Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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

Mughal-E-Azam (1960, India) (aka The Great Mughal)

In K. Asif's lengthy war-time drama and epic love story (part color and part B/W) set in the late 16th century - one of the costliest Indian films of all time (approx. $3 million) that took 16 years to film, and one of the most enduring and blockbuster Bollywood films ever made - and it was historically the first vintage film digitally colorized for theatrical release:

  • the legendary story of India's autocratic Great Mughal (Ruler of Hindustan) Akbar (Prithviraj Kapoor) who was finally able to produce an heir - a spoiled, drunken, playboyish, pampered and misbehaving son Prince Saleem (Dilip Kumar) who had to be sent away to join the ranks of the Mughal military to toughen him up: ("By God, I'll not see that day when our empire will become the toy of a rake prince! Man Singh, remove the veil of his mother's love on his head and put an iron cover on his head. Take him, raise and teach him in the hot deserts of war. Today, I hand over to you the future of the Mughals")
  • upon Prince Saleem's return, his growing forbidden love for commoner palace slave girl-courtesan and beautiful court dancer Nadir/Anarkali (Madhubala), meaning "pomegranate blossom"
  • the great Anarkali dance sequence when she twirled like a top in the royal Palace of Mirrors (with both an overhead shot and a kaleidoscopic shot) - a set completely covered by hundreds of pieces of fragmented colored mirrors
  • the seductive, passionate and erotic moments including the love scene when the returning military hero-soldier Prince caressed, fondled, stroked and tickled Anarkali with a large white ostrich feather and they hid their faces behind it
  • the patriarch Akbar's conflict with his son Saleem for choosing to marry below his status, for disobedience and defiance, and for not disavowing his obsessive love for Anarkali; in desperation, Akbar ordered Anarkali to be sent away and imprisoned
  • the disobedient Prince Saleem arranged Anarkali's escape (and placed her in a secret hiding place) and incited a open revolt against Akbar, that led to a declaration of war; the 'treasonous' Prince was defeated in a massive and colossal battle against his oppressive and tyrannical father and sentenced to be executed; Saleem was tied to a tower with a huge cannon aimed at him
  • the Prince was saved when Anarkali arrived at the last moment - and invoked a holy decree; she appeared before Akbar and offered to take Saleem's place (and suffer the consequences of being walled up and buried alive); she agreed to renounce her own life, and after begging for one dying wish, she was allowed one final night of ecstasy with Saleem, acting as his wife
  • the scene of their heart-wrenching parting the next morning when he melodramatically reached out for her as she was taken away by guards
  • Akbar was forced to honor a previous promise to Anarkali's mother, who was pleading for her daughter's life; without officially releasing Anarkali, Akbar arranged for her escape (into exile) with her mother, without Saleem's knowledge: (Akbar: "This plan must work, for if the Prince finds out you are still alive, I will not let you live and he will not let you die!")

Mulan (1998)

In Disney's animated adaptation of the Chinese folk fable of Mulan, the studio's 36th animated feature film:

  • the scene in which young Fa Mulan (voice of Ming-Na Wen) decided to take her father Fa Zhou's (voice of Soon-Tek Oh) place in the war against the Mongols; she cut her long black hair and disguised herself as "son" Ping in order to save her family's honor
  • the conversion of an incense burner into the 18 inch high, wise-cracking, orange sidekick dragon Mushu (voice of Eddie Murphy, who would later voice the similar character of Donkey in Shrek (2001)) to join Mulan and protect her
  • the scene in which Mulan cunningly caused an avalanche with a cannon-rocket to wipe out the Mongol army
  • the scene in which Mulan was praised by the Emperor of China (voice of Pat Morita), and given Hun warrior Shan Yu's (voice of Miguel Ferrer) sword, while thousands of people in Shanghai bowed in thanks
  • Mulan's return home to her grateful family, where she was accompanied by her love interest Captain Li Shang (voice of BD Wong)

Mulholland Dr. (2001)

In Best Director-nominated David Lynch's surreal, mystifying, mind-twisting, dream-like modern noir about Hollywood fame:

  • the twisting and turning dual characterizations of the two female protagonists: dark-haired brunette, full-bodied amnesiac and femme fatale Rita/Camilla Rhodes (Laura Elena Harring) and wholesome, pert blonde ingenue Betty Elms/Diane Selwyn (Naomi Watts) in the film's first 3/4ths
  • the basic plot: Diane's romanticized dream sequence (later learned) in which she imagined herself as successful blonde ingenue and wannabe LA actress-newcomer Betty - ending when a blue box found in Betty's purse was opened with a blue key that a now-blonde Rita found in her purse (after Betty disappeared) -- a clue that the two identities of Betty and Rita were somehow integrally inter-connected
  • the mysterious blue 'