Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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

Mighty Aphrodite (1995)

In Woody Allen's comedy, with a clever but overused Greek Chorus (led by F. Murray Abraham) that observed and made comments on the plot:

  • the opening sequence - the appearance of a Greek Chorus in an ancient amphitheatre, repeating in unison a warning to mankind about those who tempted fate: ("Woe unto man. Brave Achilles, slain in trial by blood - for prize, the bride of Menelaus. And father of Antigone, ruler of Thebes, self-rendered sightless by lust for expiation. Lost victim of bewildered desire. Nor has Jason's wife fared better. Giving life only to reclaim it in vengeful fury. (Leader) For to understand the ways of the heart is to grasp as clearly the malice or ineptitude of the gods, who, in their vain and clumsy labors to create a flawless surrogate, have left mankind but dazed and incomplete. Take, for instance, the case of Lenny Weinrib, a tale as Greek and timeless as fate itself")
  • the plot premise - the adoption of a son named Max, by neurotic sportswriter Lenny Weinrib (Woody Allen) and his art gallery owner wife Amanda (Helena Bonham Carter), to resolve issues in their unhappy marriage - subsequently, Lenny went on a search to locate Max's biological mother
  • the first encounter of adoptive father Lenny with dumb, high-pitched-voiced, crude, horny, classless and blonde long-legged prostitute/porn actress Linda Ash/Judy Cum (an Oscar-winning performance by Mira Sorvino) - she appeared at her apartment door ("Hi, are you my 3 o'clock?") thinking that he was a "high-strung" male "john" - a married client who was overdue for fellatio ("It looks like it's been a long time since you had a great blow job"), and she later affirmed: "You want to know why I liked you right from the start?... 'Cause I'm always attracted to losers...You got no confidence. It's sweet. I like that in a man. I can't stand those johns who come in here and throw down a couple of hundred and whip out a big dick and wave it all over the joint"
  • and her gleeful observation as she showed him her recently-acquired erotic antique watch, a gift that she recently received: ("As the main spring goes back and forth, the bishop keeps f--king her in the ass. It's a genuine antique and it keeps perfect time")
  • her incredulous reaction that the extremely nervous Lenny didn't want to sleep with her, after he made numerous comments or attempts about reforming, saving, or changing Linda from her hooker sex-trade to something more domestic ("If you're serious about being a Broadway actress, what are you wasting your time with all this porn for?...I just think it's crazy. You're an attractive young woman...You don't have to live like this, Linda.... You take money from guys and you perform all these acts...You could have a husband and a child or something") - and ultimately, she called him "possessive", returned his money and dismissed him from her apartment
  • later, during a lunch meal in a restaurant, Linda's description to Lenny of her biological father and her incredulous, miserable life: "Oh, he was a drug pusher and he was also a car thief, and he picked pockets and, you know, he burgled and stuff and he was an epileptic... mail fraud... that's what they caught him then I ran away when I was 14....and I went away with this musician named Johnny. And it was terrible because we fought all the time, Lenny. Finally, he committed suicide. And for years I thought it was because of my cooking. He always hated my clam sauce. And so then I kicked around from Chicago, Philadelphia, you know. All over the place. And I ended up here...I waited on tables. I worked in a massage parlor. I did phone sex. Now and then I would, you know, turn a few tricks in order to make some dough. And one day my friend Susie calls me and she asks me if I want to be in a film. Something called Snatch Happy. And I said, 'Sure.' And I remember I was very nervous because I'd never done it in front of people with a camera before, you know. And so there I am on the first day, on the set. And there's this guy f--king me from behind, right? And there's these two huge guys dressed like cops in my mouth at the same time. And I remember thinking to myself, 'I like acting. I wanna study'"
  • in their third meeting together, the revelation that she was the mother of his adopted son Max (due to a broken condom): "I had a kid, Lenny, and I gave him up for adoption. It's the sorriest thing I ever did in my entire life. There's not a day that doesn't go by that I don't wake up thinking about him. Now some lucky family has him. I just hope to God that they're taking good care of him...I was all confused. I had no dough. I-I-- I didn't know what to do. I-- I didn't even know who the father was. It could've been any one of a hundred guys. Welcome to planet Earth, thanks to a broken condom"
  • the bittersweet twist ending (with the Chorus urging: "When You're Smiling (The Whole World Smiles with You)") when they both met about a year later in a toy store - Linda was now married, with a regular job as a hairdresser, and she was pushing a baby in a stroller (fathered by Lenny, although she hadn't told him!) - each ended up with the other's child, without each other's knowledge

Greek Chorus

Adoption of Max

Linda Ash/Judy Cum (Mira Sorvino) - Meeting Lenny at Her Door

His Nervous First Encounter With Linda

Linda's Description of Her Life and Entry Into Porn

Linda's Confession That She Gave Away a Child for Adoption

Ending: Meeting in Toy Store

Linda as Hairdresser, Living in Connecticut

Mighty Joe Young (1949)

In director Ernest B. Schoedsack's spectacular fantasy-adventure drama, involving the exploitation of a giant African gorilla in Hollywood, with Oscar-winning stop-motion special effects of the expressive 'Mr. Joseph Young' by King Kong's Willis O'Brien assisted by Ray Harryhausen (and remade by Disney as Mighty Joe Young (1998) starring Bill Paxton and Charlize Theron):

  • the opening Africa sequence in which precocious Jill Young (Lora Lee Michel) trade-exchanged her widowed father John Young's (Regis Toomey) giant flashlight to two natives for a cute orphaned baby gorilla in a basket
  • the transition of the gorilla to full size (an 800 lb., 10 foot tall animal) - and its entrance from the jungle to taunt a captured lion in a wagon cage - but completely obedient to teenaged Jill (Terry Moore, the long-time mistress of billionaire Howard Hughes)
  • the reprised role of Robert Armstrong (from King Kong (1933) as an entrepreneurial film-maker) as ambitious New York showbiz impresario Max O'Hara, who was assisted by Oklahoma rodeo cowboy roper Gregg Johnson (Ben Johnson in his first major role) in an exciting sequence attempting to wrangle and lasso Joe
  • the luring and tempting (with promises of fame and glamour) of ingenue Jill to sign a contract, to allow Joe to be the star of Max O'Hara's new Hollywood nightclub show titled Golden Safari
  • the sequences of Joe's starring (but degrading and exploitative) floorshow act for dinner patrons, with fancy-dressed Jill (as The Jungle Queen) playing Joe's favorite song "Beautiful Dreamer" on the piano, and Joe's raising up the circular stage platform on which she played, his tug-of-war with a group of champion strong-men wrestlers (including Tor Johnson, Man Mountain Dean, Phil Olafsson, and Primo Carnera) who were all dumped into a pool of water
Joe's Floor-Show Act with Jill Playing the Piano
"Beautiful Dreamer"
Tug of War
Coins Aimed at Joe's Cap
  • also the sequence of Jill playing a hurdy-gurdy (organ-grinder) while Joe begged for money with his cap (while audience members, who were given large frisbee-sized coins by waiters ("Big money for the big monkey!")), as coins were aimed at the cap in order to win free champagne - and one thoughtless and drunk audience member pelted a liquor bottle at the ape's head; Jill yelled "Stop!" at the audience and Gregg ordered the curtain lowered
  • Jill's concerns that Joe was becoming despondent in a cramped basement cell-cage after 17 weeks of performances, and homesick for the wide open African jungles
  • the scene of three obnoxious, antagonistic and cruel drunks teasing and supplying Joe with liquor from bottles offered through his caged bars, causing him to become enraged, inebriated and beserk-acting when one of the abusive men burned Joe with a cigarette lighter, and the ape battered his way out of his cage
  • the fantastic scene of Joe's rampaging destruction of the African-styled nightclub sets, including fighting off exotic lions who broke out of their glass-enclosed exhibits, and the collapse of huge backdrops, thatched huts and props
  • the lengthy, thrilling and exciting jail-break escape sequence to release Joe before police arrived with a court order to shoot him; and the complex chase sequence to take Joe to a chartered boat to return to Africa, involving Joe's transport in the back of two different trucks; and the subtle comical elements of Joe on the tailgate of one truck spitting and making faces at the pursuers
  • the bravura sequence of Joe's heroic assistance to rescue Jill and orphaned children trapped in the upper floors of a crumbling and burning building (tinted orangish-red and available in some versions) - one of the greatest stop-motion sequences in cinematic history - after Joe saved the final endangered child, Max assured Jill: "It's alright, kid. There's nobody in the world gonna shoot Joe now"
  • the very happy conclusion two months later - a filmed message to Max from Jill, Gregg, and Joe contentedly back in Africa - waving - and the last on-screen title: "Goodbye from Joe Young"

Jill With Father

Baby Gorilla Traded For Flashlight

Mighty Joe Young's Full-Sized Entrance

Joe's Obedience to Jill

Drunks Supplying Joe With Liquor

Breaking Out of Cage Before Rampage

Joe's Saving of Jill and Orphaned Children

Ending: Filmed Message From Africa

Mildred Pierce (1945)

In director Michael Cortiz' classic melodramatic post-war film-noir:

