you will be, I want you to be merry. You'll be merry, OK?")
  • the concluding sequence of Jenny's lengthy, tear-inducing final deathbed conversation with Oliver at the Mount Sinai Hospital when she urged him to be strong and told him her final wishes: ("It doesn't hurt, Ollie, really it doesn't. It's like falling off a cliff in slow-motion, you know. Only after a while, you wish you'd hit the ground already, you know...Now you've gotta stop being sick...that guilty look on your face, it's sick. Would you stop blaming yourself, you god-damn stupid preppy. It's nobody's fault. It's not your fault. That's the only thing I'm gonna ask you. Otherwise, I know you're gonna be OK. (pause) Screw Paris!...Screw Paris and music and all that stuff you thought you stole from me. I don't care, don't you believe that? (He shook his head 'no') Then get the hell out of here. I don't want you at my god-damn deathbed"); when he admitted he really did believe her ("I believe you, I really do"), she made a last request of him: ("That's better. Would you please do something for me, Ollie? (He kissed her hand) Would you please hold me? (He half-heartedly hugged her) No, I mean really hold me. Next to me") - and he reclined next to her on the bed, as she died in his arms
Reclining on Bed with Jenny as She Died
Oliver to His Father: "Love means never having to say you're sorry"
Closing Credits
  • afterwards, in the hallway, Oliver spoke to Jenny's father Philip (John Marley), who said with a choked-up voice: ("I wish I hadn't promised Jenny to be strong for you"); as he left the Mount Sinai Hospital, Oliver ran into his father Oliver Barrett III at the entrance, who asked: ("Why didn't you tell me? I made a couple of calls, and as soon as I found out, I jumped right in the car. Oliver, I want to help."); Oliver simply replied: "Jenny's dead." When his father began to reply: "I'm sorry...", Oliver interrupted him and repetitively quoted his late wife's earlier remark to his apologetic father, when referring to their past misunderstandings: ("Love, love means never having to say you're sorry") - the last line of film dialogue
  • for the remaining three minutes in the touching finale, Oliver silently walked across the street to snow-covered Central Park as the poignant, award-winning "Love Story" theme music built up and played and he contemplated what life would have been like with Jenny, while sitting on a bench - the camera pulled away from him, shot from behind, before the closing credits


First Encounter in Radcliffe Library



Walking Across the Harvard Campus Before a Kiss


Snowy Montage

Marriage Proposal


Marital Vows During Marriage Ceremony

"Love Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry"

Doctor's Diagnosis of Jenny's Terminal Illness

Jenny to Oliver: "I want you to be merry"

Loves of a Blonde (1965, Czech.) (aka Lásky Jedné Plavovlásky)

In Milos Forman's coming-of-age romantic drama (his second feature film), a Czech New Wave nominee for Best Foreign Language Film - a sometimes comedic and bittersweet tale of young love in Communist Czechoslovakia:

  • the film's opening (and closing) bookends: an unnamed girl (Táña Zelinková) - the protagonist's factory-worker girlfriend, who sang and played her acoustic guitar, with a Beatles-esque rock and roll love-song and its catchy refrain: "And I love her so, yeah, yeah, yeah, So this great love of mine turned me into a hooligan"
  • the funny and amusing dance mixer sequence in the Czech factory town of Zruč -upon-Sazava, demonstrating the awkwardness and bungling between the sexes; when one paunchy, balding, married, middle-aged People's Army reservist (a member of troops who were accidentally recruited to provide a better balance of the sexes - girls outnumbered boys 16 to one in the town) nervously removed his wedding ring - but when he stood up, it dropped through his pants leg to the floor and noisily rolled away; on his hands and knees, he crawled under a table where a trio of young girls was seated and upset them, before he found his runaway ring; afterwards, he sat next to bored, solitary young blonde shoe factory worker Andula (Hana Brejchová) and asked her to dance
  • the sequence of Andula's chance meeting and flirtations with the thin, shy pianist playboyish Milda (Vladimír Pucholt) who was performing in the dance's musical jazz band; afterwards during a one-night stand with him, he first clumsily repeatedly fought with a uncooperative window shade; in bed with him, she first told him: "But I don't trust you," but during love-making, she quickly affirmed: "I do trust you. I've never trusted anyone so much before"; afterwards, he annoyingly vowed his love multiple times: "I told you at least a hundred times...Didn't I? I don't have a girl in Prague. I don't have a girl in Prague. I don't have a girl in Prague..."; during their relaxed conversation, she also asked him: "Why did you say I was angular?"; his rambling answer was that her body shape was "like a guitar...but one made by Picasso...When painting a woman, he painted her eye here, and her leg somewhere else"; to assure her, he added that it was "good" that she was like a Picasso guitar; he also offhandedly invited her to visit him in his home city of Prague before they parted
One-Night Stand Between Andula and Milda
  • after being cruelly seduced and experiencing a heartthrob crush, the sequence of naive Andula's impulsive departure from her job and town, packing her suitcase, hitchhiking, and her unannounced visit to Milda's Prague home
  • the uncomfortable, harrowing evening's visit with his questioning parents - a ranting mother and bumbling father (Milada Ježková & Josef Šebánek) while waiting for Milda's arrival; once he came home drunk later that night, the son was ordered to sleep in his parent's bedroom to avoid any impropriety - leading to an absurdly comic scene of the three sharing two overcrowded beds (with constant bickering and uncomfortableness), and her realization behind a closed door, alone and crying, that Milda's family didn't care about her (she overheard the mother say that she was an unwanted visitor: "I don't give a damn about her. She ruined my evening")
  • the closing melancholy plucking of a guitar, playing Ava Maria, with images of the resolute and disappointed Andula having returned home and continuing to sadly work in the shoe factory

Unnamed Guitarist Girlfriend

The Runaway Ring Sequence at Dance Mixer

Andula - Blonde Shoe Factory Worker

Andula Sitting with Middle-Aged Reservist at Mixer

Milda Sharing Bed With His Parents: ("This is Terrible") During Milda's Visit

Melancholic and Disappointed

Lust for Life (1956)

In director Vincente Minnelli's CinemaScopic biopic of the famous nineteenth-century Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh:

  • the scene in which impulsive and obsessive artist Vincent Van Gogh (Oscar-nominated Kirk Douglas) agonized over unrequited love and forced himself upon widowed cousin Kay (Jeanette Sterke) - as a result, she was never to talk to him again - and later Van Gogh's persistence to see her (at her parents' home) caused him even more pain and "disappointment in love"
  • the various scenes of his life translated to his painted canvas (such as Vincent's Bedroom at Arles)
  • the vicious argument scenes and stormy relationship between the tortured painter and his brawling fellow housemate/painter-mentor Paul Gauguin (Oscar-winning Anthony Quinn) in Arles (Southern France) about their different art styles: (Gauguin: "...you paint too fast" -- Van Gogh: "You look too fast"); also Gauguin made a spiteful criticism of Van Gogh for his easy life: "I didn't have a brother to support me"
  • the dramatic scene of Van Gogh's discussion with his loyal and financially-supportive Dutch art dealer/brother Theo (James Donald) about his failed life: ("We've grown apart, Theo. Look, you found what you wanted in Paris and I'm glad for you. I've found nothing - anywhere. I've made one bad start after another. One mess after another. I thought I was on my way here by doing God's work. That was the worst failure of all. But no matter how often I fail, there is something in me. That I am good for something")
  • when Theo accused him of wasting his time and becoming an idler, Van Gogh replied that there were two kinds of idlers: ("An idler? Yes. But there are two kinds of idlers. There's the man who's idle because he wants to be, out of laziness. How easy that is. I envy him. There's the other kind, the man who's idle in spite of himself. I want nothing but to work. Only, I can't. I'm in a cage, a cage of shame and self-doubt and failure. Somebody believe me. I'm caged. I'm caged. I'm alone. I'm frightened")
  • the resultant shocking self-mutilation scene of the suffering artist battling his own mirror reflection and his pained head, and then cutting off part of his own left ear (off-screen) with a straight-edged razor, out of extreme loneliness and despair
  • the sequence of Van Gogh's increasing madness when painting in a rural area and black crows attacked (and he added them to his painting), and then shortly later, he steadied a piece of paper in the fork of a tree and wrote himself a note about his severe depression: "I am desperate. I can foresee absolutely nothing. I see no way out" - then, he attempted suicide by shooting himself with a gun he had removed from his pocket (off-screen)
Attacked by Crows
"I am Desperate"
  • the final scene of Van Gogh's death with his brother Theo at his bedside, when he asked: ("Theo? I'd like to go home") - and then slumped over dead, with his pipe falling from his hand; Theo cried out: ("My own brother. My poor, poor brother")

Vincent Van Gogh Forcing Himself on Cousin Kay

Life Translated to the Canvas

Paul Gauguin (Anthony Quinn): "You paint too fast" - Van Gogh: "You look too fast"

Gauguin: "I didn't have a brother to support me"

Theo (James Donald)

Discussion About Two Kinds of Idleness With Brother Theo

Self-Mutilation Scene

Van Gogh's Death

Lust in the Dust (1985)

In Paul Bartel's excessively-campy cult, tasteless Western comedy spoof (whose title was inspired by the nickname given to Selznick's Duel in the Sun (1946)), set in the wild New Mexico western frontier town of Chile Verde in the mid 1880s:

  • the opening 'voice-over narration: "Our passions are like fire and water - good servants but poor masters. The legend of Chile Verde tells of men and women who became slaves to their passions. They paid the price here under the blistering, burning, blazing, scorching, roasting, toasting, baking, boiling, broiling, steaming, searing, sizzling, grilling, smoldering, VERY HOT New Mexico sun. For there is a saying in these parts: Those who lust in the dust shall die in the dust"
  • the scene of the entrance (on a mule) of corpulent, black-wigged, saloon dance-hall girl Rosie Valez (transvestite Divine, aka Glenn Milstead) in a Mexican peasant skirt with a dilapidated parasol, who was lost and dying of thirst in the barren desert until she came upon a body of water oasis and went swimming; she was spied upon by an unidentified, Clint Eastwood-like silent lone gunman (Abel Wood (Tab Hunter)); she challenged him: "What do you want? It's me, isn't it? You're going to take advantage of me, you're going to have your filthy way with me under the hot desert sun, aren't you? You're going to ravage me like I've never been ravaged before. Your hot sweat sliding over my body as we roll in the dust. Oh, as you violate my inner-most parts, as you pound against me in the most orgasmic, animal passion - Oh, God, you're disgusting"; after inspecting her underclothes, the gunman shot a buzzard for her to eat before riding off
  • she followed after him, but found herself confronted by a gang of "horny as jackrabbits" outlaws led by Hard Case Williams (Geoffrey Lewis); Rosie was stripped of her blouse - and before she was defiled, she claimed: "No! Stop! Wait! I'm a...virgin" - Hard Case replied: "A virgin, really? That DOES make a difference. Then I'LL go first. I've had carnal knowledge of 215 women and two goats...but none of them have ever made me sneeze before"; allergic to her perfume, he passed off his manly duties to his gang, who were soon exhausted and satiated ("What a bunch of deadbeats!"); before escaping the gang, she accidentally crushed the neck of the midget gang member Clarence (Daniel Frishman) who was providing her with oral sex between her thighs
Rosie Valez (Divine)
Abel Wood (Tab Hunter)
Rosie Stripped
  • Rosie and Abel entered the town of Chile Verde and its saloon-brothel, owned by lusty Marguerita Ventura (Lainie Kazan); she made a dramatic appearance at the door to the saloon with a shotgun aimed at Abel: "Freeze, hombre. Or I'll be wearing your asshole for a garter" - she looked him up and down and then remarked: "Nice pair of jingle-bobs" (spurs); she identified her name to Rosie: "The customers call me 'Marguerita'. The territory calls me 'Marguerita'. My real close friends call me 'Miss Ventura'"
  • other characters included: Bernardo (Henry Silva) - Marguerita's Latino bartender-lover, the saloon's two hookers: (1) sexy Ninfa (Gina Gallego), and (2) Big Ed (Nedra Volz) - a tiny, elderly fragile lady whose only dream was to get to Abilene, and Father Garcia (Cesar Romero)
Ninfa to Abel: "Do you like what you see, senor? I'm the best French-kisser in Chile Verde"
Big Ed (Nedra Volz)
Marguerita
with Bernardo
  • the scene of Marguerita stripping down and joining Abel (with only his boots on) for sex in the makeshift outdoor shower
  • the main goal of the outlaws was to locate hidden gold treasure, described by Father Garcia: ("The legend of the gold keeps this town alive. That is why they are all here. These are ruthless men - and women"); the secret of the gold was found in a limerick puzzle: ("There was a young fellow from Scotland / Who robbed the New Mexico hotland / In a grave situation / Two butes his salvation / He buried the gold / But in what land?")
  • after Bernardo's murder by Abel (almost hanged by a mob), Marguerita's performance of a bawdy, euphemism-filled song "South of My Border" to Abel in the saloon: ("Let me take you south of my border / Just north of my garter / Where everything's on order for you / Where it's sweet like a potion / Feel the heat, feel the motion / Marguerita's hot from head to her shoe /...") - saloon rival Rosie briefly retorted with her own version of one line of the song: ("Let her take you south of her border / If you think you can afford her")
  • the scene of Big Ed untying naked Hard Case from a headboard, and noting his impressive "early morning" stimulated state: "Oh, my goodness!"; when he responded: "Lady, this is no time to be pointing an accusing finger," she quipped: "At least it's only my finger that's pointing!"
(l to r): Rosie's and Marguerita's Butts Revealing A Map of Scotland
and Location of the Gold in Bute Hills, NM
  • the revelation that the gold treasure map was tattooed in two half-sections on the separate ample rear-ends of Rosie and Marguerita - it was a map of Scotland marked "BU - TE" - Rosie figured out the puzzle: "Cactus Kaplan's Grave!" (briefly passed by Rosie in the opening sequence) - (Abel explained the puzzle: "Two Butes, One in Scotland, the Other One Here! Or Two Beauties - the Ladies")
  • the concluding three-way Mexican standoff shoot-out between Hard Case Williams, Wood, and Rosie and Marguerita (teamed up together), to get the gold (robbed from the Las Cruces Bank years earlier) - buried next to Cactus Kaplan's Grave in Bute Hills, N.M.; Rosie used her thighs to grip the treasure box and open it; Father Garcia then appeared and revealed that Cactus Kaplan was the father of both Rosie and Marguerita: ("He devised the limerick - and he put the last, the vital clue, on his infant daughters. He wanted you sisters to have the gold...You girls were brought up by separate foster families") - but then, he went crazy and was shot dead by the others (Hard Case: "If there's one thing I hate, it's a pushy priest!"); next to be shot dead was Hard Case, followed by Marguerita who was mercilessly killed by a spiteful Rosie for bragging about making love with Abel: "When we made love, it was fireworks exploding - big long roman candles shootin' off inside me...we did it in the shower"
  • in the surprise conclusion, from a cliff-top, Big Ed shot Rosie and saved Abel, and the two rode off to Abilene; Rosie survived the shooting, but appeared to commit suicide (a gun-shot was heard off-screen) when she commiserated that Abel had deserted her ("What the use?"); in the ending spoof of Gone with the Wind (1939), Rosie greedily chomped down on a buzzard she had shot and roasted, and mused: "Oh well, maybe he'll be back tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day"

