Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



M1

 





M
Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions
Screenshots

M (1931, Ger.)

In Fritz Lang's highly-influential, first sound film - an expressionistic thriller about the controversial subject of homicidal pedophilia, and a child molester/murderer who terrorized the German city of Berlin:

  • the opening scene of young Elsie Beckmann (Inge Landgut), after school, bouncing her ball against a billboard, and the shadow of psychopathic Berlin child-killer/molester Hans Beckert (Peter Lorre) moving over the poster of the billboard that offered a reward (reading "10,000 Marks of Reward - Who is the Murderer?"); in silhoutte Beckert leaned down and spoke to the girl: ("You have a very beautiful ball. What's your name?...")
  • with his back to the camera, the scene of Beckert's purchase of a balloon (while whistling a few bars of his tell-tale In the Hall of the Mountain King from Peer Gynt's Suite #1 by Edvard Grieg) from a 'blind man' peddler (Georg John) in order to seduce the young girl
  • soon after, Elsie's place setting at the table was unoccupied and both the ball (bouncing away onto the grass) and the balloon (floating away into telephone lines) were seen - signifying the girl's abduction and murder; an extra edition of the newspaper reported how another young kidnap-murder victim had been claimed (the 9th victim)
Signs of Elsie's Absence
  • the scene of Beckert's grotesque making of faces before a mirror, as investigators reported on the results of handwriting analysis of the killer's anonymous letter to the newspapers
  • the killer's urge to strike again, when he stood at a store window - and in a reflection, he noticed a young girl behind him; he grimaced and moved his hand to his mouth; when she walked away behind him, he turned toward her direction and began nervously whistling his tell-tale tune as he followed after her, but he was thwarted when the girl met her mother; to fortify himself, he sat down at an outdoor cafe and ordered himself two stiff cognac drinks
Beckert's Urge to Kill Again
  • the scene of the blind balloon-seller hearing once again the familiar whistled tune - he recognized it and said to himself: "Wait! Didn't I hear that before? It was - it was...Listen to that, that whistle there"; he called over a friend - a young pickpocket named Heinrich (Carl Balhaus), who saw the whistler walking away with another young girl; the blind man asked Heinrich: "Can't you hear it? There....Have you seen the man who was whistling?...The day when little Elsie Beckmann was murdered, a man bought a balloon from me and there was a little girl with that man. And, and that man was whistling too like the man there"; Heinrich pursued after Beckert and saw him purchasing a gift at a candy store for the young girl; Heinrich marked a large "M" in chalk on his hand, and then struck Beckert on his left shoulder on the back of his overcoat (he pretended to trip on one of Beckert's discarded orange peels on the sidewalk) - in order to brand him with the mark of Cain as an atrocious child-murderer; the innocent young girl ominously handed Beckert back his dropped peeling knife
  • the scene of Beckert's discovery that he was marked with a stain - the little girl told him: "You're stained with something white...There on your shoulder"; Beckert looked backward toward his reflection and realized that he had a letter 'M' (meaning "Morder") chalked on the back of his overcoat at shoulder level
  • the criminal underworld beggars pursued Beckert, eventually seized him, and set him up for a trial to condemn him for his hideous string of crimes
  • the best scene in the film was the lengthy sequence in the kangaroo court in a distillery warehouse - at first Beckert denied everything, but was then accused by the blind balloon-seller of purchasing a balloon for the victim Elsie; Beckert vainly tried to escape from the cellar, but was assaulted and thrown to the floor; although he claimed that they had no right to hold him prisoner or to "neutralize" him, Beckert started to incriminate himself due to the dark forces within him; the tortured, sniveling, mass-murdering offender piteously cried out to defend his actions - and claiming that he was not responsible for his own cursed actions: ("But me, can I behave - can I behave any different? Is it that I don't have this curse inside of me? This fire? This voice? This torment?...I always have to go down the street, and I always feel it behind me. It's myself! And I follow me! In silence. But I can hear it. Yes, sometimes it's like I'm chasing myself. I want to - I want to escape from myself. But I can't. I can't escape from myself. I must - I must follow the way that's chasing me. I must run, run down endless streets. I want to get away. I want to get away. And, running with me, the ghosts of the mothers and the children. They never go away. They're always there! Always! Always! Always! They only disappear when I do it. When I --- Then, I don't remember anything. Then, then I'm standing in front of a sign and I read what I've done. And I read and read. Have I done that? But I can't remember any of that. And who's going to believe me? Who knows what it's like to be me? How it calls me and screams inside of me! How I must do it! I don't want to! I must! I don't want to! I must! And then a voice screams! And I can't hear it anymore. Help! I can't! I can't. I can't! I can't!")
Beckert in the Kangaroo Court Trial -
Held by Underworld Leaders and Beggars
  • the decision of the members of the court was murderous and unmerciful - declaring that Beckert had just signed his own 'death sentence': "That man must be eliminated. That man must disappear" - the mothers of the victims and others in the gallery cried out: "No mercy for the murderer. No mercy. Down with the murderer. He should be killed. Annihilate the beast! Kill him! Kill that animal! Dead! Murder him! Kill him! Away with him! Away with the beast! Kill him! Kill him!"
  • at the end of the accusations, the police intervened (off-screen) - everyone surrendered and raised their hands- and "in the name of Law," a real trial was held; Beckert was prosecuted in a traditional courtroom (where his insanity and illness were taken into account)
  • in the film's conclusion during the trial's announcement of the verdict by the chief judge , the mothers of three of the victims watched in the trial gallery - still in mourning, Elsie's mother Frau Beckmann (Ellen Widmann) warned: "This will not bring our children back to life. People should take better care of their children"

Shadow of Child-Killer

Purchase of Balloon from Blind Man for Elsie

After the Murder, Beckert's Face-Making at Mirror

Blind Balloon-Seller: Recognizing the Familiar Whistled Tune

Beckert Grooming His Next Victim

The Chalk "M" Brand

Young Girl Handing Beckert His Knife



Beckert Marked with "M"

Beckert - Pursued


The Kangaroo Court Trial Attendees and 'Judges'


Elsie's Mother During Reading of Verdict: "This will not bring our children back to life..."

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

In George Miller's third Mad Max film, set in a post-apocalyptic parched world:

  • the wooden sign welcoming entrants to the remote Bartertown in the Australian desert: "Helping Build a Better Tomorrow"
  • the arrival of nomadic pilgrim and ex-cop "Mad Max" Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) in Bartertown where he was told by the town's corrupt and charismatic overlord Aunty Entity (Tina Turner) and the bald Collector (Frank Thring) that power was generated from methane-rich "pig s--t" in Bartertown's Underworld: ("Pigs--t. The lights, the motors, the vehicles - all run by a high-powered gas called methane. Methane comes from pigs--t")
  • the promotion of ritualized gladiatorial conflict to settle disputes - in the massive caged Thunderdome, surrounded by a bloodthirsty audience clinging to the bars; Aunty Entity urged Max to challenge and combat her rival - the weirdly-original, two-person Master-Blaster, composed of a "little one" (dwarf-midget) known as the Master (Angelo Rossitto) who controlled Underworld - "Master" was also "the brains" who rode on the back of the hulking, "muscle"-bound body known as Blaster (Paul Larsson)
The Thunderdome's Master of Ceremonies:
"Dying Time's Here!"
The Two-Part Master-Blaster
Aunty Entity
(Tina Turner)
  • Aunty Entity's introduction to the Thunderdome proceedings: ("Welcome to another edition of Thunderdome!")
  • the fight was set up by the black-robed, ghoulish Master of Ceremonies, Dr. Dealgood (Edwin Hodgeman), who held a scepter: ("Listen on! Listen on! This is the truth of it. Fighting leads to killing, and killing gets to warring. And that was damn near the death of us all. Look at us now, busted up and everyone talking about hard rain. But we've learned by the dust of them all. Bartertown's learned. Now when men get to fighting, it happens here. And it finishes here. Two men enter, one man leaves. And right now, I've got two men. Two men with a gut full of fear. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls dying time's here!")
  • the introduction of the two combatants: Mad Max against the Master-Blaster: ("He's the ball cracker. Death on foot. You know him. You love him! He's Blaster! The challenger, direct from out of the Wasteland. He's bad. He's beautiful. He's crazy! It's the man with no name! Thunderdome's simple. Get to the weapons, use them anyway you can. I know you won't break the rules. There aren't any. Remember where you are. This is Thunderdome. Death is listening, and will take the first man that screams. Prepare! Two men enter, one man leaves!")
  • the scene of the spectators hanging on the giant caged dome and cheering the gladiatorial action between the battling protagonists bouncing on rubbery elastic bungee-type straps within the bars of the Thunderdome, and the denouement when Max blew on his high-pitched whistle (the sound was Blaster's weakness and incapacitated him), and then knocked off Blaster's helmet with a sledgehammer - and "Master" was revealed to be a retarded child: ("He's got the mind of a child") - and after a long hesitation, Max made a decision to disobey Aunty Entity and not kill his opponent; suddenly, Aunty's guards killed Blaster
  • Aunty announced Max's punishment for not killing Master and for breaking the deal of "Two men enter, one man leaves": (to the crowd) ("What's this?! Do you think I don't know the law? Wasn't it me who wrote it? And I say that this man has broken the law. Right or wrong, we had a deal. And the law says, 'Bust a deal, face the wheel'")
Dr. Dealgood at the Wheel to Determine Max's Fate
"All Our Lives Hang by a Thread"
GULAG
  • the scene of Max's sentencing, after the spinning of a wheel to determine his penalty and fate, commented upon by Dr. Dealgood: ("All our lives hang by a thread. Now we've got a man waiting for sentence. But ain't it the truth? You take your chances with the law. Justice is only a roll of the dice, a flip of the coin, a turn of the wheel") - the wheel landed on "GULAG"
  • the exile of Max when he was banished into the desert wasteland of Gulag on the back of a pack animal during a sandstorm, where he was rescued by a tribal group of abandoned feral children and teenagers led by Savannah Nix (Helen Buday) who lived in a lush green oasis at the bottom of a rift in the desert; she called Max "Captain Walker" and expected him to magically fly them "home" back to civilization, a mythical place known as "Tomorrow-morrow Land" - seen in a few slides in a hand-held picture viewer (with pictures of Sydney, Australia before the apocalypse); the youths were descendants of the victims of an earlier Boeing 747 airplane that crashed, piloted by Captain Walker; its ill-fated flight was to escape the crumbling post-atomic cities
  • in the conclusion, the return of Max to Bartertown to rescue some of the tribe's members (and to free "Master" and take him along to help build a new home for the tribe), involving a classic, lengthy desert chase sequence in junkmobiles between Max and Aunty Entity (who wished to recapture "Master") - the chase ended with her smiling farewell to Max when she spared his life: ("Well, ain't we a pair, Raggedy Man? Ha, ha, ha. Goodbye, soldier")
  • the final flight toward abandoned, burned-out, dilapidated, nuclear-devastated Sydney, Australia -- and the epilogue -- Savannah Nix's poignant closing voice-over narrated monologue (her nightly Tell) about the tribe's journey and its salvation by Mad Max: ("This you know. The years travel fast. And time after time I done the Tell. But this ain't one body's Tell. It's the Tell of us all. And you got to listen it and remember. 'Cause what you hears today, you gotta tell the newborn tomorrow. I's lookin' behind us now, into history back. I sees those of us that got the luck and started the haul for home. And I 'members how it led us here and how we was heartful 'cause we seen what there once was. One look, and we knewed we'd got it straight. Those what had gone before had the knowin' and the doin' of things beyond our reckonin' - even beyond our dreamin'. Time counts and keeps countin', and we knows now finding the trick of what's been and lost ain't no easy ride. But that's our trek, we gotta travel it. And there ain't nobody knows where it's gonna lead. Still in all, every night we does the Tell, so that we 'member who we was and where we came from. But most of all we 'members the man who finded us, him that came the salvage, and we lights the city. Not just for him, but for all of them that are still out there. 'Cause we knows there'll come a night when they sees the distant light, and they'll be comin' home")
The Tribe's Salvation by Mad Max - Flight From Desert -
and Savannah's Narrated Epilogue

Bartertown Sign

In Bartertown: A City Powered by "Pig Shit"

Blaster's Helmet Dislodged, Revealing Retarded "Master"

Aunty Entity's Punishment For Max For Disobeying Deal: "Bust a Deal, Face the Wheel"

Max's Sentencing:
Exile to Gulag


Savannah Nix
(Helen Buday)



The Feral Children

The Paradise Known as "Tomorrow-morrow Land" (Pre-Apocalyptic Sydney)


Lengthy Desert Chase


Aunty Entity Sparing Max - and Her Farewell to Him: ("Well, ain't we a pair, raggedy man?...Goodbye, soldier")

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015, Australia/US)

In producer/director George Miller's highly-acclaimed action-thriller film, the fourth film (a reboot) in the entire Mad Max franchise, about a post-nuclear wasteland with warring factions:

  • the opening voice-over narration (during the initial credits) by drifter Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy), to set the stage, in post-apocalyptic Australia: "My name is Max. My world is fire and blood. Once, I was a cop. A road warrior searching for a righteous cause. As the world fell, each of us in our own way was broken. It was hard to know who was more crazy. Me or everyone else"
  • the setting - the Citadel, ruled over by tyrannical, evil despot King Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), with hordes of his deranged, bald albino disciples (vicious pale followers known as the War Boys); Joe had a hideous appearance: a grotesque face mask composed of horse teeth set in a large pair of jaws, with two air hoses coming off each side, attached to a bellows system on his back for breathing assistance [Note: Breast milk was supplied to the post-apocalyptic future by obese slave women hooked up to milking devices]
  • the early sequence of Max apprehended by the War Boys, brought to the Citadel, where he was tattooed and muzzled - with an exciting escape sequence in which Max jumped from an opening high in a rock face and clung to a swinging hook before he was recaptured
  • the sequence of mysterious driver Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) sent out by Joe in an armored War Rig to collect fuel from Gas Town - but it was soon revealed that Furiosa had changed course and was fleeing to the East from Joe, and escaping with his five breeder brides - young warrior women: Capable (Riley Keough), Cheedo the Fragile (Courtney Eaton), Toast the Knowing (Zoë Kravitz), the Dag (Abbey Lee), and the fully-pregnant Splendid Angharad (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley); they left a large painted message for Joe: OUR BABIES WILL NOT BE WARLORDS
  • the incredible sequence of the frantically-paced, beautifully-choreographed non-stop chase, after King Joe found out about Furiosa's betrayal; he sent all of his War Boys to pursue Furiosa across the sun-parched wasteland and into the massive vortex of an apocalyptic tornado-sandstorm, where she fled to evade the pursuers; during the chase, another scavenging tribe, known as the Buzzards, joined in
  • one of the sickly War Boys named Nux (Nicholas Hoult) strapped captive Max Rockatansky (with a muzzle-type face mask) positioned like a figurehead onto the front of the vehicle that he was driving - Max was connected to Nux by a metal chain and via a central line blood transfusion tube that functioned as a perpetual "blood bag"
Imperator Furiosa in War Rig -
Fleeing From Evil Despot and Pale Albino War Boys
Max Was Tied as Figurehead to Nux's Vehicle
  • after Furiosa survived in the storm, and Max had escaped from Nux's control, he confronted her and the warrior women and attempted to steal her War Rig, but was unsuccessful when she fought back; Max was forced to join forces with them as they journeyed to an idyllic location from Furiosa's childhood known as the "Green Place"
  • the next exciting chase sequence, when the warrior women, Max, and Furiosa were pursued by a group of biker-gang bandits in a canyon (with King Joe's forces close behind); Splendid Angharad slipped and fell off the side of the War Rig and was run over (with her unborn child) by the wheels of Joe's car following behind (Max to Furiosa: "She went under the wheels"); the group was reluctantly forced to carry on, while the other women mourned for the loss of Spendid
  • an enraged King Joe held Spendid Angharad's body in his arms, and then later that night, a C-section was performed on her belly by his lieutenant Organic Mechanic (Angus Sampson), to pull out a perfectly-formed infant boy ("Crying shame. Another month, could have been your viable human....Your number one alpha prime. Hey, Rictus?...You lost a baby brother. Perfect in every way" - he cut off and inspected the stillborn baby's umbilical cord; Joe's adult son Rictus (Nathan Jones) cried out: "I had a brother! I had a little baby brother! And he was perfect! Perfect in every way!"
Biker Gang Attack
Angharad's Fall From Rig
Max: "She went under the wheels"
Angharad In King Joe's Arms
C-Section
Rictus: "I had a brother"
  • in the next sequence the following morning, the group drove up to an abandoned water tower where a naked Valkyrie (Megan Gale) was screaming for help, and it was feared to be a "bait" trap; she cried out: "I am one of the Vuvalini! Of the Many Mothers! My Initiate Mother was K.T. Concannon! I am the daughter of Mary Jabassa. My clan was Swaddle Dog!" - her clan of aging women, known as the Vuvalini, emerged, and the eldest, Keeper of the Seeds (Melissa Jaffer), informed Furiosa that the muddy uninhabitable bog that they had previously traversed through was the "Green Place"
  • a striking image was one of Furiosa walking into the sand, falling to her knees, and delivering a despairing primal scream
  • Max convinced Furiosa and the other women on motorbikes to turn around, go back through the canyon, and attack the unguarded Citadel; during the counter-assault, although seriously wounded, Furiosa hooked Joe's mask onto the wheels of his car, growled at him: "Remember me?", and watched as the vehicle's wheels lethally ripped off the mask and part of Joe's face
Furiosa - Convinced by Max to Lead a Motorbike Attack on the Unguarded Citadel
Furiosa to King Joe: "Remember Me?"
Then Ripped Joe's Face Off
  • in the final redemptive scene, the group arrived at King Joe's headquarters or Citadel base, where Joe's mouthless corpse was displayed and then thrown to the ground to the delight of the remaining War Boys; the poor citizens cannibalistically fed off his body; the victorious forces of Furiosa, Joe's wives and other Vuvalini were welcomed and cheered - a celebration was marked by the release of water upon the inhabitants, and Furiosa was apparently to be appointed as their new leader - she glanced at Max as he walked off into the crowded masses
Last Glances
  • the film ended with the title card (white letters on a black background): "Where must we go... we who wander this Wasteland in search of our better selves?" -The First History Man

"My name is Max"


King Immortan Joe

Milking Devices

Max's Brief Escape from War Boys on Swinging Hook



Furiosa Driving Into the Desert Tornado-Sandstorm


Furiosa
(Charlize Theron)


Warrior Women

Nux and Five Warrior Women During Struggle

Valkyrie (Megan Gale): Suspected "Bait" Trap

Furiosa's Primal Scream

Display of Joe's Corpse in Citadel

Max and Others Victorious

Celebration at Citadel: Release of Water for Inhabitants

Madame Bovary (1949)

In director Vincente Minnelli's version of the classic Gustave Flaubert novel, a tragic melodrama with a musical score by Miklós Rózsa - it was a controversial film for its portrayal of an adulterous wife involved in self-destructive romances in 19th century France:

  • to appease censors, the film was structured as a framing story with a prologue and epilogue - of author Gustave Flaubert's (James Mason) 1857 courtroom trial (his novel was charged with obscenity as "an outrage against public morals and established custom"); he defended his scandalous novel before a French jury by describing the story of his banned inflammatory and fictional book about a character who was considered "a disgrace to France and an insult to womanhood"; in the epilogue, Flaubert was eventually acquitted of all charges (described in scrolling text at the film's end)
  • the scene of Flaubert's defense of his fictional creation: "Gentlemen, I do deny that I have made any attack upon public morality. I have shown you the vicious, yes, for the sake of understanding it, so that we may preserve the virtuous. Furthermore, I deny that Emma Bovary is a monstrous creation of my degenerate imagination. Monstrous she may be, but it was not I who created her. Our world, your world and mine, created her, as I shall attempt to demonstrate. There are thousands of Emma Bovarys. I only had to draw from life. And there are hundreds and thousands of women who wish they were Emma Bovary, and who have been saved from her fate, not by virtue, but simply by lack of determination"
  • the early flashback - Flaubert's (voice-over) narrated description of Emma's (Jennifer Jones) convent youth, when the motherless girl attended a convent: "Emma Roualt, motherless, had attended a convent in the provincial city of Rouen. Emma at first detested the convent. The scales, the eternal scales, when she might have been learning love songs. The discipline, the dreadful conformity. The eternal uniform, when a girl's young body is budding. Perhaps it was the discipline itself and Emma's discontent that drove her to dreams, and taught a lonely girl to live within herself. For these became the happy years, these convent years, when a young girl's mind could wander"
  • as the narration proceeded, it described how Emma lived in a fabricated fantasy world of romantic love novels (illegally slipped into the convent for her to read): "She lived in a world of love, lovers, sweethearts, persecuted ladies fainting in lonely pavilions, horses ridden to death on every page, gentlemen, brave as lions, gentle as lambs, always well-dressed and weeping like fountains. Oh, love in Italy! Oh, love in Spain!" - her dreamy obsessions about another "faraway" life became: "Happiness. Fashion. High Romance...To believe in Cinderella"
  • the film's most celebrated, beautifully-choreographed sequence was a high-society ball held by wealthy, aristocratic nobleman Marquis D'Andervilliers (Paul Cavanagh), attended by naive, kind, provincial doctor Charles Bovary (Van Heflin) and his wife Emma Bovary (Jennifer Jones) wearing an exquisite white linen gown; while her husband was in the billiards room and heavily drinking champagne, Emma was courted by a number of admirers for dances
  • one of Emma's partners was handsome, suave aristocratic landowner Rodolphe Boulanger (Louis Jourdan) - tracked with a kinetic, dizziness-inducing camera as they beautifully twirled around the ballroom; when she complained that she was exhausted, hot, and couldn't breathe ("I would like to stop, please. I can't breathe. I'm going to faint"), Rodolphe ordered the windows to be broken, as the soused Charles stumbled onto the dance floor repeatedly calling out Emma's name; he became lost in the twirling partners, but was finally able to barge in to ask his embarrassed wife to dance ("Hey, I want to dance with my wife") - it caused her extreme humiliation and she ran out of the ball-room
  • much later, the scene of Emma's sweaty and painful death after suicidally swallowing arsenic (she had stolen from an apothecary) - she was devastated after the stresses of further affairs and rejections, the complete deterioration of her marriage with her husband, and indebtedness had all taken their toll; she died in her husband's arms: ("I hurt Charles, I hurt inside...Always trying to save me. Why are you always trying to save me?...Where are we, Charles? Is this our house?...I'm going to make you the most beautiful home, like, like pictures in magazines when I was a child. There's not something wrong with things being beautiful, is there?...What did I do? Hold me, Charles. Hold me")
Emma's Painful Suicidal Death Scene
  • after Emma's demise and the administration of last rites by a priest (and a pardon for the suicide), Flaubert continued his voice-over narration: "And so it was. A woman had been born into this world and had died young. She had touched on numerous lives - some lightly, some not so lightly. Some despised her. Some mourned her a little. Some profited by her. And then, of course, there were those she had ruined, who would never cease to love her"
  • the final scene returned to the courtroom trial, where Flaubert successfully defended the right to publish his work to the presiding judge and court; his final lines of dialogue summarized his defense: "Now there are those who are offended by her, and who see in Emma Bovary's life an attack upon public morality. Gentlemen of the court, I maintain that there is truth in her story, and that a morality which has within it no room for truth is no morality at all. Men may dislike truth. Men may find truth offensive and inconvenient. Men may persecute the truth, subvert it, try by law to suppress it. But to maintain that men have the final power over truth is blasphemy and the last illusion. Truth lives forever. Men do not"
  • a scrolling epilogue described the outcome: "Gustave Flaubert's acquittal, almost a century ago, was a triumphant moment in the history of the free mind. His masterpiece, 'Madame Bovary,' became a part of our heritage, to live - - - like truth itself - - - forever."

Gustave Flaubert (James Mason): "I deny that Emma Bovary is a monstrous creation"



Young Emma (Roualt) in Convent

Emma Bovary
(Jennifer Jones)



At The High-Society Ball, Waltzing with Rodolphe

Emma's Soused Husband Charles at Ball


The Trial's Presiding Judge

Flaubert's Ending Summary

Madame Curie (1943)

In director Mervyn LeRoy's fact-based docu-drama/biopic about ground-breaking research into radioactivity and the discovery of radium in the late 19th century:

  • the scene of determined lab assistant-wife Marie Sklodowska/Curie (Greer Garson) and physicist-scientist-husband Pierre Curie (Walter Pidgeon) seeing the results of "four long years" of their laborious work (isolating radium) in a shed - the use of a tedious process called "final crystallization" in order to isolate "precious elusive radium" in a lab dish within a covered evaporating bowl on one of their lab tables - however, Marie was ultimately crushed that the crystallization process produced only a stain rather than a chunk of radium
  • the scene of Marie's visit to a doctor for an examination, where she was cautioned about the danger to her hands after three and a half years of work - burned by the pure radium and potentially developing into cancer: ("We have never seen burns quite like this before. They are very strange. I can't ever remember seeing anything quite like them. They obviously don't come from any normal substance"); Marie was cautioned: ("I don't wish to alarm you, Madame Curie, but it is very possible that these burns might become serious, might in fact develop malignantly if you continue to expose them excessively to your unknown element. It is not impossible that they may be developed into a cancerous nature. It is my advice, Madame, that you abandon your experiments")
  • Marie's frantic reaction to the stain: ("There's nothing there, not a trace of anything, not a grain. Only a stain. What's happened, Pierre? Where is our radium? What have we done? Where is it? What's happened? Where is it, Pierre?...What did we do that was wrong? What could we have done?...I can't stand it, Pierre. Where is our radium? We worked for years and years and years. It must be there. It must be there. Four long years in this shed")
  • and later, Marie's flash of insight while lying on her pillow and speaking to her husband: ("Pierre, that stain on the saucer...We didn't even test it, did we?...What we are expecting to find was a definite amount of radium, wasn't it? Something we could see and feel. Not as much as a pinch of salt, you said....Pierre, what if it's, what if it's merely a question of amount? What does so little radium in proportion to the amount of material that we used that as of now - we couldn't see it. What if that stain, even with the merest, merest breath...(Marie sat up in bed) Pierre, could it, could it be that that stain is radium?")
  • the next scene when they dressed and rushed to their lab to test Marie's theory; she was the first to see the glowing radium through the window from a distance: ("Pierre! It's there. Our radium! It's there! It's there!"); they ran inside, looked down at the glowing radium, and hugged each other triumphantly over their profound discovery
  • the concluding scene of a frail and widowed Madame Curie making an appearance and speech before the Faculty of Science at the University of Paris, to commemorate the 25th year anniversary of the discovery of radium: ("Even now, after twenty-five years of intensive research, we feel there is a great deal still to be done. We have made many discoveries. Pierre Curie, in the suggestions we have found in his notes and in thoughts he expressed to me, has helped to guide us to him. But no one of us can do much if each of us perhaps can catch some gleam of knowledge which modestly insufficient of itself may add to man's dream of truth. It is by these small candles in our darkness that we see before us, little by little, the dim outlines of that great plan that shapes the universe. And I am among those who think that for this reason, science has great beauty and with its great spiritual strength will in time cleanse this world of its evils, its ignorance, its poverty, diseases, wars and heartaches. Look for the clear light of truth. Look for unknown new roads even when man's sight is keener far than now. Divine wonder will never fail him. Every age has its own dreams. Leave then the dreams of yesterday. You - take the torch of knowledge and build the palace of the future")

Burns on Marie's Hands

The Tedious Work to Isolate Radium in Lab

Madame Curie's Flash of Insight About the Stain Being Radium: "We couldn't see it"

Glowing Radium in Lab: "It's There. Our Radium"

Madame Curie's Speech at Univ. of Paris 25 years later: "Look for the clear light of truth"

The Magic Box (1951, UK)

In director John Boulting's biopic drama with two major flashbacks (one from a second wife's point of view, and one from the POV of the main character) - about a British pioneer in cinematic history:

  • the extraordinary moving sequence in which the pioneering, British inventor of the movie camera - obsessed photographer William Friese-Greene (Robert Donat), urged a helmeted Police Constable 94-B (Laurence Olivier) passing on the street to come up to his room - he spoke excitedly to the Constable: ("Come quickly! Come on, come and see...I've got something to show you, something I've done. You must come and see!..I feel I've simply got to show someone")
  • inside the apartment, the inventor instructed the wary Constable to sit down for a demonstration, and to turn out his flashlight ("lamp"); then he was told: "Now, watch that white sheet" (a hanging white cloth sheet), although the Constable nervously grabbed for his nightstick; Friese-Greene began to proudly show off his first triumphant film screen projection; he started to hand-crank his device (with a loud mechanical clicking noise), to display 'moving pictures' of Hyde Park taken during an afternoon visit; after the brief demonstration, the Constable was amazed and dumbfounded - he remarked: "That was Hyde Park. I recognized it. Where's it come from? And where's it gone to?" - he looked behind the white sheet
Friese-Greene Hand-Cranking the Projector
Constable: "That Was Hyde Park. I recognized it"
Looking Behind the White Sheet 'Screen'
  • Friese-Greene's answer as he pointed at his marvelous machine: "It's all here. Here, look! That's where the Hyde Park you saw is. Like a magic lantern"; he then explained the principle of the 'moving' pictures, including the development of a strip of celluloid film over many years and other technical details: ("Yes, it moved, didn't it, ha? Now look, look at this strip of celluloid film. It took me years to get to that. Years. That's the secret. Dozens of snapshots of Hyde Park. That's what it's called. It comes from this spool over these rollers, that's for tension. You've gotta have tension, under this second spool down here. Now, look in the middle. It's a bit like a magic lantern, but instead of one picture at a time, you see eight or more pictures every second, and that's what you see on that sheet there. Eight pictures every second, and they're all merged together into one moving, living picture! See? Ha! Of course, there's a bit more to it than that, that! I'm not saying it's perfect. Far from it, but it works! God be praised. It works, doesn't it? You can see that" - he became tearfully joyful about his accomplishments: "You know, it's a quite extraordinary feeling, something you've been wondering about and dreaming about for 15 years. And then, all of a sudden, it's there. It's in your hands, with a life of its own")
  • the Constable made a congratulatory exclamation: ("You must be a very happy man, Mr. Friese-Greene")
  • in the film's conclusion, set in 1921 at a London film industry business conference, the aged and impoverished Friese-Greene delivered a short speech in front of the audience: ("Gentlemen, I am not a businessman, no.... You know, when this business was a fairground sideshow, I suppose you could only speak of it in terms of pounds, shillings, and pence....Only a few of us could see then it would become a sort of universal language, and it has become that, you see. And this universal language that could say great things - oh dear, it so often babbles and drivels so foolishly. It does, you know. I mean, that in time, the world, well, it'll tire of it....If the film does not grow up with its audience, then it will die. You know, it's only in the nursery that children fight and destroy the things in their hands. The film is in your hands, and you may not behave like children. YOU MUST NOT DESTROY IT! Don't! It's, it's very easy to be good businessmen. It's so difficult to grow up. So difficult, and --- and so, I ask you, I - ask you to work together. All my life, gentlemen, I - I have tried. There's so much to hope for, so much. There is - I have tried"
  • when he meandered and became incoherent, Friese-Greene was forced to return to his seat, where he became delirious (hearing voices from his past), collapsed onto the floor and died; a film canister fell to the floor from his hands; as his pockets were emptied of their contents, the items were placed on a table: his film canister, spectacles, a pawn ticket for some cuff links, a prism, and "one and ten pence - just the price of a seat at the pictures"
Friese-Greene's Final Speech Before His Death

William Friese-Greene (Robert Donat)

A Demonstration For Police Constable 94-B (Laurence Olivier)


Screen Projection of a 'Moving Picture'

"And then, all of a sudden, it's there"

Constable: "You must be a very happy man..."


After His Death - The Contents of His Pockets Were Set on a Table

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

In director Orson Welles' period drama, with impressive photography and innovative cinematic techniques, about the demise of the Amberson family due to the oncoming industrial revolution:

  • the opening voice-over narration (Orson Welles) sequence demonstrating the changing styles and fashions: ("The magnificence of the Ambersons began in 1873. Their splendor lasted throughout all the years that saw their Midland town spread and darken into a city. In that town in those days, all the women who wore silk or velvet knew all the other women who wore silk or velvet and everybody knew everybody else's family horse and carriage. The only public conveyance was the streetcar. A lady could whistle to it from an upstairs window, and the car would halt at once, and wait for her, while she shut the window ... put on her hat and coat ... went downstairs... found an umbrella... told the 'girl' what to have for dinner...and came forth from the house. Too slow for us nowadays, because the faster we're carried, the less time we have to spare") - with the narrator's ultimate conclusion: "Against so homespun a background, the magnificence of the Ambersons was as conspicuous as a brass band at a funeral"
  • the views of the great Amberson mansion, a convincing, turn-of-the-century re-creation, inhabited by the richest family in the town: (voice-over: "There it is, the Amberson mansion. The pride of the town...Sixty thousands dollars worth of woodwork alone. Hot and cold running water, upstairs and down. And stationary washstands in every last bedroom in the place")
  • the introduction of young George Minafer (Bobby Cooper as boy) ("George Amberson Minafer, the Major's one grandchild, was a princely terror") - the offspring of dull, pallid, colorless and passionless Wilbur Minafer (Don Dillaway) and beautiful Isabel Amberson (Dolores Costello), the only daughter of Major Amberson (Richard Bennett); the boy was a spoiled, insufferable, hateful, daredevil brat dressed in velveteen and with golden ringlets in his hair; he was seen riding recklessly through town in a tiny carriage, whipping his buggy pony; careening by, he upset a gardener with a hoe; although indulged and adored by his mother, everyone in town longed to see George receive his ultimate "come-uppance": "They did hope to live to see the day, they said, when that boy would get his come-uppance"
  • the courtship between George Minafer (Tim Holt as adult) and Lucy Morgan (Anne Baxter), when George first encountered her father, automobile entrepreneur and widower Eugene Morgan (Joseph Cotten), who was dancing in the mansion dancing Aunt Fanny (Agnes Moorehead), Wilbur Minafer's unmarried, shrill-voiced sister; George insultingly called Eugene "a queer looking duck" before actually meeting him
  • their sleigh-riding sequence in winter-time, when the couple were seen whirling along in a horse-drawn sleigh, passing Eugene's stalled vehicle and calling out: "Get a horse!" but then their sleigh carriage tipped over, and dropped them into the snow where they were seen sneaking a kiss with each other; at the end of the sequence, as Eugene drove away from the snowy scene in his experimental car, the camera slowly irised-out on the car [a tribute to older silent films], turning the screen black
  • the dining room table sequence in which Eugene Morgan elegantly and beautifully delivered a very significant speech, philosophizing about the growth of the new invention: the automobile - and admitting the possible consequences of the new industrial revolution: ("With all their speed forward, they may be a step backward in civilization. It may be that they won't add to the beauty of the world or the life of men's souls. I'm not sure. But automobiles have come. And almost all outward things are going to be different because of what they bring. They're going to alter war and they're going to alter peace. And I think men's minds are going to be changed in subtle ways because of automobiles. And it may be that George is right. It may be that in ten or twenty years from now, if we can see the inward change in men by that time, I shouldn't be able to defend the gasoline engine but would have to agree with George: that automobiles had no business to be invented"); before the speech George insultingly despised automobiles as a "useless nuisance"
  • the revealing conversation of self-pitying and gossipy Aunt Fanny and George on different landings of the Amberson's circular staircase, with each successive landing of the staircase featuring stained-glass windows that were labeled "Faith," "Hope," "Charity," "Music," and "Poetry"; Fanny confessed her loneliness following her brother Wilbur's death, and then revealed that Isabel never really cared for any other man in her life but Eugene; George was incensed that gossips in the town talked of Eugene's love for his widowed mother Isabel, and his jealousy intensified
  • the marvelous scene in which Isabel was deeply affected after reading Eugene's letter asking if she would choose her oedipal son or stand up against him: (in part: "...And so we come to this, dear. Will you live your life your way, or George's way? Dear, it breaks my heart for you, but what you have to oppose now is your own selfless and perfect motherhood. Are you strong enough, Isabel? Can you make a fight? I promise you that if you will take heart for it, you will find so quickly that it's all amounted to nothing. You shall have happiness and only happiness. I'm saying too much for wisdom, I fear. And oh my dear, won't you be strong? Such a little short strength it would need...") - ultimately, Isabel chose her son George's wishes over happiness with Eugene
  • the close-up image of George watching Eugene leave the mansion for the last time just before Isabel's death - his determined face was reflected in the window pane from Isabel's familiar vantage point - he replaced her image and imposed his own will
George Watching Eugene Leaving Mansion
Isabel's Death-Bed Scene
  • the emotional sequence of the promenade of George and Lucy along the main boardwalk of the town during a long take, when George tried to force Lucy to show some emotion for him, and essentially told her goodbye forever: ("This is our last walk together, Lucy...This is the last time I'll see you ever, ever in my life. Mother and I are starting on a trip around the world tomorrow"); she wished him well (without betraying her sadness): "I do hope you have the most splendid trip"; once George had left, her face revealed a deep sadness and her eyes filled with tears
  • soon after her return from abroad, the scene of Isabel's death-bed farewell scene with George by her side, with spider-web shadows falling over her face - and at the moment of her death, the shade was pulled down over the lace curtain and the web patterns became dark over her face
  • the rambling and incoherent speech in which the old and senile patriarch - Major Amberson disjointedly mused on the source of life before his life also ended: ("It must be in the sun. There wasn't anything here but the sun in the first place...The Earth came out o' the sun, and we came out of the Earth. So whatever we are..") - he left no inheritance to either George or Fanny
  • the lyrical scene of the discussion between Eugene and Lucy in the garden, when she resigned herself to not marrying George because of his vindictiveness, and instead decided to support her father's every wish
  • the lengthy sequence of Aunt Fanny suffering a nervous breakdown in the empty crumbling Amberson mansion with her nephew George, after they had both fallen on hard times; in the empty kitchen, George and Fanny discussed the sorry state of their finances and how much they would need to live; she worried that Georgie would abandon her, and complained about how her own penny-pinching efforts to provide have failed miserably; Fanny slumped helplessly against the boiler and slid to the floor; George commanded her to get up and not sit there with her back against the boiler, but she became hysterical: "It's not hot, it's cold. The plumber's disconnected it. I wouldn't mind if they hadn't...I wouldn't mind if it burned me, George!"
  • the sequence was followed by a brilliantly-choreographed, elaborate tracking dolly shot moving through four rooms, as they continued to argue; the two moved backward from the cold boiler out the kitchen door and through the reception hall (past the circular staircase) and into the boarded-up Amberson front parlor - where sheets shrouded the furniture in the otherwise empty living room
  • the low-key but powerful sequence, with voice-over narration (by Orson Welles), when George finally received his "come-uppance" after his mother died and he sat at her empty bedside: ("George Amberson Minafer walked homeward slowly through what seemed to be the strange streets of a strange city. For the town was growing, changing. It was heaving up in the middle, incredibly. It was spreading incredibly. And as it heaved and spread, it befouled itself, and darkened its sky. This was the last walk home he was ever to take up National Avenue to Amberson Addition, and the big old house at the foot of Amberson Boulevard. Tomorrow, they were to move out. Tomorrow, everything would be gone....Something had happened, a thing which years ago had been the eagerest hope of many, many good citizens of the town. And now it came at last: George Amberson Minafer had got his come-uppance. He'd got it three times filled and running over. But those who had so longed for it were not there to see it. And they never knew it. Those who were still living had forgotten all about it, and all about him")
  • shortly later, George would be seriously injured, ironically, in an automobile accident

The Amberson Mansion


Young George Minafer
("A Princely Terror")


Courtship in the Mansion: George Minafer and Lucy Morgan



Sleigh-Riding Sequence - Ending with Iris-Out Effect

Eugene's Dinner-Table Speech About the Invention of the Automobile


On the Staircase: George and Aunt Fanny


Promenade: Goodbye Scene Between George and Lucy

Death of Major Amberson



Aunt Fanny's Nervous Breakdown with George Next to Inoperative Boiler ("It's not hot, it's cold")

George Kneeling at His Mother's Empty Bedside - He Had Finally Received His "Come-Uppance"

Magnolia (1999)

In Paul Thomas Anderson's ambitious, artful, adult-oriented human drama with an ensemble cast - and a compelling, bold and overlapping multi-strand narrative about San Fernando residents who were plagued by fractured relationships:

  • the film's prologue emphasizing the themes of chance and coincidence - and a description of three deaths and the question: Did these three cases just happen randomly by chance, or was it something less coincidental?; one of the deaths was a tale of a scuba diver in a tree - entwined with the urban legend of a son accidentally murdered (in a freakish occurrence) while trying to commit suicide by jumping off a building
  • throughout, the melancholy lyrics of singer-songwriter Aimee Mann that underscored the film's motifs
  • the scene in a San Fernando Valley hotel where sleazy motivational speaker and self-help guru/shyster Frank T.J. Mackey (Oscar-nominated Tom Cruise) led a "Seduce and Destroy" seminar for misogynistic, sexually-frustrated males
  • his lecture to his audience to "Respect the cock! And tame the cunt! Tame it! Take it on headfirst with the skills that I will teach you at work and say no!...You will not control me! No!...You will not take my soul! No!...You will not win this game! 'Cause it is a game, guys. You want to think it's not, huh? You want to think it's not? You go back to the schoolyard and you have that crush on big-titted Mary Jane. Respect the cock. You are embedding this thought. I am the one who's in charge. I am the one who says Yes!... No!... Now!... Here!... And it's universal, man. It is evolutional. It is anthropological. It is biological. It is animal. We...are...men!" - and his advice: "l will not apologize for who l am. l will not apologize for what l need. l will not apologize for what l want!"
  • the scene of Frank's interview with TV reporter Gwenovier (April Grace) with probing questions about his past, and his answers about his family: ("My father was in television. My mother - this is going to sound silly to you...She was a librarian"); when asked: ("How does she feel about 'Seduce and Destroy'? What does she say?"), Frank answered: ("Well, she says, 'You go get 'em, honey'")
  • the cast's (wherever they were located) sing-along of verses to Aimee Mann's heartbreaking ballad "Wise Up" ("...But it's not going to stop / 'Til you wise up")
  • the sequence of Linda Partridge's (Julianne Moore) visit to a pharmacy to pick up a strong prescription of medications (Prozac, Dexedrine, and liquid Morphine), and the inquisitive clerk asking: ("Strong, strong stuff here, boy. Wow, what exactly you have wrong, you need all this stuff?"); she became extremely agitated: ("Motherf--ker!...You f--king asshole!...Who the f--k do you think you are? l come in here, you don't know me. You don't know who l am, what my life is, and you have the balls, the indecency, to ask me a question about my life?...l come in here, I give these things to you, you check, you make your phone calls, look suspicious, ask questions! I'm sick! l have sickness all around me, and you f--king ask me my life? What's wrong? Have you seen death in your bed? In your house? Where's your f--king decency? And then I'm asked f--king questions. What's wrong?!")
  • the scene of regret, expressed to nurse Phil Parma (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who was caring for near-death, cancer-stricken TV producer Earl Partridge (Jason Robards), about Earl's meeting up with Lily in grade 12, and then being unfaithful to her for 23 years, and abandoning his family and young son Frank when she was dying of cancer: ("And we meet. She was f--king like a doll. Yeah. A beautiful porcelain doll. And the hips, child-bearing hips, you know that? So, so beautiful. And I cheated on her, over and over and over again. Because I wanted to be a man. And I didn't want her to be a woman, you know? A smart, free person who was something! My f--king mind then. So stupid, that f--king mind! Stupid! Jesus Christ! What would I think, did I think for what I'd done? She was my wife for twenty-three years and I went behind her over and over. F--king asshole that I am. I'd go out and I'd, I'd f--k and I'd come home and get in her bed, and say 'I love you.' This is Jack's mother. His mother, Lily. These two that I had and I lost. This is the regret that you make. This is the regret that you make and the something you take and the blah, blah, blah, something, something. Gimme a cigarette. Mistakes like this, you don't make. Sometimes, you make some and OK. Not OK, sometimes, you make other ones. Yeah. Know that you should do better. I loved Lily. I cheated on her. She was my wife for twenty-three years. And I have a son. And she has cancer. And I'm not there, and he's forced to take care of her. He's fourteen years old. To, to take care of his mother and watch her die on him. A little kid, and I'm not there. And she does die. l loved her so. And she knew what l did. She knew all the f--king stupid things I'd done. But the love was stronger than anything you can think of. The god-damn regret. The god-damn regret! And I'll die. Now I'll die, and I'll tell ya what, yeah, the biggest regret of my life. l let my love go. What did l do? I'm sixty-five years old. And I'm ashamed. Million years ago. The f--king regret and guilt, these things. Don't ever let anyone ever say to you, you shouldn't regret anything. Don't do that. Don't. You regret what you f--king want. Use that. Use that. Use that regret for anything, any way you want. You can use it, OK? Oh, oh God.")
  • the guilt-ridden speech of young gold-digging, drug-addicted trophy wife Linda Partridge to her husband's lawyer Alan Kligman (Michael Murphy), requesting that her sick, wealthy husband/TV producer Earl Partridge's will must be changed because she didn't deserve his money; in the scene, she confessed and admitted that she never loved Earl, and originally married him only for his money, but now really loved him as he was dying: ("I have to tell you something. I have something to tell you. I want to change his will. Can I change his will? l need to....No, you see, uhm, I never loved him. I never loved him - Earl. When I met him when I started, I met him, I f--ked him, and I married him because I wanted his money. You understand? I'm telling you this. I've never told anyone. I didn't love him, but now, you know, I know I'm in that will, I mean, we're all there together. We made that f--king thing, and all the money I'll get. And I-I don't want it, because I love him so much now. I've fallen in love with him now for real as he's dying. And, uhm, I look at him, and he's about to go, Alan. He's moments, he's - I took care of him through this, Alan. What now, then? (slightly later) I don't want him to die. I didn't love him when we met and I-I did so many bad things to him that he doesn't know. Things that I want to confess to him. But now I do. I love him...I don't want any money. I couldn't live with myself with this thing that I've done. I've done so many bad things. I f--ked around. I f--king cheated on him"); Alan suggested that her only avenue was to "renounce the will when the time comes," so the money would go to the "nearest relative" - Frank, causing her to become hysterical, suicidal and extremely agitated: ("No, that can't happen. Earl doesn't want him to have anything")
  • Frank's final and bitterly-angry confrontation with his estranged father on his deathbed, before completely breaking down: ("You don't look that bad. You prick. 'Cock sucker.' That's what you used to like to say, right? 'Cock sucker.' But you are a cock sucker, Earl. It hurts, doesn't it? Huh? You in a lot of pain? She was in a lot of pain. Right to the end, she was in a lot of pain. l know because l was there. You didn't like illness, though, do ya? l was there. She waited for your call. For you to come. l am not gonna cry. l am not gonna cry for you! You cock sucker. l know you can hear me. l want you to know that l hate your f--king guts. You can just f--king die, you f--k. And l hope it hurts. I f--king hope it hurts. I f--king hate you! God damn you, you f--king asshole! Oh God, you f--king asshole, don't go away, you f--king asshole, don't go away, you f--king asshole...")
  • the controversial and audacious ending - a literal rainstorm of frogs
  • the film's last lines, a conversation between Officer Jim Kurring (John C. Reilly) and Claudia Wilson Gator (Melora Walters) about having their relationship work out, overshadowed by Aimee Mann's song "Save Me" -- ("But can you save me come on and save me if you could save me from the ranks of the freaks who suspect they could never love anyone"): ("I just wanted to come here, to come here and say something, say something important, something that you said. You said we should say things and do things. Not lie, not keep things back, these sorts of things that tear people up. Well, I'm gonna do that. I'm gonna do what you said, Claudia. I can't let this go. I can't let you go. Now, you, you listen to me now. You're a good person. You're a good and beautiful person, and I won't let you walk out on me. And I won't let you say those things - those things about how stupid you are and this and that. I won't stand for that. You want to be with me, then you be with me. You see?" (she smiled))



Scuba Diver and Suicidal Son in Prologue



Sleazy Motivational Speaker Frank Mackey

Linda's Angry Rant at Pharmacist

Near-Death, Cancer-Stricken TV Producer Earl Partridge (Jason Robards)

Linda's Discussion With Lawyer About Changing Earl's Will


Frank's Angry Confrontation With Father on Deathbed

Frogs Raining Down

Claudia Listening to Officer Jim's Plea: "I Can't Let You Go"

Make Mine Music (1946)

In Disney's eighth animated feature - an unofficial, less "artsy" follow-up to Fantasia (1940) - containing two of the classic animated segments (out of ten total original segments)

  • the comic retelling of "Casey at the Bat" from the classic 1888 Ernest Thayer tale of an arrogant ballplayer; it ended with the verses, as Casey was at bat with two strikes against him without ever swinging: ("The sneer is gone from Casey's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate; he pounds with cruel violence, his bat upon the plate. And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go, and now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow. (song) Somewhere in this favored land, the sun is shining bright; somewhere bands are playing sweetly, and somewhere hearts are light, somewhere men are laughing, somewhere children shout; but there is no joy in Mudville - mighty Casey has struck out")
  • the 15-minute Disney version of "Peter and the Wolf" based on Sergei Prokofiev's famous symphony of the same name with each character represented by a particular musical instrument, and narrated by scratchy-voiced Sterling Holloway


"Casey at the Bat"

"Peter and the Wolf"

Make Way For Tomorrow (1937)

In Leo McCarey's melodramatic, moving family story about the social issue of aging and its harsh reality; it was based on Josephine Lawrence's 1934 novel The Years Are So Long; it has the reputation of being one of the saddest and most poignant, tearjerking and sentimental films ever made (similar to Ozu's Tokyo Story (1953, Jp.)), especially since it was made during the wearying last years of the long drawn-out Depression:

  • the ending statement in the opening credits: "Life flies past us so swiftly that few of us pause to consider those who have lost the tempo of today. Their laughter and their tears we do not even understand for there is no magic that will draw together in perfect understanding the aged and the young. There is a canyon between us, and the painful gap is only bridged by the ancient words of a very wise man --- HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER"
  • the scene in 1936 of the financially-distraught, devoted elderly couple: Barkley (or "Bark") "Pa" Cooper (Victor Moore) and Lucy "Ma" (Breckenridge) Cooper (Beulah Bondi) - married for 50 years, who announced to family members during a family reunion that they had lost their foreclosed house to the bank when they could not make the mortgage payments after he stopped working four years earlier ("and with everything going out and nothing coming in, I couldn't keep up the payments") - and the surprise disclosure that the six months of leeway given by the bank was about to expire
  • the assistance from their five grown-up children for housing or support provided only a difficult and temporary solution -- "Ma" would move to live in the cramped NYC apartment home of eldest son George Cooper's (Thomas Mitchell) family with his wife Anita (Fay Bainter), to share a bedroom with bratty daughter Rhoda (Barbara Read), while "Pa" would be 360 miles away at the home of mean-spirited daughter Cora Payne (Elisabeth Risdon) and her unemployed husband Bill (Ralph Remley)
  • two scenes represented the compromised difficulties of their separation - (1) a loud phone call between "Ma" with "Pa" in George and Anita’s living room where Anita was teaching a bridge class of eavesdropping card players, and (2) the partial reading-aloud of a very personal letter from "Ma" to "Pa" by his friend - an affable Jewish drugstore shopkeeper Max Rubens (Maurice Moscovitch), who awkwardly paused on the sentence: "...and this is just between us two"; the letter described how "Ma" had been taken to a "dreary and dismal" old folks home to hint that she should move there; the letter ended with the sad statement: "Oh Bark, dear. If only something would turn up so that we could be together. I love you so that..." - it was so touching that Max couldn't finish reading the entire letter
  • due to the disruptions, intrusions and lack of space in New York, in a tremendously well-acted scene, "Ma" spoke to Anita and apologized for all the problems they'd had, and soon after, she told son George that she had decided on her own (even though it had been intimated to her) to move to a female retirement-nursing home, the Idylwild Home for Aged Women in Juniper, NY: ("I don't want to hurt your feelings but I haven't been too happy here. It's lonesome in this apartment with everybody gone all day. Would you mind terribly if I decided to leave you, to go to the Idylwild Home? Well, it's a fine place. I'd meet friends my own age...Once I thought that your father and I might get together again but I see that it will never turn out that way. So I want to go to the home. Well, I'm glad that's over. I hated to tell you as much as you would have hated to tell me anything like that"); meanwhile, she would keep it a secret until "Pa" could travel to the warmer climate of California for health reasons, to live with unseen daughter Addie: ("He must never know that I'm going...This is one thing that has to be handled my way. Just let him go on thinking that I'm living with you and Anita. You can always forward my letters. It'll be the first secret I've ever had from him"); she also tenderly told George another "little secret": "Just between us two, you're always my favorite child"
  • the final day that "Pa" and "Ma" enjoyed together in the company of strangers, and their dinner at the Hotel Vogard where they had honeymooned 50 years earlier, instead of attending a farewell dinner with their children; they had drinks: ("Two cocktails...Two old-fashioneds for two old-fashioned people"), became tipsy and tried fun tongue-twisters ("Betty Botter bought a batch of bitter butter" and "Betty Botter bought a batch of baby buggy rubber bumpers"), reminisced about their courtship and the week of their wedding, and flirted and danced a slow waltz with each other (after the band leader noticed them and changed the tune to "Let Me Call You Sweetheart"); at 9 pm, they took a taxi to the train station, and "Pa" sweetly sang the dance song to "Ma" during the ride - she joined in at the end: "Let me call you sweetheart I'm in love with you Let me hear you whisper That you love me too...Keep the love light glowing In your eyes so blue Let me call you sweetheart I'm in love With you"
  • the sad and downbeat ending scene of their heartbreaking farewell to each other at a NY train station (the same one where they started their honeymoon years earlier), and the few simple pleasantries exchanged during most probably their last moments together outside the train car, as they reaffirmed their love:
    - Lucy: Well, give Addie my love, and tell her to take good care of you.
    - Pa: Well, you'll very likely see her soon yourself. I'll get a job out there, and I'll send for you right away.
    - Lucy: I don't doubt that, Bark. You'll get a job. Of course you will.
    - Conductor: All aboard.
    - Pa: They didn't give us much time, did they? Goodbye, Lucy dear. (They kissed)
    - Lucy: Goodbye, darling.
    - Pa: In case I don't see you again...
    - Lucy: What?
    - Pa: Well, anything might happen. The train could jump off the track. If it should happen that I don't see you again, it's been very nice knowing you, Miss Breckenridge.
    - Lucy: Bark, that's probably the prettiest speech you ever made. And in case I don't see you a - well, for a little while. I just want to tell you, it's been lovely, every bit of it, the whole fifty years. I'd sooner been your wife, Bark, than anyone else on Earth.
    - Pa: Oh, thank you, Lucy.
    - Conductor: All aboard.
    - Lucy: Get going, Pa.
"Ma's" Farewell as "Pa's" Train Departed
  • the departure of "Pa's" train, as "Ma" blew kisses to him through the train window, and then watched in dismay as the train pulled away, before the final fade-out (enhanced again by the tune 'Let Me Call You Sweetheart')

"Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother"


"Pa" and "Ma" Cooper's House About to be Foreclosed - With Eviction

Loud Phone Call From Lucy to Bark During Bridge Game

Max Reading Lucy's Personal Letter to "Pa"

Distraught Lucy ("Ma") Telling George That She Had Decided to Move to Nursing Home

To George: "You're always my favorite child"



Final Day at the Hotel Vogard - 50 Years After Marriage

Taxi to Train Station

Malcolm X (1992)

In writer/director Spike Lee's inspirational 3 1/2 hour tribute-documentary (biopic) on the life of a former burglar, cocaine-addicted drug-user and pimp who became a radical, controversial Black Nationalist leader - based on Alex Haley's novel The Autobiography of Malcolm X:

  • the titles sequence - with the inflammatory words of Malcolm X (Denzel Washington) speaking to American blacks, in voice-over, intercut with grainy video footage from the Rodney King/LA police-beating video filmed in March 1991: ("Brothers and sisters, I'm here to tell you that I charge the white man. I charge the white man with being the greatest murderer on earth. I charge the white man with being the greatest kidnapper on earth. There is no place in this world that that man can go and say he created peace and harmony. Everywhere he's gone, he's created havoc. Everywhere he's gone, he's created destruction. So I charge him, I charge him with being the greatest kidnapper on this earth! I charge him with being the greatest murderer on this earth! I charge him with being the greatest robber and enslaver on this earth! I charge the white man with being the greatest swine-eater on this earth, the greatest drunkard on this earth! He can't deny the charges. You can't deny the charges! We're the living proof of those charges! You and I are the proof. You're not an American, you are the victim of America. You didn't have a choice coming over here. He didn't say: 'Black man, black woman, come on over and help me build America.' He said, 'Nigger, get down in the bottom of that boat, and I'm taking you over there to help me build America.' Being born here does not make you an American. I'm not an American. You're not an American. You're one of the 22 million black people who are the victims of America. You and I, we've never seen any democracy. We ain't seen no democracy in the cotton fields of Georgia. There ain't no democracy down there. We didn't see any democracy in the streets of Harlem, in the streets of Brooklyn, in the streets of Detroit, and Chicago. Ain't no democracy down there. No, we've never seen democracy. All we've seen is hypocrisy. We don't see any American dream. We've experienced only the American nightmare")
  • at the end of the titles sequence, the backdrop of an American flag was burned into the image or shape of an 'X'
  • the sequence in a prison (Malcolm was a zoot-suited hustler charged with burglary, and sentenced to 8-10 years) when fellow inmate Baines (Albert Hall) challenged Malcolm's lifestyle (and gave him some nutmeg to end his drug addiction); he cautioned Malcolm to stop pretending to be white, and to quit conking his hair with poison (a method of hair-straightening): ("Why not look like what you are? What makes you ashamed of being black?... You just another cat strutting down the avenue in your clown suit with all that mess on you! Looking like a monkey! The white man sees you and laughs because he knows you ain't white"); then Baines urged Malcolm to be transformed by turning to Elijah Muhammed (Al Freeman, Jr.) and the teachings of the Nation of Islam: ("Elijah Muhammad can get you out of prison. Out of the prison of your mind. But maybe all you want is another fix")
  • the scene of Malcolm's brief proposal of marriage, via payphone, to Betty Shabazz (Angela Bassett); she told him of her steadfastness even when he would be away: "You're with me, even when you're away"
  • the scenes of various speeches of controversial black nationalist liberation leader Malcolm "X" Little specifically, Malcolm's angry Harlem speech to residents above the oppressive 'white man': ("...I'm gonna tell you like it really is. Every election year these politicians are sent up here to pacify us! They're sent here and setup here by the White Man! This is what they do! They send drugs in Harlem down here to pacify us! They send alcohol down here to pacify us! They send prostitution down here to pacify us! Why you can't even get drugs in Harlem without the White Man's permission! You can't get prostitution in Harlem without the White Man's permission! You can't get gambling in Harlem without the White Man's permission! Every time you break the seal on that liquor bottle, that's a Government seal that you're breaking! Oh, I say and I say it again, ya been had! Ya been took! Ya been hoodwinked! Bamboozled! Led astray! Run amok! This is what He does...")
  • in the scene of Malcolm's visit to Harvard University, the brief moment when a white blonde coed (Fia Porter) interrupted him and asked for his advice: "Excuse me, Mr. X, uhm. Hi. I've read some of your speeches and I honestly believe that a lot of what you have to say is true. And I'm a good person in spite of what my ancestors did. I just wanted to ask you - what can a white person like myself, who isn't prejudiced, what can I do to help you and further your cause?" - he dismissively, coldly and bluntly replied: "Nothing" and walked off
  • his pre- and post-Mecca trip press conferences: ("When you tell your people to stop being violent against my people, I'll tell my people to put away their guns")
  • Malcolm X's famous line: "We didn't land on Plymouth Rock - Plymouth Rock landed on us!" - pointing out that African blacks did not come willingly to America
  • the hospital march scene of Nation of Islam supporters (in solidarity for wounded Brother Johnson (Steve White) who had been beaten unconscious by the police, crying out: "We want justice"); Malcolm X spoke defiantly to Captain Green (Peter Boyle) after being told to disband the mob: ("Fruit of lslam are disciplined men. They haven't broken any laws, yet"); when news came from the doctor that Johnson would live, Malcolm X called off the march by quietly raising his hand to signal the marchers to leave; the Captain noted: "That's too much power for one man to have"
  • the climactic and chaotic set-piece of X's assassination in Harlem's Audubon Ballroom in February of 1965 presented as a conspiracy of Nation of Islam leaders; after a smoke bomb was ignited as a diversion, Malcolm was shot-gunned to death while standing at the podium and then two others pumped bullets into his prone body on the stage floor - with his devastated wife Betty holding her dead husband in her arms
The Assassination in NYC's Audubon Ballroom (Feb 1965)
  • the use of documentary footage of Martin Luther King Jr. commenting on Malcolm's death: ("The assassination of Malcolm X was an unfortunate tragedy and it reveals that there are still numerous people in our nation who have degenerated to the point of expressing dissent through murder and we haven't learned to disagree without being violently disagreeable")
  • the voice-over eulogy of Ossie Davis for Malcolm X, presented with a montage of photos of Malcolm's life: ("Here, at this final hour, in this quiet place, Harlem has come to bid farewell to one of its brightest hopes. Extinguished now, and gone from us forever. It is not in the memory of man that this beleaguered, unfortunate, but nonetheless proud community, has found a braver, more gallant young champion than this Afro-American who lies before us - unconquered still. I say the word again, as he would want me to: Afro-American. Afro-American Malcolm. Malcolm had stopped being Negro years ago. It had become too small, too puny, too weak a word for him. Malcolm was bigger than that. Malcolm had become an Afro-American, and he wanted so desperately that we, that all his people, would become Afro-Americans, too....Malcolm was our manhood. Our living, black manhood. This was his meaning to his people. And in honoring him, we honor the best in ourselves")
  • the final coda sequence of African-American schoolchildren (in the present day) standing and declaring individually: "I am Malcolm X", followed by a view of anti-apartheid, newly-freed activist Nelson Mandela (as Himself, the future South African President) standing in a South African classroom and speaking to the black students: ("As Brother Malcolm said: 'We declare our right on this earth to be a man, to be a human being, to be given the rights of a human being, to be respected as a human being in this society on this earth in this day which we intend to bring into existence --- '"); the last incendiary words were spoken by Malcolm himself: ("'--by any means necessary!'")
"I am Malcolm X"
Nelson Mandela in S. African Classroom

American Flag Burned Into an "X"

Malcolm X in Prison - Speaking to Brother Baines About Turning to Elijah Muhammed and the Nation of Islam


Proposal of Marriage to Sister Betty - Via Payphone


Angry Harlem Speech: ("They send drugs in Harlem down here to pacify us!")

Confronting a Harvard University Blonde Coed

"We didn't land on Plymouth Rock - Plymouth Rock landed on us"

Malcolm X to Capt. Green


Documentary Footage of MLK Jr.


Montage of Photos of Malcolm X's Life During Eulogy


Malpertuis (1971, Belgium) (aka The Legend of Doom House)

In Belgian director Harry Kümel's dramatic, fantasy Euro-horror, arthouse film - a unique, atmospheric and unpredictable masterpiece with a bizarre, moody, eerie, mythical and macabre story (with numerous plot twists) about a haunted and 'damned' house:

  • the striking opening title credits, disintegrating into dripping, blood-red letters (see left)
  • the opening scene of blonde-haired, blue-eyed young sailor Jan (Mathieu Carrière) and his arrival at his home port - where he vainly went looking for his Beacon Quay childhood home (it had disappeared and was replaced by a fishing shop); he followed a woman he thought was his sister - she was actually Bets (French pop singer Sylvie Vartan), a sultry, blue velvet-dressed cabaret singer and working girl in the Venus Bar, a gaudy bordello in the town's red-light district, where he was bloodily beaten in the head during a brawl with Sylvie's pimp and left unconscious
  • after a dissolve and spinning, blurred camera, he found himself shanghaied; he awoke (virtually imprisoned) in a nautical-themed bedroom (of his own imagination?) at the home of his sinister family - the title's mystifying and ominous grand, labyrinthine home known as Malpertuis (translated 'fox's den,' 'cunning house,' or 'evil house'); it was inhabited by a number of off-beat, insane and strange relatives and hangers-on (awaiting an inheritance), and surrounded by misty grounds with decaying ruins and bare trees
  • the first views of corpulent, bed-ridden family patriarch, Jan's strange uncle Quentin Cassavius (Orson Welles), living in an enclosed upstairs suite; always ravenous and pounding on the floor for cowering servants to bring him food: ("He's hungry again! He wants more to eat...So close to death and all he thinks about is food. He stuffs himself Iike a pig, but he won't live any longer. No one is immortal, not even the great Cassavius"); the dying Cassavius was lying back on his enormous, crimson-hued bed framed by curtains, reclining in tuxedo-like pajamas on silk bedsheets
  • the five roles (three were multi-faceted) of Susan Hampshire (in various disguises) - (1) Jan's sweet, reassuring and naive older sister Nancy, (2) beautiful and mysterious redhead Euryale with often downcast eyes, and (3) passionately promiscuous, black-garbed spinster and temptress Alice; the actress' fourth and fifth brief roles were as a nurse, and as Jan's present-day wife Charlotte
The Many Character Roles of Susan Hampshire
Nancy
Jan's Pure Sister
Redhead Euryale
Temptress Alice (or Alecto)
One of the 3 Furies
  • the deathbed scene of Uncle Cassavius divulging the conditions of his last will and testament that were read by Eisengott (Walter Rilla) to the group of depraved misfits gathered around - it was specified that all would acquire his vast wealth and inheritance equally - but only if they remained in Malpertuis for the rest of their lives (literally entrapped and kept prisoner), and the last two (if male and female) were required to marry: ("Each beneficiary will receive an annual income in proportion to the total estate. However, from that moment on, each beneficiary shall remain at Malpertuis. They may never leave the house. They shall undertake to live here until the end...Everything at Malpertuis must remain unchanged. The entire estate shall go to the last survivor. If the last two survivors are a man and a woman, they have to marry. They then inherit Malpertuis and all that goes with it")
  • strange circumstances: after Cassavius' tomb was opened by Jan, his corpse had transformed into a stone statue; and it was rumored that Cassavius had wanted to create a "master race" of blonde haired, blue eyed people: ("He talked about a master race...Yes, a new golden age. Blonde hair, blue eyes, whatever") - he had become the bullying, controlling, and powerful ruler of his own circumscribed world
  • the scene of Alice's naked (body-double) seduction of Jan in a locked, dark blue-draped room, matching the blue of Sylvie's and Nancy's dresses; she approached him with the inviting words: "I'm a woman. I want you to love me"
  • the plot revelation in the devastating climactic, plot-twisting ending of the other-worldly secrets of Malpertuis - during Cassavius' voyages to the Greek isles, he had found that the inhabitants were previously-abandoned and forgotten ancient Greek gods; Cassavius imprisoned and captured the ghosts of these gods, returned to Malpertuis, and had their spirits sewn by taxidermist Philaris (Charles Janssens) into the skins of normal men and women; they were condemned to live out their eternal lives in this restricted form - Cassavius' last wish was for them to mate and produce a new race of demi-gods; he was hoping that eventually, one of his mortal descendents (nephew Jan or niece Nancy) would have a child after sex with one of the Greek gods, in order to create a new age for mankind
  • the secrets of Malpertuis were described by Euryale in her own words: ("The last gods of Greece. Cassavius discovered us on an island in the Ionian Sea. There were only a few gods left. The rest had disappeared, because people no longer believed in them. Cassavius abducted those defenseless ghosts and brought them to Malpertuis. The monster instructed his sIave Philaris to sew that once proud company into miserable human skins")
Euryale Removing the Human
Skin of Malpertuis' Inhabitants
A 'Last Supper" Set-Up
  • in the striking conclusion, the outer human skin (or masks) of Malpertuis' inhabitants were ripped off to reveal the underlying features of marble statuary; to save Jan, Euryale had frozen or petrified them in an artfully-arranged "Last Supper" styled setup
  • Euryale's revelation that she was one of the three Gorgons, who claimed she was immortal and unchanging because she hadn't been forgotten like the others: ("Cassavius didn't dare change anything about me. All the others perished because they were forgotten. I alone have never been forgotten. I'm immortal. My name is Gorgon. I am Love, I am Death. Jan, you force me to be your destiny. Bitter is the fruit of knowledge") - she reached out to Jan for a fatal embrace, looked directly up at him with wide eyes after kissing him - and turned him to marble!
  • the coda (in the present day) and the posing of the film's major question - was everything in Jan's disturbed and fevered mind the result of his blow to the head?; as he was discharged from a mental hospital, he was congratulated by his doctor for writing such an imaginative diary during therapy: ("You have a fertile imagination. The idea of abducting the last Greek gods while they're waiting to die, to humiliate them and make them live the lives of the petit bourgeois - that's a bit strange for a computer expert. The insanity probabIy messed around with memories from when you were young")
Leaving the Hospital and Returning to a Hallway in Malpertuis
  • the film's Wizard of Oz-like ending (similar to when Dorothy awakened from dream land and found all of her fantasy's characters surrounding her as earthly companions); Jan (wearing a dark gray suit) was escorted down the white-walled clinic corridors by his overjoyed wife Charlotte (also Susan Hampshire); he recognized other medical officers, visitors and patients who watched his departure; in the film's final lines of dialogue, Charlotte spoke: "How are you, darIing?" Jan answered: "I'm compIeteIy cured, darIing"
  • a second strange plot twist - after he kissed Charlotte, he turned and the exit doors closed behind him; he found himself back in one maze-like corridor of Malpertuis with brick walls lit by flaming torches; he gazed toward his normal sailor persona who walked hurriedly towards him; the film ended with a zoom-in and freeze-framed close-up of sailor Jan's left eye

Cabaret Singer/Prostitute Bets (Sylvie Vartan)


Jan Awakening From Unconsciousness in Malpertuis After Bloody Beating


Bed-Ridden, Dying Family Patriarch Quentin Cassavius - Jan's Occultist Uncle

The Reading of Cassavius' Will at His Deathbed

Cassavius' Corpse - Turned to Stone



Alice's Naked Seduction of Jan

Euryale's Revelation to Jan That She Was Unchanging and Immortal ("My name is Gorgon")

Euryale Turning Jan to Stone



Released From the Hospital, with Wife Charlotte in Present Day

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

In director John Huston's classic noir/detective debut film based on Dashiell Hammett's novel, about the elusive search for a one foot-tall, jewel-encrusted 'black bird' statuette in the shape of a falcon:

  • the film's memorable sinister and moody imagery, great casting and characterizations including hard-boiled San Francisco private eye Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart), deceitful femme-fatale Brigid O'Shaughnessy (Mary Astor), effeminate and creepy Joel Cairo (Peter Lorre), erudite "Fat Man" Kasper Gutman (Sydney Greenstreet), and gunsel Wilmer (Elisha Cook Jr.)
  • the opening scene of a pleading Miss Wonderly (Mary Astor) in the offices of the Spade and Archer detective agency in San Francisco, asking for protection against a mysterious man named Floyd Thursby
  • the surprise night-time killing (point-blank) of Spade's infatuated and enthusiastic partner Miles Archer (Jerome Cowan) at the corner of Bush and Stockton Streets in the city; soon after, Spade was considered a likely suspect
  • the first meeting of Spade with the deceiving Brigid O'Shaughnessey (alias Miss Wonderly), wearing stripes, in an apartment on California Avenue, under the name of Miss Leblanc; she was trying to charm him when she begged helplessly: ("You've got to trust me, Mr. Spade. Oh, I'm so alone and afraid. I've got nobody to help me if you won't help me. Be generous, Mr. Spade. You're brave. You're strong. You can spare me some of that courage and strength surely. Help me, Mr. Spade. I need help so badly. I've no right to ask you, I know I haven't, but I do ask you. Help me!"); he could see through her fake sincerity and knew she was 'dangerous': ("You won't need much of anybody's help. You're good. It's chiefly your eyes, I think, and that throb you get in your voice when you say things like 'Be generous, Mr. Spade'") but he was obviously attracted and allured to her anyway; he demanded another $500 for further investigative expenses
  • the scene of Joel Cairo (with a gardenia-perfumed business card that Spade smelled) meeting with Spade in his office, and telling about his search for the statuette and an offer of $5,000 for its recovery: ("I'm trying to recover, an ornament that, ah, shall we say has been mislaid...I thought and hoped you could assist me. The ornament, ah, is a statuette, the black figure of a bird"); when Cairo drew a gun, Spade quickly disarmed him and knocked him out - and when Cairo regained consciousness, he whined: "Look what you did to my shirt!", and soon drew his gun a second time on Spade: ("Will you please clasp your hands together at the back of your neck? I intend to search your offices")
Smelling Cairo's Perfumed Card
Homosexual Joel Cairo (Peter Lorre)
Drawing a Gun
  • during a second visit with Brigid in her hotel room, Spade confronted her directly: "You, uh - you aren't exactly the sort of a person you pretend to be, are ya?... The schoolgirl manner, you know, blushing, stammering, and all that... if you actually were as innocent as you pretend to be, we'd never get anywhere"); he also complimented her on her 'act' - "You're good. You're very good!"; after seductively asking Spade what she could offer besides money, he brutally took her face in his hands and kissed her roughly - digging his thumbs into her cheeks, as she accepted his lingering kiss; then he angrily and distrustfully told her: ("I don't care what your secrets are. But I can't go ahead without more confidence in you than I've got now. You've got to convince me that you know what this is all about, that you aren't just fiddling around, hoping it'll all come out right in the end")
Second Visit with Brigid O'Shaughnessey
  • the subsequent scene of Spade's rough treatment of Cairo when later meeting with him and Brigid, and his harsh words toward the petty criminal: ("When you're slapped, you'll take it and like it!")
  • the menacing scene in the hotel room of a seated Gutman speaking to Spade over drinks, emphasizing the importance of straight-talking: ("I distrust a close-mouthed man. He generally picks the wrong time to talk and says the wrong things. Talking's something you can't do judiciously unless you keep in practice. Now, sir, we'll talk if you like. I'll tell you right out - I'm a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk"), explaining the history of the bird (shot from floor angle, showing off his huge girth), and later speaking about his obsessive quest over 17 years for the bird: ("I'm a man not easily discouraged when I want something")
  • the discovery of a clue about the location of the Black Bird - the newspaper notice of the arrival of a boat (La Paloma) at the docks from Hong Kong (it was aflame), and shortly later, the mortally-wounded Captain Jacobi (Walter Huston) stumbled into Spade's office with the bundled falcon, and then died from his gunshot wounds
  • the subsequent meeting in Spade's apartment with the entire gang, and Spade's initial suggestion to the Fat Man that Cairo be the fall guy for the murders of Thursby and Jacobi: ("Give them Cairo!") - and then Spade informed the Fat Man's intimidated "gunsel" Wilmer that he was being double-crossed in plain sight: ("They're selling you out, sonny") - after knocking out Wilmer, Spade told the Fat Man: "There's our fall guy!" and the Fat Man agreed: "You can have him"
  • the suspenseful scene of the unwrapping of the bundled package in which the falcon bird ("the dingus") was discovered to be fake - not gold but only made of lead: (Gutman: "Fake! It's a phony! It-it's lead! It's lead! It's a fake!")
  • Cairo telling off Gutman, blaming him for their failures, and calling him names: ("You, it's you who bungled it, you and your stupid attempt to buy it. Kemidov found out how valuable it was. No wonder we had such an easy time stealing it. You, you imbecile! You bloated idiot! You stupid fathead!") - Cairo, Gutman, and Wilmer would soon be arrested after they fled the scene to continue their search for the bird in Istanbul
  • Brigid's final confrontation with Spade in which he forced her to confess to the double-crossing murder of his partner Miles Archer in order to implicate Thursby, her unwanted accomplice: ("This isn't the time for that school girl act. We're both of us sitting under the gallows. Now, why did you shoot Miles?"); she confessed and then tried to throw herself at him, but he coldly rejected her: ("Well, if you get a good break, you'll be out of Tehachapi in 20 years and you can come back to me then. I hope they don't hang you, precious, by that sweet neck...Yes, angel, I'm gonna send you over. The chances are you'll get off with life. That means if you're a good girl, you'll be out in 20 years. I'll be waiting for you. If they hang you, I'll always remember you"); he then reasserted his resolve: (Spade: "You're taking the fall." Brigid: "You've been playing with me. Just pretending you care to trap me like this. You didn't care at all. You don't love me!" Spade: "I won't play the sap for you!...You killed Miles and you're going over for it"); and then Spade reiterated his code of ethics: ("When a man's partner's killed, he's supposed to do something about it. It doesn't make any difference what you thought of him, he was your partner, and you're supposed to do something about it. And it happens we're in the detective business. Well, when one of your organization gets killed, it's - it's bad business to let the killer get away with it. Bad all around. Bad for every detective everywhere")
Spade to Brigid: "You're taking the fall!"
  • Brigid was handed over to officers for the murder of Miles Archer - she was arrested and ultimately took "the fall"
  • the famous ending quote in response to Sgt. Polhaus' (Ward Bond) question ("It's heavy. What is it?") about the false black bird: ("The, uh, stuff that dreams are made of")
  • Brigid was tearfully taken away and waiting in the elevator for the gates to close - the steel cage was pulled in front of her like the bars on a captive's cell, framing her frightened, motionless, lonely face staring fixedly between the bars of the gate. the last image of Brigid's exit to her fate was down the elevator with the gate casting a shadow of cell bars on her

San Francisco Private Eye Sam Spade's Office

Miss Wonderly
(Mary Astor)


The Murder of Miles Archer by an Unknown Figure in the Dark

Spade's First Meeting with Duplicitous Brigid O'Shaughnessey: "Help me, Mr. Spade!"

Spade's Rough Treatment of Cairo: "When you're slapped, you'll take it and like it!"


Gutman's Discussion with Spade


Arrival of La Paloma - The Dying Freighter Captain Jacobi with the Black Bird in Spade's Office


Gunsel Wilmer - Proposed to Be
The "Fall Guy!"


The Unwrapping of the Bird

Recriminations About the Fake Bird: "You stupid fathead!"

"The, uh, stuff that dreams are made of"

Brigid Arrested and Behind Elevator Gate


A Man Escaped - or: The Wind Blows Where It Wishes (1956, Fr.) (aka Un Condamné à Mort S'est échappé ou Le Vent Souffle où il Veut)

In Robert Bresson's dramatic wartime POW jailbreak-escape thriller, based on a true story about French Resistance fighting member André Devigny who was held in Montluc prison at Lyon by the occupying German Gestapo during WWII in 1943 - with the protagonist's voice-over commentary describing the action:

  • in the stunning, suspenseful opening sequence without dialogue, the first escape attempt of condemned Lt. Fontaine (Francois Leterrier) - while being transported to the Lyon military prison - sitting in the back seat of a car; after eyeing and touching the door handle, he was able to open it and jump from the slowing car when a streetcar crossed their path; he was recaptured (off-screen, while shots, scuffling and cries in German were heard - one instance of the film's brilliant use of diegetic sound) as the camera remained stationary inside the car when he was thrown back in the car, handcuffed to himself, and arrived bloodied and unconscious at his prison cell - clear evidence that he had been severely beaten (with the butt of a pistol) by German guards; he was sentenced to death for espionage and sabotage
  • Fontaine's incarceration in a claustrophobic small cell with a high ceiling and a small window - and the sequences of his meticulous and patient planning for a future escape from the prison - he completely deconstructed his entire cell for purposes of creating makeshift tools for escape: he whittled down a spoon into a sharp tool, took apart his bed, the light fixture, mattress and springs, and clothing (making hooks and ropes), and chiseled down and loosened the panel boards of his poorly-made, wooden cell door
Preparations To Escape
  • the use of a passive camera, where the Germans were often seen as shadowy, undetailed characters (with most of the events outside the cell remaining off-screen)
  • the unexpected appearance of 16 year-old, teenaged François Jost (Charles Le Clainche), a young cellmate - viewed suspiciously (as a potentially untrustworthy spy?) by Fontaine and causing him a severe dilemma: ("There was no time to lose. I'd have to make a choice. Either bring Jost with me, or do away with him...But would I have the courage to kill this kid in cold blood?"), until the two began to trust each other, and made a daring, tense, and determined escape attempt together - with only a limited amount of time to succeed
  • the final nightime foggy and dark view of the two undetected prisoners quickly retreating from the prison after scaling between two buildings and dropping to the ground
The Escape of Jost and Fontaine



Lt. Fontaine Escaping from Moving Car - Camera Remained Stationary Inside Car, as He Was Recaptured


Severely Beaten


Arrival of Young Cellmate Yost

A Man For All Seasons (1966, UK)

In Fred Zinnemann's Best Picture-winning film of Richard Bolt's adaptation of his own play:

  • the main plot: the continuing strength and courage of Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas More (Oscar-winning Paul Scofield) - after King Henry VIII (Robert Shaw) declared himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England; More, a devout Catholic, refused on principle to sign the Act of Succession and would not take the Oath of Supremacy that would grant permission to the King to divorce his own elder brother Arthur's widow - his barren wife Catherine of Aragon; Henry was intent on having a wife bear a male heir to continue his dynastic reign, so he set his sights on marrying mistress Anne Boleyn (Vanessa Redgrave)
  • the "Give the Devil Benefit of Law" scene - More's reverential defense of the law toward brilliant lawyer William Roper (Corin Redgrave), a Lutheran, who had designs to marry his daughter Margaret "Meg" (Susannah York); during a heated discussion, Roper asked: "Now you give the Devil benefit of law!" - More artfully responded: "Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?" - when Roper replied: "Yes. I'd cut down every law in England to do that," More responded forcefully: ("Oh, and when the last law was down, and the Devil turned on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws from coast to coast, man's laws, not God's, and if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes. I give the Devil benefit of law for my own safety's sake")
  • determined to break from Rome, King Henry renounced papal authority - and demanded that bishops and Parliament renounce all allegiance to the Pope; he declared himself the head of the Anglican Church, known as the Act of Supremacy - hence, he annuled his current marriage and wed Anne (who was then crowned as Queen in 1533); the new Archbishop of Canterbury (Cyril Luckham) upheld the marriage
  • Thomas Cromwell (Leo McKern) in Parliament passed a law requiring all English subjects to take an oath of allegiance to accept Henry's will, but More refused to accept the heresy and publically endorse Henry - and was imprisoned for a year in the Tower of London for being a traitor
  • the scene of More's trumped-up, fallacy-filled court trial that included the treachery of courtier Richard Rich (John Hurt) when he perjured himself to destroy More; More denied the accusations of Rich: ("In good faith, Rich, I am sorrier for your perjury than my peril"), and then asserted: ("You know if I were a man who heeded not the taking of an oath, I need not be here. Now, I will take an oath. If what Master Rich has said is true, I pray I may never see God in the face. Which I would not say were it otherwise, for anything on earth!"); then he stated that Rich's testimony, and his refusal to modify his own testimony, doomed him: ("I am a dead man. You have your will of me")
  • in the short following sequence as Rich was about to leave the court, More noticed a golden pendant around Rich's neck: ("That's a chain of office you're wearing...The Red Dragon") - obviously a bribery reward - Rich had recently been appointed as the new Attorney General for Wales; More noted to Rich: ("Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world. But for Wales"); without a jury or deliberations (a sham trial), More was quickly found guilty and pronounced "guilty of high treason"
  • during his last words when he was finally able to speak, More passionately defended his actions and chastised his former friend and King, for committing an illegal action - he cited the Biblical basis for the authority of the Papacy over Christendom, and stated that the Church was immune to the state's interference - guaranteed in both the Magna Carta and in the King's own Coronation Oath: ("Since the Court has determined to condemn me, God knoweth how, I will now discharge my mind concerning the indictment and the King's title. The indictment is grounded in an act of Parliament which is directly repugnant to the law of God and His Holy Church. The supreme government of which no temperable person may by any law presume to take upon him. This was granted by the mouth of our Saviour, Christ Himself, to St. Peter and the bishops of Rome whilst He lived and was personally present here on earth. It is therefore insufficient in law to charge any Christian to obey it. And more than this, the immunity of the Church is promised both in Magna Carta and in the King's own Coronation Oath"); he then went on, vowing his allegiance to the King, but still disapproving of the marriage: ("I am the King's true subject and I pray for him and all the realm. I do none harm. I say none harm. I think none harm. And if this be not enough to keep a man alive then in good faith, I long not to live. Nevertheless, it is not for the supremacy that you have sought my blood, but because I would not bend to the marriage!")
  • the concluding scene of More's beheading execution at the Tower of London and his brief poignant words: ("I am commanded by the King to be brief and since I am the King's obedient subject, brief I will be. I die His Majesty's good servant, but God's first"); then he spoke directly to his executioner (Eric Mason) after giving him a coin for his duty, and forgave him: ("I forgive you, right readily. Be not afraid of your office. You send me to God")
  • the epilogue voice-over of the narrator (voice of Colin Blakely), about the aftermath and how More became a revered martyr: ("Thomas More's head was stuck on Traitors' Gate for a month. Then his daughter, Margaret, removed it and kept it 'til her death. Cromwell was beheaded for high treason five years after More. The Archbishop was burned at the stake. The Duke of Norfolk should have been executed for high treason, but the King died of syphilis the night before. Richard Rich became Chancellor of England and died in his bed")

King Henry VIII (Robert Shaw)

Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield) Defending the Law to William Roper


Treachery of Richard Rich Perjuring Himself - for the Reward of Being Appointed Attorney General of Wales

More's Defense of His Actions

Pronounced Guilty of High Treason - Final Thoughts

Beheading Execution at Tower of London

Man Hunt (1941)

In director Fritz Lang's anti-Nazi, WWII political thriller - a film-noirish story set on the eve of the war, about a suave English gentleman adventurer pursued by the Nazis for threatening to assassinate Hitler:

  • the film's opening - the tense sequence of big-game hunter Capt. Alan Thorndike (Walter Pidgeon) stalking within shooting distance of Hitler's summer palace (Berchtesgaden) in the Bavarian Alps in the mid-summer of 1939, and being tempted to aim at the dictator's head and chest with a precision telescopic viewer, and pul the trigger - the gun was unloaded and clicked empty; then, he gave a salute-wave to the Fuhrer, paused for a moment, and then thought about committing the assassination for real; Thorndike loaded a cartridge into the rifle, but he was jumped by a German Nazi sentry as he pulled the trigger a second time, and the shot went wild - he later claimed
  • the scene of Thorndike's capture and incarceration - brought before the brutal Gestapo, led by white-uniformed, monocle-wearing chief Major Quive-Smith (George Sanders); although Thorndike claimed "It was a sporting stalk...stalking the game you're after for the fun of it, not to kill...the sport is in the chase, not the kill. I don't kill any longer, not even small game"; nevertheless, he was compelled to sign a confession (that he had acted as an assassin for the British government), but he refused, so he was forced to submit to beatings and torture ("How well do you stand pain?") (off-screen) and a scheduled execution
Thorndike - Identified and Questioned by Major Quive-Smith
  • Thorndike ultimately survived being pushed off a 'treacherous' cliff ledge (his death was to be made to look like an accident) when his backpack became caught in a tree and it cushioned his fall; after regaining consciousness, he evaded a search by bloodhounds, and escaped from Europe to England (by stowing away on a Danish steamship with the aid of an English cabin boy Vaner (Roddy McDowall)) during a massive pursuit and man-hunt by German Nazi spies looking for him
  • the growing romance after London Cockney streetwalker/seamstress Jerry Stokes (Joan Bennett) helped Thorndike to evade Germans during their search - and his thankful purchase of a "dangerous weapon" for her - a hatpin made of chromium (in the shape of an arrow) to decorate her beret - given with his "undying gratitude and admiration"
  • during his flight, there was a tense sequence of a pursuit in a dark subway tunnel of the London Underground, when one of Quive-Smith's men, German agent Mr. Jones (John Carradine) with a long sharp blade hidden inside his walking stick, stalked after Thorndike and after a hand-to-hand struggle in the tube, was electrocuted when he was punched and fell backwards onto the electrified third rail (with sparks flying); subsequently during the investigation into the "TUBE MURDER MYSTERY," Jones (who had acquired Thorndike's passport and billfold) was identified as the dead hunter Thorndike in newspaper headlines: ("MURDER IN THE UNDERGROUND - Capt. Alan Thorndike's Body Found"); a male murder suspect at the scene (Thorndike himself, with a scar on his right cheek) was reported to have escaped; now both the British police and the Nazis were both engaged in a man-hunt, searching for Thorndike
Mr. Jones' Deadly Chase After Thorndike in the London Underground Tube
  • the concluding scene was the confrontation between Quive-Smith who had located and entrapped Thorndike in his cave-hideout in the woods; through a tiny opening in the cave wall, he passed in Jerry's beret with the chromium arrow hat-pin hanging on a stick - signifying her death; he explained how that during their search, the Germans questioned her and threw her out of a window when she wouldn't betray him: ("She made your mistake, Thorndike, she flauted obvious power. She refused to tell us anything...She was found dead in the street, Thorndike. The police reported that she, uh, jumped to her death from a window")
  • then, after Thorndike angrily admitted that he had wanted to personally kill the Fuhrer, Quive-Smith strongly urged and forced him to sign the confessional document - he said it would help the Germans who had just invaded Poland that same day (September 1, 1939): ("Today Europe, tomorrow the world!"); while stalling for time, Thorndike fabricated a makeshift bow (with his belt and a strip of wood) and used Jerry's chromium hat-pin as an arrow (strapped to the stick); then, through the hole in the cave wall, he shot the arrow and mortally-wounded Quive-Smith in the side of the head; however, the German was able to shoot and wound Thorndike before expiring; Thorndike was able to crawl over to Quive-Smith's corpse and destroy the false inflammatory signed confession by tearing it with his teeth
  • during his long recuperation, Thorndike experienced flashbacks to double-exposed memories of Jerry, who had helped him during their brief romance; in the film's denouement set during WWII, the healed Thorndike had joined the British RAF a year later, and was on a bombing mission over Germany; unexpectedly, he parachuted into Germany's Third Reich - his reconnaissance objective this time was to really assassinate Hitler with his hunting rifle, as the narrator patriotically described (in voice-over) his mission in the film's last lines, to the tune of "My Country 'Tis of Thee": ("And from now on, somewhere within Germany, is a man with a precision rifle and the high degree of intelligence and training that is required to use it. It may be days, months or even years, but this time he clearly knows his purpose and, unflinching, faces his destiny")
During His Recuperation: Flashbacks to Cockney Prostitute Jerry Stokes
Ending: Thorndike Parachuting Into Germany With a Mission to Assassinate Hitler




Aiming an Unloaded Rifle at the Fuhrer

Below the Cliff, Thorndike's Backpack Snagged on a Tree

Thorndike Regaining Consciousness After Cliff Fall

Thorndike's Purchase of a Chromium Arrow for Streetwalker Jerry's Beret


Jerry's Hat with Arrow

Thorndike's Makeshift Bow - Pulling It Back and Aiming

The Target Seen Through Cave Opening: Quive-Smith's Head

Mortally-Wounded Quive-Smith Shooting Thorndike Before Dying

Wounded Thorndike Destroying False Confession With His Teeth

The Man I Love (1947)

In Raoul Walsh's forgotten, noirish melodramatic soap opera (a classic 'women's picture'), and dramatic character study - a tale of regret, damaged romance and unhappiness:

  • the opening late-night jam session sequence set in a NY (Manhattan) night club, to introduce hardbitten, tortured, jazzy torch singer Petey Brown (Ida Lupino) who was singing - with a smoky voice - the sad Gershwin title tune (dubbed by Peg La Centra) while sharing her cigarette with the piano player
  • the sequences involving Petey's temporary refuge from NYC at Christmas-time, traveling to visit her three siblings in their Long Beach, CA apartment: her two sisters - 18 year-old Virginia 'Ginny' Brown (Martha Vickers), and hard-working, downtrodden married waitress Sally (Brown) Otis (Andrea King) (her unbalanced husband, ex-Army Sgt. Roy Otis (John Ridgely), was recuperating in a military hospital from shell-shock), Sally and Roy's young son was Buddy Otis (Patrick Griffin); also living there was Petey's corrupted and cocky younger brother Joey Brown (Warren Douglas) (a hired wannabe 'tough guy' thug)
Petey's Siblings: Brother and Two Sisters
Tough-Guy Joey Brown (Warren Douglas)
Sally
(Andrea King)
Petey's 18 Year-Old "Kid Sister" 'Ginny' Brown
(Martha Vickers)
  • Joey and Sally were both under the employ of shady, playboyish, small-time gangster/racketeer and Bamboo Club club owner Nicky Toresca (Robert Alda) (Sally actually worked in Uncle Tony Toresca's (William Edmunds) diner-spaghetti-restaurant) - Toresca was making unwanted, lecherous and predatory advances toward Sally, even though she rejected him ("I don't have boyfriends"); the feisty Petey took a job as a singer in Toresca's nightclub to distract and divert the detestable Nicky to herself
  • the problems that resulted from Ginny's secret crush on the across-the-hall neighbor - Johnny O'Connor (Don McGuire) who was married to neglectful, trampy, irresponsible and flirtatious Gloria O'Connor (Dolores Moran) - they had baby twin boys that Ginny and Sally often cared for; party-girl Gloria - who hated being a mother and housewife ("I'm tired of cooking and taking care of babies") also became involved in an affair with Toresca; Petey had a negative opinion about Gloria that she expressed to Sally: ("She wouldn't give you the time of day if she had two watches")
  • at the club, Petey's continuing and difficult relationship with down-and-out, brooding and haunted alcoholic, divorced, and legendary ex-jazz pianist San Thomas (Bruce Bennett), a Merchant Marine who still hadn't recovered from the breakup with his ex-wife ("Isn't life difficult enough without mixing it up with memories?"); Petey's relationship with him temporarily ended and she turned spiteful when his ex-wife Amanda Chandler returned home to the LA area and his interest waned in her (Petey told him: "I don't feel like sharing you with her...I'm not sharing you at all, San, and that's final!"); however, they still saw each other
  • a major tragedy occurred one evening, when Toresca ordered the neighbor's sloppy-drunk party-girl cheating wife Gloria O'Connor to leave his place after she tried to force herself on him; Toresca strong-armed Joey to drive her home: "Get her outta here!"; during the drive, Gloria foolishly jumped out of the car on the busy highway, and as Joey watched in his rear-view mirror, she was run over by an oncoming vehicle - she was instantly killed; afterwards, Toresca refused to take any responsibility for the death, and compelled the bungling Joey to take the blame: ("This is your rap!...You're the one that got me into this mess, and you're the one that's gonna get me out"); Petey intervened and confronted Toresca in his office about what had just happened; she tried to bribe him to keep quiet about the circumstances of Gloria's death (and her brother Joey's involvement and responsibility); he agreed only if she would return to him: ("Grow up, baby. Stick with me in my gutter. We both talk the same language...You're what I want")
Gloria's Tragic Death
Toresca To Joey
("This is your rap!")
Petey's Intervention with Toresca
  • after discussing what to do, Toresca invited Petey to join him for a nighttime drive ("It'll cool us both off"); as they descended stairs to the garage, they were confronted by widower-husband Johnny O'Connor seeking revenge against Toresca for Gloria's death; he wielded a gun and was ready to murder Toresca; after talking sense to him failed: ("Johnny, don't be a fool...Now listen, Johnny. I wouldn't care if you got the whole load pumped into him, but you're too nice a guy. You've got kids to think of. This'd be murder"), Petey authoritatively delivered a karate chop to Johnny's wrist to disarm the gun, repeatedly slapped him across the face, and convinced him to leave without violence: ("Please go home, will you, please?"); she then turned and threatened Toresca - challenging him to reveal the truth of Gloria's death to authorities: "If you don't call the police and tell them the truth, Nicky, I will!"
Toresca and Petey Confronted by Johnny O'Connor With Gun
  • in the gripping, bittersweet final scene, after most of her family's problems were resolved through her interventions, and a restored Roy had returned home to Sally, Petey decided to leave town - (she assured Sally: "Don't you worry about me, kid. I'll land on my feet, I always do")
  • she also said her goodbyes to San who was about to ship out with the Merchant Marines; she confessed her love to him during final embraces: ("Oh, San, I do love you. I know you don't feel the same way. Don't say you do, darling, because nobody could love two people the way you did her. I'm gonna miss you so"); he couldn't promise her anything, but said he would return: "And I'll be back...Remember what you once told me when I was low. All of us are standing in the mud" - she responded: "Some of us are looking at the stars"; as he touched her chin for a last kiss, he delivered the film's final line of dialogue: "Here's lookin' at ya, baby!"; she watched as he boarded the ship and waved one last time at her, as the gangplank was pulled away; a slight smile developed on her tearful face while she strode away in the open-ended conclusion