  • the opening beach house murder scene - in which two-timing playboy Monte Beragon (Zachary Scott), Mildred's second husband, was shot to death - by an unidentified and unseen assailant, and uttered the film's first word: "Mildred!"
  • the following scene of Mildred Pierce (Oscar-winning Joan Crawford) walking on the Santa Monica pier where she was saved from suicide by a patrolling cop: ("You take a swim, I'd have to take a swim. Is that fair? Just because you feel like bumpin' yourself off, I gotta get pneumonia? Never thought about that, did ya? OK. Think about it. Go on, beat it now. Go on home before we both take a swim")
  • the many flashback scenes from the local police station where Mildred was brought for questioning, and where she took the blame for Monte's murder
  • Mildred's scenes as a doting, long-suffering, sacrificial mother figure for her ungrateful and spoiled-rotten 19 year-old daughter Veda (Ann Blyth)
  • Veda's harsh words to her mother after Mildred admitted she was waiting tables in a downtown restaurant, in addition to baking pies: "My mother, a waitress!"; Mildred defended herself: ("I took the only job I could get so you and your sister could eat and have a place to sleep and some clothes on your backs") although Veda was ungrateful: ("Aren't the pies bad enough? Did you have to degrade us?...l'm really not surprised. You've never spoken of your people, where you came from, so perhaps it's natural. Maybe that's why Father...") - Mildred slapped her daughter, but then apologized: ("l'd never have taken the job if l hadn't wanted to keep us all together. Besides, l wanted to learn the business the best way possible...the restaurant business")
  • Mildred's determination, after baking pies, to open her own restaurant: ("I didn't know what to do next. Suddenly, it hit me. Why not open a restaurant?....I've found the location I want. It's an old house that hasn't been lived in for years from the look of it. It's right on a busy intersection, which means it's good for drive-in trade. I clocked an average of five hundred cars an hour...And there isn't another restaurant within five miles")
  • Mildred's romance with scuzzy lounge lizard Monte, beginning with a swim at his beach house, who at first admitted he was lazy and overindulgent: ("I do too much of everything. Too spoiled...I'm such a self-controlled and dignified young fellow...I loaf, in a decorative and highly charming manner...With me, loafing is a science") - and then spoke of their love in front of the fireplace before a kiss: (Monte: "You take my breath away." Mildred: "Do I? l like you, Monte. You make me feel, oh, l don't know, warm." Monte: "Wanted? Beautiful?" Mildred: "Yes." Monte: "When I'm close to you like this, there's a sound in the air like the beating of wings. Do you know what it is?...My heart beating like a schoolboy's" Mildred: "ls it? l thought it was mine")
  • but then later, Mildred's ultimatum warning to Monte to stay away from her pretentious daughter Veda for good: ("Stay away from Veda...And it isn't funny. She's only seventeen years old and spoiled rotten"); Mildred's concern was that she would lose her self-indulgent daughter to him: "Look, Monte, I've worked long and hard trying to give Veda the things I never had. I've done without a lot of things, including happiness sometimes, because I wanted her to have everything. And now I'm losing her. She's drifting away from me. She hardly speaks to me anymore except to ask for money, or poke fun at me in French because I work for a living...I blame it on the way she's been living. I blame it on you...You look down on me because I work for a living, don't you? You always have. All right, I work. I cook food and sell it and make a profit on it - which I might point out you're not too proud to share with me"
  • then, the profligate Monte insulted Mildred for the 'smell of grease' surrounding her: "Yes, I take money from you, Mildred. But not enough to make me like kitchens or cooks. They smell of grease"; she decided to personally dump him - and fire him with an added rebuttal: "I don't notice you shrinking away from a $50 dollar bill because it happens to smell of grease....There's no point in going on like this. You're interfering with my life and my business. And worst of all, you're interfering with my plans for Veda and I won't stand for it" - after Monte summarized their breakup ("l always knew that someday we'd come to this particular moment in the scheme of things. You want Veda and your business and a nice, quiet life. And the price of all that is me. You can go back to making your pies now, Mildred. We're through"), to clear the books, Mildred wrote a substantial check to cover Monte's expenses (marked 'paid in full')
  • the scheming and money-hungry Veda admitted to a fraudulent marriage (she faked having a baby) with a pay-off check of $10,000 after divorcing a young, innocent boy that she didn't love - Ted Forrester (John Compton), the son of a wealthy family in Southern California; with the check in her possession, Veda revealed her true motivation, as expressed by Mildred: "Money - that's what you live for, isn't it? You'd do anything for money, wouldn't you?"
  • the staircase sequence of Veda delivering a humiliating and insulting tirade against her mother regarding her low-rent, lower-class birth: ("With this money, I can get away from you....From you and your chickens and your pies and your kitchens and everything that smells of grease. I can get away from this shack with its cheap furniture, and this town and its dollar days, and its women that wear uniforms and its men that wear overalls.... You think just because you've made a little money you can get a new hairdo and some expensive clothes and turn yourself into a lady. But you can't, because you'll never be anything but a common frump, whose father lived over a grocery store and whose mother took in washing. With this money, I can get away from every rotten, stinking thing that makes me think of this place or you!")
Staircase Argument Between Mildred and Veda
"Get out, Veda. Get your things out of this house right now before I throw them into the street and you with them. Get out before I kill you"
  • when Mildred ripped up the pay-off check, Veda slapped Mildred across the face and knocked her down onto the stairs; Mildred rose and stood face to face in front of Veda and commanded: ("Get out, Veda. Get your things out of this house right now before I throw them into the street and you with them. Get out before I kill you")
  • the words of warning from wise-cracking friend Ida (Eve Arden) about Mildred's beloved but spoiled and monstrous daughter Veda: ("Personally, Veda's convinced me that alligators have the right idea. They eat their young")
Mildred's Discovery of Veda's Affair with Her Husband Monte
  • the final revelation (told through lengthy flashbacks) that promiscuous Veda, in the midst of an affair with Monte (now known by Mildred), was miffed when she stated to Mildred: "Monte's going to divorce you and marry me, and there's nothing you can do about it" - and Monte insulted her: ("Just where did you get the idea I'm going to marry you?... I'm not joking. If you think I'm going to marry you, you're very much mistaken.... Look. You don't really think I could be in love with a rotten little tramp like you, do you?") - and she pulled Mildred's gun on Monte and shot him to death; outside, Mildred heard six shots - and when she came back inside, she found her crazed, impassioned daughter standing over the dead body of Monte

Monte to Veda: "You don't really think I could be in love with a rotten little tramp like you"
The Killer - Veda
Monte - Dead on Floor
  • the flashbacked sequence of Veda desperately begging for her mother not to report Monte's murder to police: ("Think what will happen if they find me. Think what will happen...Give me another chance. It's your fault as much as mine. You've got to help me. Help me, Mother! Just this once. I'll change, I promise I will. I'll be different. Just give me another chance. It's your fault I'm the way I am. Help me")
  • the final scene of Veda being booked for murder and led away (her last words to her mother: ("Don't worry about me, Mother. I'll get by")), as Inspector Peterson (Moroni Olsen) noted to Mildred, the film's final line: ("You know, Mrs. Beragon, there are times when I regret being a police officer"); Mildred was released to the outside dawn and greeted by her estranged husband Bert Pierce (Bruce Bennett)

Opening Murder Scene

Mildred Saved From Suicide on Pier

Veda's Insult to Her Mother: "My mother, a waitress!"

Mildred's Developing Romance with Monte

Mildred's Ultimatum to The Profligate Monte: "Stay away from Veda"

Monte's Response: "We're through"

After the Murder - Veda to Her Mother: "I Told Him I'd Kill Him"

After the Murder, Veda Pleading With Her Mother

Veda Charged With The Crime: "OK, book her!"

Mildred's Reconciliation with Estranged Husband Bert Pierce (Bruce Bennett)

Miller's Crossing (1990)

In the Coen Brothers' twisty and complex gangster-crime drama (their third feature) that paid homage to hard-boiled 40s gangster films:

  • at the close of the title credits - the memorable image of Tom Reagan's character-defining fedora hat floating through a wooded forest - propelled by breezes and gusts of wind
  • the opening scene (similar to the opening sequence in The Godfather (1972)): Prohibition-era Irish gangster-boss Leo O'Bannon's (Albert Finney) office meeting with Italian rival Giovanni 'Johnny Caspar' Casparro (Jon Polito) and his second in command - the brutal and bisexual Eddie Dane (J.E. Freeman); the two were there to inform O'Bannon that they were planning to eliminate two-bit "son of a bitch" Jewish grifter-bookie Bernie Bernbaum (John Turturro) for double-crossing them - by revealing Caspar's fixed fights to other gamblers: ("Now if you can't trust a fix, what can you trust?...We question character to determine who's chiseling in on my fix. And that's how we know it's Bernie Bernbaum, the Shmatte Kid. Because ethically, he's kind of shaky")
  • O'Bannon responded negatively and affirmed that Bernie shouldn't be touched: "Sorry, Caspar. Bernie pays me for protection" - thereby threatening a turf war - [Note: Bernie was the brother of Verna Bernbaum (Marcia Gay Harden), who had begun a relationship with Leo - while also carrying on an affair with Tom Reagan (Gabriel Byrne), Leo’s de facto consigliere at the film's start; it was a deadly love triangle]
  • after the refusal, Caspar displayed his antagonism toward the Irish king-pin ("big-shot"): "I'm not some guinea fresh off the boat you can kick. I'm too big now. I'm sick of taking the strap from you. I'm sick of marching in here to kiss your Irish ass! And I'm sick of the high-hat! You's fancy-pants, all of youse"
Opening Office Meeting
Leo O'Bannon
(Albert Finney)
Giovanni 'Johnny Caspar' Casparro
  • after their departure, Tom's advice had failed to convince Leo to agree to Caspar's demands ("Think about what protecting Bernie gets us and what offending Caspar loses us"); when Leo responded: "You know I don't like to think," Tom replied: "Well, think about whether you should start"
  • the dialogue-less, 5-minute attempted (and failed) assassination shoot-out attempt (an iconic scene beautifully choreographed), when Leo O'Bannon was reclining in an upstairs bedroom while listening to a 78 rpm grammophone record playing 'Danny Boy' (sung by Irish tenor Frank Patterson), when he sensed trouble (smoke in the floorboards from a downstairs fire) as Tommy Gun-wielding assassins sent by Caspar approached; he single-handedly killed a couple of men by leaping under the bed and shooting at their legs; after grabbing a machine-gun and leaping onto the roof and then onto the ground, he fired mercilessly at length at one assassin in the upstairs window who violently and spastically vibrated from the barrage of bullets (a "dance of death"); finally, he killed the two remaining hit-men fleeing in a black car when it crashed into a tree and caught fire
  • the prelude to an execution scene, when mobster Tom Reagan was instructed by TicTac about how to proceed with the killing of the double-crossing bookie, to prove his loyalty to Caspar to whom he had switched allegiance (although he was still loyal to Leo): ("Okay, take him in the woods and whack him....That's right. The boss wants you to do it. Make sure you're with the good guys. Now, you know how to do this, right? You gotta remember to put one in his brain. Your first shot puts him down, then you put one in his brain, and he's dead, then we go home")
  • the faked execution scene, when Reagan marched bookie Bernie Bernbaum far into the woods at Miller's Crossing to shoot him, when Bernie began to beg and soon was pleading on his knees: ("Tommy, you can't do this! You don't bump guys! You're not like those animals back there. It's not right, Tom! They can't make us do this. It's a wrong situation. They can't make us different people than we are. We're not muscle, Tom. I- I-I never killed anybody. I used a little information for a chisel, that's all. It's my nature, Tom! I- I-I can't help it, somebody gives me an angle, I play it. I don't deserve to die for that. Do you think I do? I'm-I'm-I'm just a grifter, Tom. I'm-I'm-I'm-I'm-I'm an nobody! But I'll tell ya what, I never crossed a friend, Tom. I never killed anybody, I never crossed a friend, nor you, I'll bet. We're not like those animals! This is not us! Th-th-this is some hop dream! It's a dream, Tommy! I'm praying to you! I can't die! I can't die out here in the woods, like a dumb animal! In the woods, LIKE A DUMB ANIMAL! Like, like a dumb animal! I can't, I can't, I CAN'T DIE OUT HERE IN THE WOODS! like a dumb animal. I can't die! I'm praying to you! Look in your heart! I'm praying to you! Look in your heart! I'm praying to you! Look in your heart! I'm praying to you! Look in your heart. I'm praying to you! Look in your heart. I'm praying to you. Look in your heart, look in your heart! You can't kill me, look in your heart") - and then Reagan shot in a different direction and freed him, and told him to disappear forever: ("Shut up! You're dead, get me?...Shut up! You have to disappear for good. No one can see you. No one can know...Go somewhere no one knows you. Anyone sees you, you really are dead. You're not my problem anymore")
Miller's Crossing Execution: Bernie's Pathetic Pleading
"Look in your heart!"
  • and later in the film, a vengeful Reagan was again forced to deal with the blackmailing Bernie - and this time there were no second chances: ("Tommy! Look in your heart. Look in your heart"), although Tommy couldn't forgive him again: ("What heart?") and he put a bullet in his forehead