Rosie with Abel

Marguerita: "Freeze, hombre!"

"Nice pair of jingle-bobs"

"My real close friends call me 'Miss Ventura'"

Shower Scene

Abel Saved From Hanging

Marguerita's Song: "South of the Border"

Big Ed Noting Hard Case's Erection

Cactus Kaplan's Tombstone in Bute Hills, N.M.

The Mexican Stand-off at the Gravesite

Father Garcia's Revelation That Bank Robber Cactus Kaplan Was the Father of Rosie and Marguerita

Ending: Rosie Eating A Buzzard: "After all, tomorrow is another day"

The Lusty Men (1952)

In Nicholas Ray's and RKO's quintessential rodeo film - a melancholy modern-day western drama:

  • the opening sequence - the introduction of retired, broken, shiftless, disaffected and aimless, almost 62 year-old saddle-bronc rodeo champion Jeff McCloud (Robert Mitchum), who suffered a goring leg injury from a lumbering and mean brahma bull (seen in closeup) during an 8-second ride when he was trampled: (Announcer: "He may be shaken up a bit, but he's walked away from tougher spills than this"); after the crowds had departed, there was the image at dusk of Jeff's wistful limping walk across the dusty rodeo arena (as sheets of paper swirled around him)
  • after hitchhiking, washed-up cowboy Jeff returned to his San Angelo, Texas childhood ranch home (now owned by elderly 61 year-old bachelor Jeremiah Watrus (Burt Mustin)) where he walked toward the ranch from the gate, found the front door locked, and strolled around to the side where he knelt down and entered the crawlspace under the dilapidated ranch house to find childhood treasures left there about 20 years earlier (including a broken six-shooter gun) - he explained what he was searching for to Jeremiah: "Lookin' for something I thought I'd lost. I used to save my money in this old tobacco can when I was a kid and my folks lived here. With my two nickels in it after 20 years. Two nickels was a load of money to me then"
  • during conversation about marriage with Jeremiah, the elderly man advised Jeff: "Marriage - it's lonely, but it ain't private" - Jeff mentioned that he wasn't married, but he still retained a few things in his life: "What I started out with, a strong back and a weak mind"
  • the decision of veteran greenhorn cowboy Jeff McCloud to mentor Jackhammer Ranch-hand Wes Merritt (Arthur Kennedy), a novice and penniless greenhorn, and prospective rodeo contestant eager for fame and riches (who wanted to purchase Jeff's previous home from Jeremiah for $5,000, later reduced to $4,100), against the conflicting wishes of Merritt's earthy, reluctant and grounded wife Louise Merritt (Susan Hayward), an ex-waitress; Jeff urged Wes on to make money- to Louise's dismay: "How else is a cowhand gonna get it? The only way a cowhand can make any real dough is rodeoin'. Wes is good. He'll make a potful of money" - Louise feared that Wes would become what she called Jeff - a "saddle-tramp"
  • Louise's only wish was for "a decent, steady life" and stable domesticity; she was disenchanted by the rodeo-riding sport, considered it too dangerous ("What good's the ranch gonna be if you're crippled?"), and was wary of the tempting womanizing, gambling, and drinking inherent in the rodeo lifestyle
  • the increasing friction between the threesome (a love triangle of sorts) on the open road to various rodeos, rowdy bars and dance halls, and their stays in rodeo trailer camps - Jeff's growing love for Louise ("the thing that kept me stringin' along was you"), Louise's disconsolation for being ignored by Wes, and ambitious Wes' resentfulness of Jeff taking half of his winnings ($439.57 out of $879.14), etc; Wes was angered by Jeff: "All you've been doin' is draggin' your foot in my stirrup... Playing me for a sucker. Takin' half my dough. Why? Because you ain't got guts to ride yourself....You're yella!" and they got into a fistfight
  • the self-destructive decision of McCloud to compete in a rodeo one more time, in four events - without taking into account that he was "out of shape" - and his fatal injury from a punctured lung during a saddle bucking bronc riding event, when after his successful ride, his foot became caught in the stirrup and he was dragged
  • the tack room sequence of Jeff's death when Louise asked: "What were you trying to prove?"; he answered: "I used to make my own money, I used to buy my own whiskey, take my own falls. A fella just likes to know if he can still do it. Isn't one man enough for you to worry about?"; Louise tearfully responded: "You're nothin' but a no-good, washed-out, beat-up bronc rider. All you know is how to bust a gut, and that's all you'll ever know. The more bones you break, the bigger man you think you are"; Jeff answered: "That's right. Broken bones, broken bottles, broken everything. There never was a bronc that couldn't be rode. There never was a cowboy that couldn't be throwed. Guys like me last forever" - these were his final words in Louise's arms
Jeff's Death As a Result of His Last Rodeo Event
  • the concluding sequence of Merritt's reaction to Jeff's death, when he realized the fate of his own future (an earlier quote: "A bunch of crazy men paying for the privilege of getting yourselves killed"); Merritt came to his senses and decided to turn away from a rodeo career when he shouted out to the rodeo grounds announcer who was describing the next event: "Pass, Wes Merritt!"; as he and Louise walked toward the EXIT, she removed his competition number from his back, and the two continued arm in arm out of the grounds - to quit and return to the Texas lifestyle they had left behind

Jeff's Brahma Bull Riding

Jeff's Limp Across the Rodeo Arena

Jeff Finding Treasures Under His Childhood Texas Ranch House

Jeff With Jeremiah

(l to r): Jeff, Louise and Wes Merritt

McCloud Demanding Half of Wes' Winnings

Wes to Jeff: "You're yella!"


Wes' Decision with Louise to Leave Rodeo Competition

100's of the GREATEST SCENES AND MOMENTS
(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
M4
| 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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