Torch Singer Petey Brown (Ida Lupino) in NYC

Petey's Arrival at Brown Household in California on Christmas Eve

Nicky Toresca's Interest in Waitress Sally

Sally's Angry, Hospitalized Shell-Shocked Husband, Ex-Army Sgt. Roy Otis (John Ridgely)

Across-the-Hall Neighbors Gloria and Johnny O'Connor with Twin Baby Boys

Party-Girl Gloria

Petey with Nicky Toresca (Robert Alda)

Petey with San Thomas
(Bruce Bennett)


Petey's Break Up with San


Ending: Petey's Goodbye to Sally


Ending: Petey's Goodbye to San Who Was Leaving for Merchant Marines

Man of Aran (1934, UK)

In pioneering director Robert Flaherty's semi-staged (or fabricated) documentary ("docu-fiction") about the harsh life of survival on Ireland's desolate, weather-beaten, rugged and barren Aran Islands about 30 miles off Ireland's western coast:

  • the close-knit family - viewed dialogue-less (with over-dubs only) - archetypal characters: fisherman/patriarch - the 'Man of Aran' (Colman "Tiger" King), his Wife (Maggie Dirrane), and young Son (Michael Dillane)
  • the churning of the thunderous waves that threatened to drown the villagers
  • the portrayal of the gritty and inventive struggle to grow food without soil, by laying seaweed down on the bare rock to produce a potato crop (Title-card: "Seaweed - the foundation of their farm")
  • the scene of the boy fishing with a line from towering cliff faces, when he spotted something, climbed down the rocks, and stood face to face with the gaping mouth of a great white shark swimming by in the water (the musical score on the soundtrack suddenly stopped to emphasis his find)
  • the film's centerpiece - the elaborate montage sequence of the prolonged, two-day boat hunt for a basking shark by harpooning (to provide lamp oil) - a practice that had actually ended many decades earlier
Montage of Shark Hunt
  • in the conclusion, the incredible storm scenes and turbulent churning waters, with giant waves threatening to engulf the fishing boat


Threatened Villagers

Growing Food (Potatoes) Using Seaweed

Fishing on Cliff's Edge

Sighting of Shark

Man of the West (1958)

In Anthony Mann's last western:

  • the opening scene - a robbery (on a train bound for Fort Worth, Texas) - when ex-outlaw and Texan hero Link Jones (Gary Cooper), with a dark and troubled past, lost the savings of his community of Good Hope (to be used to hire a schoolteacher); he was abandoned with cardsharp con-man Sam Beasley (Arthur O'Connell) and Crosscut Saloon singer Billie Ellis (Julie London)
  • the trio's on-foot arrival at an isolated, broken-down ranch house where Link, now reformed, revealed he had once been raised and trained as a gang member to rob banks; inside, they found the thieving train robbers and their patriarchal leader Dock Tobin (Lee J. Cobb) - Link's uncle
  • the notorious scene of drunken, twisted and violent outlaw Coaley Tobin (Jack Lord) threatening Billie Ellis by forcing her to strip down to her underwear; he forced Link - his own cousin - to watch by sitting him on a chair: ("Come on in, Link, you're just in time...Your gal's gonna undress for us. We saved a front row seat for ya! Ha, ha, ha! It's gonna be a big show"); Coaley instructed the humiliated Billie to undress, and to force her to begin the striptease, he wielded a knife: ("You see this? (He held up his knife) Now start takin' off your clothes. What's the matter with your girl, Link? Make her do it...It's gonna be right now....Start takin' off your clothes....(He held a knife at Link's throat) You're not talkin' us out of this. Now undress. Start with the shoes. Wanna see me cut him? Huh? Ha-ha! (She removed her shoes) The stockings. (She removed her black stockings) Get up. That shirt thing, now, peel it off. (She unbuttoned her red top) I don't have to tell you what's next, do I? (She unfastened her red dress) Come on. Come on! (She removed her white blouse) How are ya enjoying this cousin? Huh? Huh?...Get that petticoat off!")
  • Link was forced to rejoin the robbers for a bank heist in the town of Lassoo (eventually discovered to be a ghost-town)
  • the concluding vengeful retaliation of Link against Coaley - by goading him into a brutal and epic fistfight (without Coaley's gunbelts or knife), and then forcing him to strip off his clothes!; Sam interceded when Coaley angrily shot at Link, and was killed; Coaley was then shot by another of Link's cousins, Claude Tobin (John Dehner)
  • by the film's end, Link had killed off a number of gang members, but found that in his absence, Billie had been raped (off-screen) and beaten; in retaliation in the film's climactic end, he killed Dock and reclaimed the stolen funds, and then Billie and Link went their separate ways

Billie Ellis (Julie London)

Knife Held to Throat of Link Jones by Coaley Tobin (Jack Lord)

Forced to Strip

Vengeful Retaliation Against Coaley

The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976, UK)

In Nicolas Roeg's impressionistic, hallucinatory, disjointed, non-literal sci-fi film and parable:

  • the scene of pale, ethereal humanoid alien visitor Thomas "Tommy" Jerome Newton's (rock star David Bowie in his feature film debut) arrival on Earth by splashing into a Southwestern lake in New Mexico
  • his first unsettling contact with society, but soon he acquired wealth as a tycoon, heading up a technological firm using advanced inventions from his home planet
  • "Tommy's" bored, crippling and addicted habit of watching a dozen televisions at once (and his screams of "Get out of my mind, all of you! Stay where you belong! Go away! Go back where you came from")
  • Thomas' memories/visions of his Anthean family suffering and dying on his drought-stricken home planet
  • the frequent and often unusual playful encounters between Tommy and Mary-Lou, including the scene in which he drunkenly threatened Mary-Lou with a pistol: ("I think you know, you know too much about me... I can do anything, now, you know? I can kill you right here on this bed. Then I could phone room service. And they'd - they'd take your body away, and then I'd have them send up another girl"); she begged for her life: ("Oh, Tommy. Tommy. I just want it to be like it was. Me, the two of us. You. You. The way you were"); however, he was fooling her - it was only a blank-firing fake gun
Threatening Mary-Lou With a Mock Pistol - and Love-Making
  • in an exploratory and explicit sex scene involving the mock pistol, Tommy dipped the gun's barrel into a glass of wine, licked it and drank from the glass, and then had a frenzied and loveless encounter with Mary-Lou
  • the startling revelation of his true Anthean form - androgynous, cat-eyed and hairless - to naive and lonely New Mexico hotel cleaning lady/girlfriend Mary-Lou (Candy Clark) who uncontrollably peed down her leg at the horrific sight of him; before long, she had taught him about many human ways, including sex
"Tommy's" True Planet Anthea Form
  • after a few decades passed, Newton eventually ended up corrupted and ravaged by alcohol and despairing depression - and unable to return to his doomed home; the final image was of a completely drained, eternally-trapped, broken, depressed and alone alcoholic Thomas - inebriated in a cafe chair (with his head bowed, and his hat facing the camera), with the film's final lines: ("I think maybe Mr. Newton has had enough, don't you?" "I think maybe he has")

Arrival of Humanoid Alien "Tommy" - Splash into Lake

A Bank of Televisions

Mary Lou: "You can come in Tommy, don't be embarrassed"


Love-Making


Mary-Lou Peeing in Shock


Last Image: Thomas Alone and Drunk in a Cafe Chair With Head Down

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

In Alfred Hitchcock's dramatic and colorful remake of his own political thriller film from 22 years earlier:

  • during the title credits - the foreshadowing of the film's climactic ending: "A single crash of Cymbals and how it rocked the lives of an American family."
  • the opening introduction of the McKenna family - American tourists: surgeon Dr. Benjamin "Ben" McKenna (James Stewart) and his wife, newly-retired singing star Josephine "Jo" (Doris Day) from Indianapolis, Indiana, with their 11 year-old son Henry or "Hank" (Christopher Olsen); on a bus traveling from Casablanca to Marrakech in French Morocco (in Northern Africa), they met a Frenchman named Louis Bernard (Daniel Gelin) who intervened when Hank accidentally pulled off the veil of one of the local Muslim women
  • the startling moment when a sinister-looking man knocked at the McKennas' hotel-room door in Marrakech [Note: He would later be identified as Rien (Reggie Nalder), a hired assassin]; Louis Bernard was in the McKenna's hotel room and witnessed the incident, and then abruptly cancelled his dinner plans with them
  • the 'fish-out-of-water' dinner scene that evening in Marrakech, when the McKennas met a friendly English couple at a local Arab restaurant -- the Draytons: Lucy (Brenda De Banzie) and Edward (Bernard Miles) [Note: They were later revealed to be the real criminals - leaders of an anarchist terrorist group, involved in an assassination plot]; it was unusual that Louis Bernard was also in attendance at the restaurant, but basically ignored the McKennas
  • the scene in the Marrakech bazaar marketplace the next day (the McKennas were with the Draytons) when saw a robed, dark-skinned man, obviously with face paint, being chased by police, and then stumbling into the square and falling to the ground, with a knife sticking out of his back; he reached out to speak to Dr. McKenna: ("Monsieur McKenna. I'm Louis Bernard")
In Marketplace, Disguised Arab (Louis Bernard) Knifed in the Back -
With Whispered Secret to Dr. McKenna
  • the whispered secret told to Dr. McKenna (with a closeup of his ear) by the disguised Arab, actually Frenchman Bernard whom the McKennas had met earlier: ("A man, a statesman, is to be killed, assassinated, in London. Soon, very soon. Tell them in London to try Ambrose Chappell"); mystified by the murder, Dr. McKenna told his wife: ("Why should he pick me out to tell?")
  • it was later revealed by the police that Louis was a French Intelligence agent working there in Morocco, part of the Deuxime Bureau, better known as the "American FBI": ("The dead man found out what he had been sent here to discover. That's why he was killed. He told you what he had discovered... Because he placed complete confidence in you")
  • the ominous phone call received by Dr. McKenna in the police headquarters, revealing that son "Hank" had been kidnapped for blackmailing purposes: ("If you tell even one word of what Louis Bernard whispered to you in the marketplace, your little boy will be in serious danger. Remember, say nothing")
  • the revelation by Dr. McKenna to Jo, that he had figured out why they had been approached by Bernard before his death - they had been mis-identified as a couple that Bernard was suspiciously tracking: ("He started to talk to us, and the reason he started to talk to us was 'cause he was on the lookout for a suspicious married couple.. a different married couple [the Draytons]....He found them, all right. It was in the restaurant where we had dinner last night. And that's one of the reasons he was killed")
  • the scene of Dr. McKenna going off track the next day in his search back in London - when he met with two taxidermists named Ambrose Chappell, Sr. (George Howe) and Jr. (Richard Wordsworth) - and discovering shockingly, that Ambrose Chapel was a place - not a person, and it was where Hank was being held hostage by the Draytons and the Ambassador (Mogens Wieth) who had hired the Draytons to arrange for the assassination
  • the wordless 12-minute climactic sequence in London's Royal Albert Hall during a concert performance (of the London Symphony Orchestra) where both Jo and Ben McKenna was keenly aware of an assassination plot of some sort (the murder of foreign dignitary - Prime Minister (Alexis Bobrinskoy)), about to take place at the end of the performance of Arthur Benjamin's Storm Cloud Cantata during a dramatic clash of cymbals
  • the final climactic moment when a gun barrel was visible pointing out from behind a red box curtain in the balcony, and the gunman's shot was accentuated by Jo's terrified shrieking scream, causing the gunman to miss his mark and only wound the targeted statesman in the arm, followed by the assassin's death when he struggled with Dr. McKenna and tumbled from the balcony
Assassin Rien Aiming His Weapon
Jo McKenna's Scream Disrupted Gunshot
Assassin's Death

One of Early Title Screens

First Meeting of McKenna Family with Louis Bernard on Bus to Marrakech

Sinister Knock at Door - The Future Assassin!

Dinner with the Draytons at Arab Restaurant

Disturbing Phone Call About Hank's Abduction

Bernard's Whispered Secret

McKenna Questioning the Younger Ambrose Chappell - On the Wrong Track in London


The Assassin's Target in London's Royal Albert Hall: The Prime Minister






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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