Tom's Blowing Fedora Hat

"Danny Boy" and Assassination Shoot-Out Sequence

Instructions to Tom Reagan for Execution: "Take him in the woods and whack him"

Ending: No Second Chances For Bernie

Million Dollar Baby (2004)

In the poignant Best Picture-winning film from actor/director Clint Eastwood:

  • the characters of headstrong, willful, Ozark white trash, 31 year-old uneducated waitress-turned-boxer Margaret "Maggie" Fitzgerald (Oscar-winning Hilary Swank), and crusty, overprotective, veteran boxing manager/mentor and former cut-man Frankie Dunn (Oscar-nominated Clint Eastwood, and winner of the Best Director award) at LA's The Hit Pit - estranged from his biological daughter, and his gym janitor and sympathetic ex-boxer Eddie "Scrap Iron" Dupris (Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman)
  • the scene of Maggie's first entreaties toward Frankie - explaining her love of boxing as they walked down a hallway, and asking for him to train her: ("Thought you might be interested in training me"); he replied that he wasn't impressed by female boxers: ("I don't train girls...Girlie, tough ain't enough!");
  • later in the LA gym on opposite sides of a boxing bag, Maggie came up to Frankie and confessed: "This is the only thing I ever felt good doing" - she was finally able to convince Frankie to take her on: ("Because I know if you train me right, I'm gonna be a champ...I want a trainer. I don't want charity, and I don't want favors. If you're not interested, then I got more celebrating to do"), and Frankie's frustrated response to her continual interruptions, when he set the rules about their association - that he would give her the basics and then find another manager for her: ("OK, If I'm gonna take you on...Look, just listen to me....God, this is a mistake already...If I take you on, you don't say anything, you don't question me. You don't ask why, you don't say anything except maybe: "Yes, Frankie." And I'm gonna try to forget the fact that you're a girl....And don't come cryin' to me if you get hurt...I'm gonna teach ya how to fight, then we'll get you a manager, and I'm off down the road....Don't argue with me, that's the only way we're doin' it. I teach you all you need to know, and then you go off and make a million dollars. I don't care. You get your teeth knocked out, I don't care. I don't wanna hear about it either way. That's just the way it's gonna be. It's the only way I'll do it")
  • the sequences of realistic boxing matches
  • the inspiring match against the British champion, in which Maggie wore a green silk boxing robe emblazoned with the Gaelic phrase "Mo chuisle" ("Pulse of my heart") given to her by Frankie
  • the dramatic and devastating scene in which Maggie's self-centered and critical trailer park mother Earline (Margo Martindale) rejected her generous gift of a house: ("It's all yours, Mama. For you and Mardell and the kids. Yeah, all yours, free and clear"), because her mother claimed it endangered her welfare status: ("You shouldn't have done it. You should've asked me first. Government's gonna find out about this, they're gonna stop my welfare..") - and then she insulted her daughter: ("I know you didn't mean nothing hurtful but sometimes you just don't think things through...Find a man, Mary M. Live proper. People hear about what you're doin' and they laugh. Hurts me to tell you, but they laugh at you")
  • the crowd-pleasing scene in which Eddie taught a crass, abusive, hot-shot young boxer Shawrelle Berry (Anthony Mackie) a lesson
  • the dirty tactics used by world champion Billie the Blue Bear (real-life boxer Lucia Rijker) that left Maggie a quadriplegic in the ring during a welterweight championship title bout in Las Vegas when she was sabotaged by foul play; her East German opponent struck her with an illegal blow on the left side of her face when the referee wasn't looking - the dirty punch sent her into a red corner stool and broke her neck; she was left with a spinal neck injury that made her a quadriplegic; she was bedridden and had to have a leg amputated due to muscle atrophy and bed sores
  • the bedside scene when an incapacitated Maggie refused to sign her family's legal papers to will everything to them, when her insensitive mother pressured her: ("You been a good daughter, Mary M. You sign that paper. It'll take care of your family - the way your daddy would've wanted you to. Uh, how do you make your mark? Can you hold a pen?... (about her last bout and devastating injury) You lost, Mary M. Ain't your fault, the way I heard it, but you lost. Don't wanna lose the rest of what you got left"); Maggie sent her family on their way, without signing: ("What happened to you?...Mama, you take Mardell and J.D. and get home before I tell that lawyer that you were so worried about your welfare you never signed those house papers like you were supposed to. So any time I feel like it, I can sell that house from under your fat, lazy, hillbilly asses. And if you ever come back, that's exactly what I'll do")
  • Maggie's insistence on dying (and at one point trying to commit suicide by biting off her own tongue), and her emotional request of Frankie to end her life: ("I can't be like this, Frankie. Not after what I done. I seen the world. People chanted my name. Well, not my name, some damn name you gave me. But they were chantin' for me. I was in magazines. You think I ever dreamed that'd happen? I was born at two pounds, one and a half ounces, Daddy used to tell me I fought to get into this world, and I'd fight my way out. That's all I wanna do, Frankie. I just don't wanna fight you to do it. I got what I needed. I got it all. Don't let 'em keep takin' it away from me. Don't let me lie here till I can't hear those people chantin' no more"); he responded simply: ("I can't. Please. Please, don't ask me....I can't")
  • the reassurance scene, when Eddie responded to Frankie (who guiltily stated: "I killed her") that Maggie's fate wasn't his fault: ("I found you a fighter and you made her the best fighter she could be...Maggie walked through that door with nothin' but guts. No chance in the world of bein' what she needed to be. A year and a half later, she's fightin' for the championship of the world. You did that. People die every day, Frankie. Moppin' floors, washin' dishes. And you know what their last thought is? 'I never got my shot.' Because of you, Maggie got her shot. If she dies today, you know what her last thought will be? 'I think I did all right.' I know I could rest with that")
  • the controversial, emotionally-draining ending with Frankie's final, pained acquiescence to her wishes - he entered her room and told her the meaning of the Gaelic phrase on her green fight robe: "Mo chuisle" ("Pulse of my heart" or "My pulse") that cheering crowds had chanted; after kissing her, he turned off her life-support breathing machine, removed her breathing tube and injected her with a fatal dose of adrenaline to cause her instant death
  • the silhouetted shot of Frankie walking away forever from boxing - down the hospital corridor, accompanied by Eddie's voice-over in the shadows (revealed to be the contents of a letter written by Eddie to Frankie's daughter) to end the film: ("Then he walked out. I don't think he had anything left...Frankie never came back at all. Frankie didn't leave a note, and nobody knew where he went. I'd hoped he'd gone to find you and ask you one more time to forgive him. But maybe he didn't have anything left in his heart. I just hope he found someplace where he could find a little peace. A place set in the cedars and oak trees. Somewhere between nowhere and goodbye. But that's probably wishful thinking. No matter where he is I thought you should know what kind of man your father really was")

Frankie to Maggie: "Girlie, Tough Ain't Enough!"

Tough Trainer Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood)

"Maggie" Fitzgerald
(Hilary Swank)

"Mo chuisle" ("Pulse of my heart" or "My pulse") on the Back of Maggie's Green Fight Robe

Maggie's Mother - Rejecting Offer of House

Bedside Signing Scene

Maggie on Life Support

Frankie's Tough Decision to End Maggie's Life

Eddie's Reassurance Scene

Frankie's Exit

Minamata: The Victims and Their World (1971, Jp.)

In Japanese documentary film-maker Noriaki Tsuchimoto's expose (filmed over 17 years) that surveyed the development of Minamata disease and its victims in the late 1950s - a harrowing example of industrial waste and corporate irresponsibility:

  • the discovery that the Chisso Corporation, a manufacturer of fertilizer, had dumped pollutants (methyl-mercury) into the water near the fishing village of Minamata on the western side of the island of Kyushu - the residents had eaten poisoned fish and over 2,000 subsequently suffered extensive brain and nervous system disorders (an epilepsy-like affliction that led to convulsions and ultimately death) over many years, from 1932 to 1968
  • the sequences showing the effects of the disease upon cats and then humans (including unborn fetuses)
  • the shocking concluding scene of impassioned protest by some of the victims (families of the dead and disfigured) at an annual shareholders meeting to corporate leaders who showed little compassion or care - until a growing public outcry eventually brought victims compensation

Annual Shareholders Meeting with Corporate Leaders

Protestors Confronted the Corporation's President

"How much do you think I suffered?"

Minority Report (2002)

In director Steven Spielberg's futuristic thriller based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, set in the year of 2054, including the prescient idea that advertisements flashing on walls were specially-tailored to each person due to casual, public retinal scanning and tracking:

  • the film's major concept: pre-crime law enforcement used three psychic 'precogs' lying in flotation tanks in order to pre-visualize and forecast or envision future crimes (in order to prevent their occurrence), including a very fragile pre-cog named Agatha (Samantha Morton)
  • the scenes of DC Pre-Crime cop John Anderton (Tom Cruise) manipulating a computer interface in mid-air like a symphony conductor
  • the film's opening - including a new prediction from the 'precogs' - the violent murder of Leo Crow ("Goodbye, Crow") by Anderton in 36 hours; he was completely surprised to see himself committing the future killing of someone he hadn't met - and watching a pre-vision of his gunshot that propelled Crow out a skyscraper window
  • the spectacular sequence of Anderton's flight from Pre-Crime officers with jet-packs - fighting them off on the side of a building, on the street, and into various brick apartment dwellings
  • the suspenseful sequence in which mechanical bot-spiders performed retinal scans in a tenement building to determine identities from eyeballs and to find out whether Anderton (with bandaged eyes) was there or not - while he was submerged in a bathtub of ice water
Threatening Mechanical Bot-Spiders
Retinal Scans on Anderton's Eyes
  • the scene of Anderton's actual confrontation with suspected serial child killer criminal Leo Crow in his hotel room; Crow begged to be killed claiming that he had been assured financial stability by an unknown individual for allowing himself to be set-up as the murderer of Anderton's son Sean: ("You're not gonna kill me? If you don't go through with this, my family gets nothing, okay? You're supposed to kill me. He said you would...He told me I'd be released if I went along, and my family would be taken care of....If I acted like I killed your kid, okay?...Look, you don't kill me, my family gets nothing. Okay?") - and the influential words of Agatha who cautioned Anderton about killing Crow, and urged him to change his fate: ("You can choose"), although in the end, Crow grabbed Anderton's gun and shot himself
  • the scene of corrupt Pre-Crime boss and founder Lamar Burgess (Max von Sydow) shooting and killing suspicious US Dept. of Justice agent Danny Witwer (Colin Farrell), after he audited the system and discovered that a second 'echo' recording revealed the actual murder of Agatha's mother Anne Lively (Jessica Harper): ("...what if a technician only thought he was looking at an echo? What if he was looking at a completely different murder altogether? All you'd have to do is hire someone to kill Anne Lively, someone like a drifter, a neuroin addict, someone with nothing to lose. Precrime stops the murder from taking place, haloes the killer, takes him away. But then, right then, someone else, having reviewed the prevision and dressed in the same clothes, commits the murder in exactly the same way. Technician takes a look, thinks he's looking at an echo, erases it. Of course, it would have to be someone with access to the previsions in the first place. Someone fairly high-up")
  • the scene of Agatha's vision of a possible life for Sean, the missing son of Anderton and his ex-wife Lara Clarke (Kathryn Morris) - a heartbreaking and beautiful description: ("He's on the beach now, a toe in the water. He's asking you to come in with him. He's been racing his mother up and down the sand. There's so much love in this house. He's ten years old. He's surrounded by animals. He wants to be a vet. You keep a rabbit for him, a bird and a fox. He's in high school. He likes to run, like his father. He runs the two-mile and the long relay. He's 23. He's at a university..."); and then before she could tell Anderton who had murdered her mother Anne Lively, Agatha provided a shocking warning: ("I'm sorry, John, but you're gonna have to run again...RUN!")
  • the action sequence in which escaped fugitive Anderton lept from car to car as he and Agatha plunged vertically to escape pursuit
  • the conclusion in which Lamar was confronted by Anderton, who knew that he had been framed (because of his knowledge of nefarious actions), and that Lamar was the hooded murderer of Agatha's mother Anne Lively by drowning five years earlier in the year 2049; Anne had been drug-addicted and forced to sell her pre-cog daughter Agatha to the program, but now had conquered her drug habit and wanted to remove her fragile daughter from the pre-crime flotation tanks; threatened by the thought, Burgess wanted to prevent the shut-down of his sinister, futuristic law enforcement organization
Burgess' Murder of Anne Lively By Drowning
(Detected by Her Pre-Cog Daughter Agatha)
  • as a result of the revelations (a playing of the full video of the drowning murder), a new Pre-Crime report had been generated - that Lamar would kill Anderton; in their final sequence together, Anderton spoke of the dilemma facing Lamar - and mentioned the flaw in the Pre-Crime system - that people could change their future: ("The question you have to ask is, what are you gonna do now? No doubt the Pre-Cogs have already seen this....You see the dilemma, don't you? If you don't kill me, Pre-Cogs were wrong and Precrime is over. If you do kill me, you go away but it proves the system works. Pre-Cogs were right. So, what are you gonna do now? What's it worth? Just one more murder. You'll rot in hell with a halo, but people will still believe in Precrime. All you have to do is kill me, like they said you would. Except you know your own future, which means you can change it if you want to. You still have a choice, Lamar. Like I did")
  • Lamar announced his choice - to select his own fate and suicidally commit suicide by shooting himself: ("Yes, I have a choice and I made it. Forgive me, John. (gunshot) Forgive me. Forgive me, my boy")
Anderton Confronting Killer Burgess With a Dilemma
  • the film's voice-over epilogue from Anderton, explaining the aftermath: ("In 2054, the six-year Precrime experiment was abandoned. All prisoners were unconditionally pardoned and released, although police departments kept watch on many of them for years to come. Agatha and the twins were transferred to an undisclosed location - a place where they could find relief from their gifts. A place where they could live out their lives in peace")
Anderton Reunited with Ex-Wife Lara
Pre-Cog Agatha in Undisclosed Location

Gesture Control Computer Interface

Pre-Vision Prediction: The Murder of Leo Crow

Pre-Cog Agatha (Samantha Morton)

Anderton's Escape from Pre-Crime Officers

Anderton's Actual Confrontation with Leo Crow

Murder of Suspicious DOJ Agent Danny Witwer (Colin Farrell),

Pre-Crime Boss and Founder Lamar Burgess (Max von Sydow)

Agatha's Description of the Possible Life for Anderton's Son Sean

Burgess' Choice: Suicide

The Miracle (1948, It.) (aka Il Miracolo) (short) (part of L'Amore (1948, It.) (aka Ways of Love))

In director Roberto Rossellini's neo-realist short drama - after the release of the film, it caused considerable controversy when it was censored and banned; soon, it became a landmark film in the fight against film censorship after a unanimous Supreme Court decision in 1952 stated that the New York Board of Regents could not ban the film - it declared movies a form of free speech. The Court ruled that "sacrilege" was too vague a censorship standard to be permitted under the First Amendment:

  • in the second episode (scripted by Federico Fellini) in the anthology film L'Amore, naive, dim-witted, unwed and homeless young Italian peasant goat-herder Nannina (Anna Magnani) met a bearded vagabond stranger (with a bottle of wine) on a hillside where she was shepherding, believing that he was the incarnation of Saint Joseph (screenwriter Fellini himself) - and delusionally believing that she was the Virgin Mary
  • in the afternoon, the drunken Nannina spent time with the man - and then seemingly passed out - there was a significant fade to black (an off-screen rape?); she awakened shortly later with a goat licking her face, and found that the stranger was gone
Drinking Wine Before Passing Out
Awakened by Goat
  • the pregnant devout woman was mocked, ridiculed, ostracized and derided as transgressive by the townsfolk with her belief that her pregnancy was an immaculate conception; she was driven from town with people throwing vegetables at her, in a mock 'walk-to-Calvary' scene; at one point, the mob forced her to wear an empty bowl on her head (a crown of thorns)
  • in the concluding scene, she gave birth, all alone, to her 'miracle' or 'special' child in an empty church located on a rocky hill outcropping

Italian Peasant Girl Nannina (Anna Magnani)

Vagabond Stranger: "My dear St. Joseph!"

Mocked by Townsfolk for Believing in Immaculate Conception Pregnancy

The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944)

In director/writer Preston Sturges' fast-moving, farcical screwball comedy - one of the funniest films ever made (and most controversial - at the time, about an illegitimate pregnancy, a word never mentioned in the film) - about the subversive nature of motherhood, patriotism, small-town mentality, and "our boys overseas":

  • the introduction of the main character in an early scene in Rafferty's Music Store -- pretty clerk Trudy Kockenlocker (Betty Hutton), the daughter of Morgan Creek's Chief of Police, who was first seen mouthing the words to a phonograph record of a deep-voiced singer crooning "The Bell in the Bay"; when the song ended, she told a group of soldiers in the store: ("Come on now, you got to beat it or buy something before Mr. Rafferty gets after me"); after an invitation by the male group, she promised to attend their going-away military dance that night
  • the scene of Trudy's explanation to her skeptical, overprotective, "old-fashioned" father Constable Edmund Kockenlocker (William Demarest) that she was attending the dance, when he expressly forbid her to attend: ("Just a moment. What is this military kiss-the-boys-goodbye business, and where is it to be transacted?...Just a minute! What happens after the country club?...So, as your father and mother combined, I'm here to tell you that you ain't going on no more military parties")
  • Trudy's friendship with 4-F rated local bank clerk Norval Jones (Eddie Bracken) - he explained how his nervousness caused his rejection by the Army: ("I'm perfectly calm. I'm as cool as ice. I start to figure maybe they won't take me and some cold sweat runs down the middle of my back, and my head begins to buzz and everything in the middle of the room begins to swim, and I get black spots in front of my eyes and they say I've got high blood pressure again. And all the time I'm as cool as ice!")
Trudy Secret Attendance at Military Party
  • Trudy's secret attendance at the wild, drunken farewell military dance party with lots of spiked Victory Lemonade (while her movie date Norval served as a "decoy" and attended three feature movies until one in the morning); and after lots of dancing, hitting her head on a rotating glitter ball and suffering subsequent memory problems; the next morning at 8 o'clock, she met up with Norval on Main Street, who was blamed by her exasperated father for returning her late
  • Trudy's shocking realization that she might have married one of the departing soldiers for combat; she described the previous night to her pragmatic younger sister Emmy Kockenlocker (Diana Lynn), and had great difficulty recalling anything: ("Can you imagine gettin' hitched up in the middle of the night with a curtain ring to somebody that's goin' away that you might never ever see again, Emmy?"); when Emmy noticed the ring on Trudy's finger, she tried to remember what had happened: ("I remember I danced with a tall, dark boy with curly hair, and a little short one with freckles, and a big fat blond one who sang in my ear. But if I married any of those, it would have been the tall, dark one with the curly hair, don't you think?"), and then she claimed that she couldn't remember his name: ("It had a 'Z' in it....Like Ratzkiwatzki, Pvt. Ratzkiwatzki, or was it Zitzkiwitzki?") - but in any event, they had both given false names at the wedding that she couldn't remember; and she also discovered soon after, to complicate matters even further, that she was pregnant
  • the comedy of errors when Norval became involved in Trudy's problems by stepping in to be the soldier-father of the unborn child
  • the funny marriage proposal scene on the front porch, in which the overly-nervous Norval attempted to discuss tying the knot with Trudy to her father who was cleaning his hand-gun: ("Sit down! What are you so nervous about?...There's getting to be quite a little talk in the town....Where I come from, we don't skulk around in the bushes, you get me?...When we gotta cross the street, we don't crawl through the sewer to get there.... When we've got something to say, we say it!...When is the happy event?...When are you and Trudy getting hitched?... What are you laughing about?... You haven't answered my question...There isn't any idiocy in your family, is there?...Oh, she won't?...You didn't ask her right. You gotta be more forceful in these matters. Dames like to be bossed. Now, you take me...You can do better. You better do better....We accept. You're in....You can settle the details up between youse. All I'm interested in is results. I'm a man who looks at things broadly, see? (the gun accidentally discharged)...I almost forgot, congratulations!")
  • one of the concluding scenes in the frenzied lobby outside the delivery room in the hospital on Christmas Day - where nurses and doctors rushed about and announced: "It's a boy" - then "Twins!" - and finally: "Six! All boys!"; newspaper headlines all around the world announced: "SIX BOYS!!", "SEXTUPLETS BORN IN MID-WEST", "SIX! ALL BOYS! SIX!", "CANADA PROTESTS - "Possible But Not Probable," Says Premier", including "MUSSOLINI RESIGNS," and even Hitler's tantrum about the news: "HITLER DEMANDS RECOUNT"
Announcements About Trudy's Delivery
  • reclining in bed, wife Trudy innocently asked husband Norval (in full-dress uniform): "We'll have to pick out a name for it? Was it a boy or a girl?"; when he asked the same question of Emmy, she motioned him to follow her to an adjoining room where they looked through a glass partition at six cribs; wordlessly, he went hysterical when he realized the sextuplets were his, and he raced back to Trudy's room and collapsed on her bed
  • the film's ending title card dissolved over the ending scene: "But Norval recovered and became increasingly happy for, as Shakespeare said: 'Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.'" THE END

Trudy Kockenlocker
(Betty Hutton)

Trudy with Father

Trudy with Norval Jones

Trudy Explaining Her Many Dilemmas to Sister Emmy

Norval's Marriage Proposal to Trudy's Father on Front Porch

Trudy With Norval After Giving Birth

Nursery Window - Viewing Sextuplets


Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

In director George Seaton's perennial Christmas classic, a dramatic comedy about the commercialization of Santa Claus and Christmas itself:

  • the marvelous character of the charming NYC Macy's Christmas Santa 'Kris Kringle' (Edmund Gwenn), an older bearded gentleman given the job of the toy department's Santa
  • the scene of toy department boss Mr. Julian Shellhammer (Philip Tonge) urging Kris Kringle to memorize and push a list of overstocked toys on undecided children: ("Before you go up on the floor, I just want to give you a few tips on how to be a good Santa Claus...Here's a list of toys that we have to push. You know, things that we're overstocked on. Now, you'll find that a great many children will be undecided as to what they want for Christmas. When that happens, you immediately suggest one of these items. You understand?") - and Kringle's disgust at X-mas commercialization: ("Imagine - making a child take something it doesn't want just because he bought too many of the wrong toys. That's what I've been fighting against for years, the way they commercialize Christmas")
  • the sequence of Macy's event director Doris Walker (Maureen O'Hara), a single divorcee, urging Kris Kringle to tell her delightfully skeptical young 2nd grade daughter Susan Walker (Natalie Wood) that Santa didn't exist: ("Would you please tell her that you're not really Santa Claus, that there actually is no such person?"), and Kringle's insistence that he really was Saint Nick: ("Well, I'm sorry to disagree with you, Mrs. Walker, but not only is there such a person, but here I am to prove it"); Doris' skeptical 6 year-old daughter Susan didn't believe that the actual, warm-hearted, white-haired Kris Kringle was real, and pulled his beard to test him
Kringle with Skeptical Susan Walker
  • Doris' shocking discovery that Santa was recommending that shoppers go elsewhere if they couldn't find toys that they wanted at Macy's; also her finding that Kris Kringle's employment card revealed that his address was the Brooks' Memorial Home for the Aged in Great Neck, Long Island, NY
  • Kringle's concerned conversation with Doris about the loss of the real meaning of Christmas: ("For the past 50 years or so, I've been getting more and more worried about Christmas. Seems we're all so busy trying to beat the other fellow in making things go faster, and look shinier, and cost less that Christmas and I are sort of getting lost in the shuffle...Christmas isn't just a day. It's a frame of mind. And that's what's been changing. That's why I'm glad I'm here. Maybe I can do something about it").
  • Kringle's kind-hearted speaking to a non-English-speaking immigrant Dutch girl/orphan (Ida McGuire) in her own native language (and performing a duet of a traditional Dutch carole together) while Susan watched from the side and was impressed
  • in the stirring finale and happy ending set in the NY Supreme Court on Christmas Eve, a battle between lawyers tried to determine Kris' sanity or lunacy; Susan wrote a letter to Kris Kringle to cheer him up while in court for his insanity hearing (with her mother's added postscript: "I believe in you, too")
  • the heartwarming courtroom scene when handsome bachelor lawyer Fred Gailey (John Payne) Doris' love interest and next-door neighbor, proposed to defend Kris in an 'insanity hearing'; he asked questions of the District Attorney's young son Tommy (Bobby Hyatt) on the witness stand: "Do you believe in Santa Claus?" and "Why are you so sure there's a Santa Claus?" - and eventually won the case to prove that Santa Claus actually existed
  • the climactic display of US mail evidence in the courtroom - 21 bags and stacks of thousands of letters addressed to Santa Claus, brought into the court and proving that Kris was Santa Claus, and causing the case to be dismissed: ("Your Honor: Every one of these letters is addressed to Santa Claus. The Post Office has delivered them. Therefore, the Post Office Department, a branch of the federal government, recognizes this man, Kris Kringle, to be the one-and-only Santa Claus!")
Arriving at Susan's Dream House
Kringle's Cane
Fred's Proposal to Doris
  • the concluding scene of Susan in a car, repeatedly trying to persuade herself to have faith: "I believe" - and then her overwhelming joy at driving up to the house of her dreams - a house (with a "For Sale" sign) that Santa promised to her (with Kris Kringle's red cane found inside); she told Fred and Doris after wildly running through the house: ("But this is my house, Mommy, the one I asked Mr. Kringle for. It is! It is! I know it is! My room upstairs is just like I knew it would be! Oh, you were right, Mommy. Mommy told me if things don't turn out just the way you want them to the first time, you've still got to believe. And I kept believing, and you were right, Mommy! Mr. Kringle is Santa Claus!")
  • in the ending, Fred kissed Doris and proposed to her in their future home; Susan helped to persuade them to think about purchasing the house - but Fred also expressed his doubts about winning the case: ("I must be a pretty good lawyer. I take a little old man and legally prove to the world that he's Santa Claus....Maybe I didn't do such a wonderful thing after all")

Kris Kringle with Toy Department Boss Mr. Shellhammer

Divorcee Doris Walker (Maureen O'Hara) With Friend Fred Gailey (John Payne)

Kris Kringle's Address

Kringle with Dutch Girl

Believers in Kris

'Insanity' Court Hearing

Bundles of Letters Addressed to Santa

The Miracle Worker (1962)

In Arthur Penn's biographical drama about Helen Keller and her tutor Annie Sullivan:

  • the opening scene - and the disturbing moment when Kate Keller (Inga Swenson) realized that her baby daughter Helen was both deaf and blind after a severe case of scarlet fever, and she screamed out in horror for her husband Captain Arthur Keller (Victor Jory): ("Cap'n! Cap'n! Will you come?...Look! She can't see. Look at her eyes. She can't see...Or hear. When I screamed, she didn't blink. Not an eyelash!...She can't hear you!")
  • the sequence of Kate Keller's worry about how to teach young Helen to act and communicate: ("How can I make you understand?...How can I get it into your head, my darling?...How can you discipline an afflicted child? Is it her fault?...I don't know what to do. How can I teach her? Beat her till she's black and blue?...She wants to talk like, be like you and me. Every day she slips further away. I don't know how to call her back"), and the parents' decision to contact the Perkins School for the Blind in Boston for assistance
  • the famous scene of the start of both a physical and mental battle of wills between partially-blind teacher Annie Sullivan (Oscar-winning Anne Bancroft) and pupil Helen Keller (Oscar-winning Patty Duke) during her first lesson, when Helen was taught how to use sign language and spell C-A-K-E, and D-O-L-L: ("C-A-K-E. Yes. You do as my fingers do. Never mind what it means. Now, D-O-L-L. Think it over. L. Imitate now. Understand later. End of the first lesson") - and afterwards, Helen hit Annie with her doll and locked her in the room
  • the sequence of an insistent Annie teaching table manners to the spoiled girl Helen during a particularly severe temper tantrum, and refusing to have Helen help herself from her plate: ("I'm not accustomed to it"); Annie told everyone: ("I know a tantrum when I see one and a badly spoiled child....The whole house turns on her whims. Is there anything she wants she doesn't get?...I can't unteach her six years of pity if you can't stand up to one tantrum")
Tutor Annie Sullivan with Helen - The Teaching of Sign Language
"The name stands for the thing"
  • Annie's demand that she have full control of Helen, in order to properly train her: ("I want complete charge of her....I mean day and night. She has to be dependent on me (for) everything. The food she eats, the clothes she wears, fresh air. Yes, the air she breathes. Whatever her body needs is a primer to teach her out of. It's the only way. The one who lets her have it should be her teacher, not anyone who loves her...I'll have to live with her somewhere else....until she learns to listen to and depend on me...It's the one way I can get back in touch with Helen. And I don't see how I can be rude to you if you're not around to interfere with me") - the alternative was having Helen committed to an asylum - gruesomely described by Annie: ("I grew up in such an asylum. The state almshouse...Why, my brother Jimmy and I used to play with the rats because we didn't have toys. Maybe you'd like to know what Helen will find there not on visiting days?...")
  • the scene of Annie teaching Helen that things have names, such as an egg hatching a chick, and her lesson about Helen breaking through her shell: ("Egg. It has a name. The name stands for the thing. Oh, it's so simple. Simple as birth to explain. Helen. Helen, the chick has to come out of its shell sometime. (gasps) You come out too")
  • the climactic moment of triumph in the water-pump scene in which blind and deaf Helen Keller learned to use sign language (and that the name of a thing could be spoken), and when she first spoke "wah - wah" with the assistance of her teacher Annie Sullivan, associating sounds with objects: (Annie: "All right. Pump. No, she's not here. Pump. W-A-T-E-R. Water. It has a name. W-A-T..." Helen: "Wah... wah. Wah... wah." Annie: "Yes. Yes. Yes. Oh, my dear. Ground. Yes! Pump. Yes. Tree. Step. Mrs. Keller. Mrs. Keller! Bell. Mrs. Keller! Mrs. Keller. Mrs. Keller. Mother. Papa. She knows! Teacher. Teacher. Teacher") - and Helen was embraced by her jubilant parents
  • the concluding scene of Helen giving her 'teacher' Annie a very gentle goodnight kiss, and Annie's response by speaking and signing: "I love Helen" - and rocking her back and forth to the lullaby tune "Hush, Little Baby"

Mother Kate Keller: "She can't see...or hear!"

Young and Afflicted Helen Keller

The Climactic Water-Pump Scene

Helen's Gentle Goodnight Kiss

The Mirror (1975, Soviet Union) (aka Zerkalo, or Зеркало)

In Andrei Tarkovsky's transcendent, semi auto-biographical, collage-like, unconventional drama, presented as a series of non-linear flashback-poems as Alexei (a dying poet) was lying on his deathbed, with visually-beautiful, unforgettable long takes and images in the film, including:

  • the mysterious opening sequence viewed on television, when a teenage boy was being cured of his stammer by a physician-hypnotist
  • a dream sequence of Maria (Margarita Terekhova), Alexei's mother, bent over and washing her hair in a basin, and then raising her head and pulling her hair back
  • another dream of Maria levitating several feet above her bed
  • and the most indelible (from the year 1935) - the family barn (owned by Alexei's grandparents) on fire in the countryside and slowly burning to the ground as everyone watched
Family Barn in Flames
Pregnant Maria
  • the final view of a pre-war (mid-1930s) pregnant Maria, smiling in a country field

On TV: Teenage Boy Cured of Stammer by Physician

Dream Sequences: Maria Washing Her Hair and Levitating

Misery (1990)

In director Rob Reiner's psychological thriller - and a Stephen King adaptation:

  • the scenes of psychopathic nurse Annie Wilkes' (Oscar-winning Kathy Bates) strange idolization and romance of author-writer Paul Sheldon (James Caan) after rescuing him from a car accident (his car crashed in a blizzard), and bringing him to her remote Colorado home; he was known for penning a lucrative series of eight novels about a lovelorn 19th century character named Misery Chastain; when he awoke, she told him: ("I'm your number one fan. There's nothing to worry about. You're gonna be just fine. I'll take good care of you. I'm your number one fan....We're just outside Silver Creek....You've been here two days. You're gonna be OK. My name is Annie Wilkes")
  • Annie's eerie admission that she had been stalking him over a six-week period while he was writing his latest book in the Silver Creek Lodge nearby: ("Some nights I'd just tool on down there and sit outside, and look up at the light in your cabin. I'd try to imagine what was goin' on in the room of the world's greatest writer")
  • while Annie nursed the convalescing Paul back to health from severe leg pain from two fractured tibia in both legs, a fractured fibula in the right leg, and a dislocated shoulder, her angry voicing of objections to profanities that he wrote in his latest manuscript: ("The swearing, Paul...What do you think I say when I go to the feed store in town? 'Oh, now Wally, give me a bag of that f-ing pig feed and 10 pounds of that bitchly cow corn!' And in the bank, do I tell Mrs. Bollinger: 'Oh, here's one big bastard of a cheque - give me some of your Christing money!'"); she became so worked up that she spilled hot soup on him: ("Look there, see what you made me do!"); and then confessed: ("I love you, Paul. Your mind. Your creativity. That's, that's all I meant")
  • the reclusive Annie's weird introduction of her beloved sow named Misery to Paul: ("I thought it was time you two should meet. Paul, say hello to my favorite beast in the whole world - my sow Misery....This farm was kind of dreary, what with just a few cows and chickens and me. But when I got Misery here, everything changed. She just makes me smile so")
  • the scary sequence of Annie's insanely mad response in the middle of the night after learning that at the end of Paul's latest book Misery's Child, he had killed off the heroine character, Misery Chastain: ("You! You dirty bird! How could you? She can't be dead! Misery Chastain cannot be dead!...I don't want her spirit! I want her! And you murdered her!...You did it! You did it! You did it! You did it! You murdered my Misery!..I thought you were good, Paul. But you're not good. You're just another lying old dirty birdie. And I don't think I better be around you for a while. And don't even think about anybody coming for you. Not the doctors, not your agent, not your family, because I never called them. Nobody knows you're here. And you better hope nothing happens to me. Because if I die, you die")
  • the book manuscript burning, when Annie demanded that Paul light his latest untitled manuscript (the only copy) on fire, even though he promised to never publish it: ("I'll tell ya what. It doesn't ever have to be published. No one ever has to read it. I'll just keep it for myself. No one will even know it exists"); she ignored his promise and sprinkled lighter fluid on his bed to convince him: ("As long as it does exist, your mind won't ever be free. I think you should light the match, Paul. Can't you see it's what God wants? You're so brilliant I would think you'd certainly be able to see that. We're put on this earth to help people, Paul. Like I'm trying to help you. Please, help me help you")
  • the scene of Annie's unpredictable outburst at Paul for being under-appreciated: ("I'll tell you what's the matter! I go out of my way for you! I do everything to try and make you happy! I feed you, I clean you, I dress you, and what thanks do I get? 'Oh, you bought the wrong paper, Annie. I can't write on this paper, Annie!' Well, I'll get your stupid paper, but you just better start showing me a little more appreciation around here, Mister Man!")
  • the tense scene of Paul struggling to return to his room before Annie entered the house (after buying three reams of smudge-free paper for him) - and her discovery that he had been trying to escape
  • the classic scene of Annie's monologue of how she felt a 'cliffhanger' episode of Rocket-Man at the Saturday afternoon movies in Bakersfield when she was younger had cheated her, because it had been unfairly modified: ("Anyway, my favorite was Rocket Man, and once it was a no-brakes chapter. The bad guys stuck him in a car on a mountain road, knocked him out, welded the doors shut, and tore out the brakes and started him to his death. And he woke up and tried to steer and tried to get out but the car went off a cliff before he could escape, and it crashed and burned, and I was so upset and excited! And the next week, you better believe, I was first in line. And they always start with the end of the last week, and there was Rocket Man trying to get out, and here comes the cliff and just before the car went off the cliff he jumped free, and all the kids cheered! But I didn't cheer. I stood right up and started shouting: 'This isn't what happened last week! Have you all got amnesia? They just cheated us! This isn't fair! He didn't get out of the cockadoodie car!'")
  • the scene of Annie's melancholy during a rainy day - causing Paul to worry that she might be self-destructive and do something drastic: ("I know you don't love me. Don't say you do. You're a beautiful, brilliant, famous man of the world and I'm not a movie-star type. You'll never know the fear of losing someone like you if you're someone like me....The book's almost finished. Your legs are getting better. Soon, you'll be wanting to leave....I have this gun. (She pulled the trigger, but it clicked empty) Sometimes I think about using it. I better go now. I might put bullets in it")
  • Annie's deranged and frightening decision to 'fix' things in the famed 'hobbling scene' - to prevent him from running away, she crippled Paul by breaking both of his ankles; after she lifted the sledgehammer and said: "Trust me, it's for the best," she blasted his left foot so that it visibly bent ("I'm almost done, just one more"), and then also mangled his right foot; and after completing the horrible deed, she adoringly said: "God, I love you"
Hobbling Paul's Legs with a Sledgehammer
And Then Telling Him: "God, I love you!"
  • the concluding basement scene, when Annie was planning on a double suicide-murder: ("You and I were meant to be together for ever. But now our time in this world must end. But don't worry, Paul. I've prepared for what must be done. I put two bullets in my gun, one for you and one for me. Oh, darling, it'll be so beautiful"), and Paul was able to trick Annie into getting a cigarette and second glass for champagne to celebrate completing the manuscript; he found an opportunity to bash her over the head with his typewriter, and although she shot him in the left shoulder, he was eventually able to stuff some of the manuscript into her mouth during a one-on-one fight, and then after tripping her, she fell and suffered a lethal blow to the head when she struck his typewriter
  • the haunting ending in a restaurant, when a waitress (Wendy Bowers) (who momentarily appeared as a vision of butcher knife-wielding Annie to Paul), asked Paul: "Excuse me. I don't mean to bother you, but are you Paul Sheldon?...'cause I just wanna tell you, I'm your number one fan"; he replied: "That's very sweet of you"; the end credits were accompanied by Liberace's performance of the song: "I'll Be Seeing You", emphasizing Paul's continued feelings of being stalked and watched: ("I'll be seeing you In all the old familiar places That this heart of mine embraces All day through, In that small cafe The park across the way The children's carousel The chestnut trees The wishing well I'll be seeing you...")

Annie Wilkes: "I'm your number one fan"

Injured, Bed-ridden Author Paul

Objecting to Paul's Use of Profanities in His Manuscript

Showing Off Her Pig Named Misery

Angry Rant About The Ending of Paul's Latest Book: "You murdered my Misery!"

The "Untitled" Manuscript Burning Scene

Paul's Scramble to Return to His Room

Annie's Classic Monologue: "He didn't get out of the cockadoodie car!"

Annie's Melancholy

Basement Scene of Revenge: Bashing Annie Over the Head with Typewriter and Killing Her

Haunting Concluding Restaurant Scene

The Misfits (1961)

In director John Huston's modern western drama - the last film of both Gable and Monroe:

  • the answer of aging rodeo hand and roper Gay Langland (Clark Gable) to Reno divorcee and ex-stripper Roslyn (Marilyn Monroe) when she asked him: "How do you just live?" - (Langland: "Well, you start by goin' to sleep. You get up when you feel like it. You scratch yourself. You fry yourself some eggs. You see what kind of a day it is. You throw stones at a can. Whistle")
  • the scene of Isabelle's (Thelma Ritter) toast to the state of Nevada, known for gambling and for quickie divorces: ("Here's to Nevada, the 'leave it' state...You got money you want to gamble, leave it here. You got a wife you wanna get rid of, get rid of her here. Extra atom bomb you don't need, blow it up here. Nobody's gonna mind in the slightest. The slogan of Nevada is 'Anything goes, but don't complain if it went.'...I even left my Southern accent here....I love Nevada. You know, they don't even have regular meal times here. Never met so many people didn't own a watch. Might have two wives at the same time, but no watch. Bless them all")
  • Gay's compliments about Roslyn's beauty, and their discussion about her profound sadness in life: (Gay: "You're a real beautiful woman. It's almost kind of an honor sittin' next to ya. You just shine in my eyes. That's my true feelin', Roslyn. What makes you so sad? I think you're the saddest girl I ever met." Roslyn: "You're the first man that ever said that. I'm usually told how happy I am." Gay: "That's because you make a man feel happy...Well, don't get discouraged, girl, you might"); and then he suggested that she sort her life out by remaining in the country with him - to be friends: ("Look, why don't you try it out here for a while, see what happens? You know, sometimes when a person don't know what to do, the best thing is to just stand still. I'll guarantee you'll have something out here you wouldn't find on every corner. I, uh, I may not amount to much in some ways, but I am a good friend...Let me take you back and get your things. Try it for a while, see what happens")
  • the scene of Gay and Roslyn's honest talk about love and his first failed marriage, when she asked: ("What happened? Did you just stop loving your wife, Gay?") - ("Well, I come home one night and she's all wrapped up in a car with a fella. Turned out to be an old friend. A cousin of mine, as a matter of fact...You know, in those days I thought you got married and that was it. But nothin' is it. Not for ever"); she reacted: ("That's what I can't get used to. Everything keeps changing"); he responded: ("I'll tell you this, though. I wouldn't know how to say goodbye to you, Roslyn. It surprises me")
  • the sexy paddle-ball game played by Roslyn in her loose-fitting polka-dotted white dress, to win a bet
  • the love triangle conflict that developed between Gay, Roslyn, and his friend Guido (Eli Wallach), who attempted to persuade her to ally with him: ("You're through with Gay now, right? Well, tell me. He doesn't know what you're all about. He'll never know. Tell me, Roslyn. I been waitin'. I'm goin' out of my mind with waitin'. Come back with me. Give me a week, two weeks. Let me show you what I am. Tell me, Roslyn. Give me a reason and I'll stop it. There'll be hell to pay, but give me a reason and I'll do it"); but she rejected his offer: ("You never felt anything for anybody in your life. All you know is the sad words. You could blow up the world, and all you would feel is sorry for yourself!")
  • Gay's girlfriend Roslyn's hysterical reaction to the cowboys' roundup of "misfit" mustangs for dogfood (by buzzing them with a biplane to exhaust and confuse the animals), after they had tied up one of the horses and talked about splitting up the money - she ran off into the open scorched earth and screamed at them: ("Horse killers! Killers! Murderers! You're liars! All of you, liars! You're only happy when you can see something die! Why don't you kill yourselves and be happy?! You and your God's country! Freedom! I pity you! You're three dear, sweet, dead men!...Butchers! Murderers! I pity you! You're three dead men!")
  • the dramatic scene of Perce Howland's (Montgomery Clift) release of the captured horses, as Roslyn urged them to run off: ("Go home, go!")
Round-Up of "Misfit" Mustangs
Roslyn: "Horse Killers!"
Perce's Release of Captured Horses
Gay's Wrangling of Stallion Leader, Then Release
  • the overpowering action sequence of Gay's exhausting, one-on-one wrangling confrontation with the stallion leader of the wild herd of misfit horses, and then his surprising about-face - cutting the rope to release the majestic animal, as he explained: ("Don't want nobody makin' up my mind for me, that's all. Damn 'em all! They changed it. Changed it all around. Smeared it all over with blood. Well, I'm finished with it. It's, it's like ropin' a dream now. Just gotta find another way to be alive, that's all. If there is one any more")
  • the film's memorable closing lines as Gay and Roslyn, now reconciled to each other, rode back in his truck: - Roslyn: ("How do you find your way back in the dark?") - Langland (pointing to the night-time sky): ("Just head for that big star, straight on. The highway's under it. It'll take us right home")

Four Main Characters (l to r): Guido, Gay, Isabelle, Roslyn

Roslyn (Marilyn Monroe): "How do you just live?"

Gay Langland (Clark Gable): "Well, you start by goin' to sleep..."

Isabelle's (Thelma Ritter) Toast

Honest Discussions About Love and Friendship

Betting on a Paddle-Ball Game

Love Triangle: Guido's Offer to Roslyn - Rejected

Concluding Scene: "It'll take us right home"

Mister Roberts (1955)

In John Ford's/Mervyn LeRoy's comedy-drama about the interactions of the crew of a WWII re-supply cargo ship (the USS Reluctant) on the Pacific Ocean - with a tyrannical ship captain:

  • the scene of Lt. Doug 'Mister' Roberts' (Henry Fonda) expression of disgust for Lieut. Commander 'Captain' Morton's (James Cagney) palm tree (given as a reward for moving the most cargo), as he spoke to Lt. 'Doc' (William Powell) early one morning: ("I looked down from our bridge and saw our captain's palm tree! Our trophy for superior achievement! The Admiral John J. Finchley Award for delivering more toothpaste and toilet paper than any other Navy cargo ship in the safe area of the Pacific")
  • the portrayal of Lt. Roberts as a well-liked officer who reluctantly served on the WWII naval cargo ship 'bucket' USS Reluctant (known as "The Bucket") while pining for real war action - he yearned for a transfer into a combat zone but was never granted a transfer: ("Well, I don't want to be here, I wanna be out there. I'm sick and tired of being a lousy spectator")
  • the character of cowardly and lazy Ensign Frank T. Pulver (Oscar-winning Jack Lemmon)
  • the scene of Mister Roberts' confrontation with tyrannical and pompous "Captain" Morton when blackmailed to refrain from continually writing letters of transfer off the ship, in exchange for 'liberty' shore leave for the crew: (Captain: "There's a war on and l'm Captain of this vessel. And now you can take it for a change. The worst thing l can do to you is to keep you right here, Mister! And here is where you're going to stay! Now, get out!" Mister Roberts: "What do you want for liberty, Captain?" Captain: "You are through writing letters ever." Mister Roberts: "Okay." Captain: "And that's not all. You're through talking back to me in front of the crew. When l give an order, you jump!")
  • the humorous scene of Lt. 'Doc' and Lt. Roberts mixing up a batch of scotch (from water, Coke, and a "drop of iodine for taste", and "one drop of hair tonic for age") for Pulver's R&R aboard ship with visiting nurses; Pulver was pleased with the results: ("Smooth! That dumb little blonde will never know the difference!") and then sang to himself: ("She won't know the difference. She won't know the difference....She'll never know the diff-er-ence'')
  • Lt. Roberts' assessment of Pulver: ("There's no getting around the fact, you're a real likeable guy, but...well, l also think you're the most hapless, lazy, disorganized and, in general, the most lecherous person l've ever known in my life"); Pulver complained: ("l am not!...I'm not disorganized for one thing!")
  • Pulver's cock-eyed scheme on VE Day to explode a homemade firecracker (with "fulminate of mercury") under the Captain's bunk ("We're gonna heave a firecracker under that old man's bunk and BAM, BAM, BAM. Wake up, you unpatriotic old slob. It's VE Day. Did you ever see such a hand-painted, hand-packed firecracker in your life?"); his plan backfired when it blew up the laundry and caused an overflow of soapy suds throughout the ship's corridors
Pulver's Disastrous VE Day Firecracker Scheme - Soapy Explosion
  • Roberts' salute to the Captain's revered palm tree before heaving it off the ship - and Captain Morton's vow to find the culprit: ("All right! Who did it? Who did it? You are going to stand sweating at those battle stations until someone confesses! It's an insult to the honor of this ship! The symbol of our cargo record has been destroyed and I'm going to find out who did it if it takes all night!")
  • the revelation that 'Mister' Roberts was the culprit when the crew heard (over the PA system) the Captain's strong-armed tactics and dastardly bargain with Roberts - and the crew's renewed respect for their officer for sacrificing his own ambitions for them
  • the concluding letter-reading scenes (both read by Ensign Pulver for the crew) with the first letter from 'Mister' Doug Roberts (written three weeks earlier) who was now serving his new assignment on board the USS Livingston during the Battle of Okinawa, including his statement that he would rather have his old crew's hand-made Order of the Palm medal than the Congressional Medal of Honor: ("Doc, I've been aboard this destroyer for two weeks now, and we've already been through four air attacks. I'm in the war at last, Doc! I've caught up with that task force that passed me by. I'm glad to be here. I had to be here, I guess. But I'm thinking now of you Doc, and you Frank. And Dolan, and Dowdy, and Insigna and everyone else on that bucket. All the guys everywhere who sail from Tedium to Apathy and back again, with an occasional side trip to Monotony. This is a tough crew on here, and they have a wonderful battle record. But I've discovered, Doc, that the unseen enemy of this war is the boredom that eventually becomes a faith and therefore, a terrible sort of suicide. And l know now that the ones who refuse to surrender to it are the strongest of all. Right now, I'm looking at something that's hanging over my desk. A preposterous hunk of brass attached to the most bilious piece of ribbon I've ever seen. I'd rather have it than the Congressional Medal of Honor. It tells me what I'll always be proudest of - that at a time in the world when courage counted most, I lived among 62 brave men. So, Doc, and especially you, Frank, don't let those guys down. Of course, l know that by this time, they must be very happy because the Captain's overhead is filled with marbles. And here comes the mail orderly. This has to go now. l'll finish it later. Meanwhile you guys can write too, can't you? Doug")
  • during the second letter reading, this one from Fornell, Pulver was stunned by the news that Mister Roberts had died in action during a kamikaze raid: ("Mister Roberts is dead. This is from Fornell. They took a Jap suicide plane and killed everybody in a twin 40 battery and went right on through and killed Doug and some other officer, in the wardroom. They were drinking coffee when it hit")
  • with a determined and resolute look on his face, Pulver tossed the replacement palm tree off the ship's deck into the water, entered the bridge, banged on Captain Morton's door, and finally stood up to him - with the film's final line of dialogue about his complaint that the movie to be shown that night had been cancelled: ("Captain, it is I, Ensign Pulver, and I just threw your stinkin' palm tree overboard! Now what's all this crud about no movie tonight?")
Resolute Pulver
Tossing 2nd Palm Tree Off Deck
"I just threw your stinkin' palm tree overboard"

Crazed Sailors Viewing Nurses on Shore

Lt. 'Mister' Roberts with Lt. 'Doc' Complaining About the Captain's Palm Tree

Ensign Frank T. Pulver (Jack Lemmon)

Lt. 'Mister' Roberts Complaining to Captain Morton (James Cagney)

'Doc' Mixing Up Home-made Scotch

Visiting Nurses Aboard Ship Given Tour by Pulver

'Mister' Roberts Heaving Captain's Palm Tree Off Ship

Pulver's Reading of 'Mister' Roberts' First Letter

Pulver After Reading of Second Letter ("Mister Roberts is dead...")

Moby Dick (1956)

In director John Huston's stirring adventure film about a monstrous great white whale:

  • the opening sequence, following closely to Herman Melville's original tale - the arrival of young sailor Ishmael (Richard Basehart) in the whaling town of New Bedford in 1841, in voice-over, as he proceeded downhill to the Spouter Inn: ("Call me Ishmael. Some years ago, having little or no money, I thought I would sail about and see the oceans of the world. Whenever I get grim and spleenful, whenever I feel like knocking people's hats off in the street, whenever it's a damp, drizzly November in my soul, I know that it's high time to get to sea again. Choose any path you please and ten to one, it carries you down to water. There's a magic in water that draws all men away from the land, leads them over the hills, down creeks, and streams and rivers to the sea. The sea - where each man, as in a mirror, finds himself. And so it was I duly arrived at the town of New Bedford on a stormy Saturday late in the year 1841")
  • the scene of Father Mapple's (Orson Welles) long, stirring, ranting sermon about the battle of good vs. evil in the soul of man, with nautical metaphors, reference to St. Paul, and inspiration from the Biblical whale tale of Jonah, ending with the words: ("...Jonah did the Almighty's bidding. And what was that, Shipmates? TO PREACH THE TRUTH IN THE FACE OF FALSEHOOD. Now Shipmates, woe to him who seeks to pour oil on the troubled waters when God has brewed them into a gale. Yea, woe to him who, as the Pilot Paul has it, while preaching to others is himself a castaway. But delight is to him who against the proud gods and commodores of this Earth stands forth his own inexorable self, who destroys all sin, though he pluck it out from under the robes of senators and judges! And Eternal Delight shall be his, who coming to lay him down can say:- O Father, mortal or immortal, here I die. I have striven to be thine, more than to be this world's or mine own, yet this is nothing, I leave eternity to Thee. For what is man that he should live out the lifetime of his God?")
  • the sailing departure from Nantucket of the Pequod for its whaling expedition
  • one-legged Captain Ahab's (Gregory Peck) entrance and first appearance before his crew (with the narrator's voice-over description) - "Looming straight up and over us, like a solid iron figurehead suddenly thrust into our vision stood Captain Ahab. His whole, high, broad form weighed down upon a barbaric white leg carved from the jawbone of a whale. He did not feel the wind or smell the salt air. He only stood staring at the horizon with the marks of some inner crucifixion and woe deep in his face"
Captain Ahab's Entrance
Description of Prey
Toast Proposed by Ahab: "The Measure. Drink and Pass"
  • the subsequent scene of Ahab's description of their prey, a great white whale, to the curious crew; he offered a "Spanish gold ounce" to the one who sighted the whale first ("You're to look for a white whale. A whale as white and as big as a mountain of snow...Whosoever of ye finds me that white whale, ye shall have this Spanish gold ounce, my boys! It's a white whale, I say. Skin your eyes for him")
  • and then Ahab described more about the whale and how it had taken off his leg years earlier; the crew toasted their objective - to bring "Death to Moby Dick": ("He's struck full of harpoons, men. And his spout is a big one, like a whole shock of wheat. And he fantails like a broken jib in a storm. Death, men, you've seen him. It's Moby Dick....Aye. It was Moby Dick that tore my soul and body until they bled into each other. Aye. I'll follow him around the Horn and around the Norway Maelstrom and around Perdition's flames before I give him up. This is what you've shipped for, men. To chase that white whale on both sides of land and over all sides of earth until he spouts black blood and rolls dead out. What say ye? I think you do look brave. Will ya splice hands on it?...Steward, go draw the great measure of grog. Harpooneers, get your weapons. Mates, your lances. Ye mariners, now ring me in that I may revive a noble custom of my fisherman fathers. The measure. Drink and pass. Round with it, round. Quick draughts, long swallows, men. It's hot as Satan's hoof. That way it went, this way it comes. It spiralizes in ye. Here, hand it me. Well done. Almost drained. Advance, mates. Cross your lances. Now, let me touch the axis. Do you feel it? That same lightning which struck me, I now strike to this iron. Does it burn, men? Does it burn? Harpooneers, break your weapons. Turn up the sockets. Drink here, harpooneers, drink and swear. God hunt us all if we do not hunt Moby Dick to his death" - Crew: "Death to Moby Dick!")
  • Captain Ahab's eloquent monologue to shipmate Starbuck (Leo Genn), about how he began hunting whales forty years earlier as a "boy harpooner" and his relentless, obsessive search every since to pursue the great white whale Moby Dick: ("Why this madness of the chase, this boiling blood and smoking brow? Why palsy the arm at the oar, the iron, the lance? I feel old, Starbuck, and bowed. As though I were Adam staggering under the piled centuries since paradise....What is it? What nameless, inscrutable, unearthly thing commands me against all human lovings and longings to keep pushing and crowding and jamming myself on all the time, making me do what in my own natural heart I dare not dream of doing? Is Ahab, Ahab? Is it l, God, or Who that lifts this arm? But if the great sun cannot move except by God's invisible power, how can my small heart beat, my brain think thoughts, unless God does that beating, does that thinking, does that living, and not l? By heavens, man, we are turned round and round in this world. Like yonder windlass and fate is the handspike. And all the time, that smiling sky and this unsounded sea. Look ye into its deeps and see the everlasting slaughter that goes on. Who put it into its creatures to chase and fang one another? Where do murderers go, man? Who's to doom when the judge himself is dragged before the bar?")
  • Starbuck's expression of the inevitability of their pre-determined fate, if he couldn't end Ahab's life with one gunshot, and his trembling before Ahab: ("Because I do not have the bowels to slaughter thee and save the whole ship's company from being dragged to doom. Oh, I plainly see my miserable office: to obey, or rebelling. Worse still, to help thee to thine impious end"); Ahab confirmed that they were close to the white whale: ("Starbuck, ye are tied to me. This act is immutably decreed. It was rehearsed by ye and me a billion years before this ocean rolled. The air. Do you smell it, lads, what the wind carries?...Aye. A coral reef, green moss, shells, bits and pieces from all the oceans he ever swam through. An island to himself is the white whale") shortly before there was the cry: ("Thar she blows!")
  • the thrilling sequence of Ahab's final encounter with the great white whale as he became entangled in the harpoon ropes wrapping around the mortally-wounded creature, while stabbing it to death: ("From hell's heart, I stab at thee! For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee, thou damned whale!"); the sailors watched as the whale surfaced, and saw that the dead Ahab's loose arm was signaling to them: "You see? Do you see? Ahab beckons. He's dead, but he beckons"; they saw the monstrous whale return to the Pequod to sink it in a maelstrom whirlpool
  • the final voice-over by Ishmael, who was rescued by surviving on Queequeg's coffin, and was later saved by another vessel - he was the only one to tell the tale of what had happened: ("Drowned Queequeg's coffin was my life buoy. For one whole day and night, it sustained me on that soft and dirge-like main. Then a sail appeared. It was the Rachel. The Rachel, who in her long melancholy search for her missing children found another orphan. The drama's done. All are departed away. The great shroud of the sea rolls over the Pequod, her crew and Moby Dick. I only am escaped, alone to tell thee")

Ishmael's Opening Voice-Over Sequence

Father Mapple's Sermon

The Sailing of the Pequod

Captain Ahab's Monologue About Crazed Quest with Starbuck

Ahab's Obsessive Quest

Encounter with the Great White Whale

Ahab - Stabbing at Whale with Harpoon

Ahab Entangled in Ropes Around Moby Dick - Beckoning the Sailors to Continue the Quest After His Death

Ishmael's Salvation on Queequeg's Floating Coffin

Modern Times (1936)

In actor/director Charlie Chaplin's last 'silent' film - a critique of the dehumanizing effects of technology - and marking Chaplin's last performance as The Tramp, and prefaced: "A story of industry, of individual enterprise - humanity crusading in the pursuit of happiness":

  • the opening metaphoric image of sheep (workers) entering an industrial factory (the Electro Steel Corp.) at 6 am
  • the scene of the 'Big Brother' factory owner, the President (Allan Garcia) spying (via remote television) on workers, including the Factory Worker (Charlie Chaplin) wearing overalls and a T-shirt as he took a smoke break in the men's lavatory at 12 noon, and the harsh order: "Hey, quit stalling. Get back to work!"
  • the factory assembly-line conveyer belt scene with the Factory Worker armed with nut-tightening wrenches in both hands and eventually was unable to keep up with the fast-moving, ever-increasingly sped-up assembly line (of widgets whizzing by)
  • the additional scene of the disastrous experiment in which the Factory Worker became a guinea pig for an out-of-control automated feeding machine that would force-feed lunches to workers on the job, promoted by a recorded voice; it was a masterful sequence of visual comedy involving a soup dispenser, a corn-cob feeder and a gentle face-wiper mechanism, and the engineer's final words: ("We'll start with the soup again")
Out of Control Automated Feeding Machine
  • during the same day after falling onto the assembly line and being fed into the machine's gears and cogs (literally and figuratively), the Worker's inability to stop making mechanically-imitative tightening motions: he chased after a female worker with a button-adorned dress, and then out of the street, tightened bolts on a fire hydrant and pursued a matronly woman with black dots on her chest
  • now portraying the Tramp character after a nervous breakdown, his unwitting leading of a Communist workers' protest march in the street when waving a flag, leading to his jailing
  • the entrance of the Gamin (Paulette Goddard), a "child of the waterfront" - who was homeless, barefooted and hungry (lustfully consuming a banana), she was soon befriended by the Tramp
  • the scene of the Tramp accepting a job on the 4th floor toy area of a department store, where he rollerskated and narrowly missed the drop-off ledge
  • while living in a dilapidated shack by the waterfront with the Gamin, the Tramp's dive into a shallow body of water
  • after the factories reopened ("Work at last!" - he promised the Gamin: "Now we'll get a real home!"), the unemployed Worker was rehired at the Jetson Mills - the last one to receive the opportunity; a title card read: "The mechanic and his new assistant put to work repairing the long idle machinery" - but before long, he was out of a job when the workers went on strike
  • the Tramp's singing waiter sequence after being hired to work in a restaurant/nightclub - a gibberish or nonsense song
Roller-Skating in a Department Store's Toy Area
Diving Into Shallow Body of Water
A Gibberish Song and Dance Routine as a Waiter
Walking Into the Sunrise With the Gamin
  • the final sequence of the Tramp on the side of the road sitting with the spunky, homeless Gamin who complained about the return of their unemployed plight: "What's the use of trying?" - the Tramp replied with encouraging words (the film's last line of title dialogue) and a smile: "Buck up - never say die. We'll get along!" before the unforgettable image of the two arm in arm silhouetted together and walking into the dawn's sunrise (not the sunset!) and a hilly horizon

Workers as Metaphoric Sheep

"Big Brother" Factory Owner on Video Monitor

Assembly-Line Conveyer Belt Sequence

Caught in Cogs of Machine

Twisting Bolts - Chasing Matronly Woman With Dark Buttons (Bolts) on Her Dress

The Tramp Leading a Socialist March

Entrance of The Gamin (Paulette Goddard)

The Tramp Befriending the Gamin

"What's the use of trying?"

(alphabetical by film title)

Intro | Quiz | A1 | A2 | A3 | A4 | B1 | B2 | B3 | B4 | B5 | B6 | B7 | C1 | C2 | C3 | C4 | C5 | D1 | D2 | D3 | D4 | E
F1 | F2 | F3 | F4 | G1 | G2 | G3 | G4 | H1 | H2 | H3 | I1 | I2 | I3 | J | K | L1 | L2 | L3 | L4 | M1 | M2 | M3
| M5 | M6 | N1 | N2 | N3 | O1 | O2 | P1 | P2 | P3 | P4 | P5Q | R1 | R2 | R3 | R4
S1 | S2 | S3 | S4 | S5 | S6 | S7 | S8 | S9 | T1 | T2 | T3 | T4 | T5 | U | V | W1 | W2 | W3 | W4 | YZ

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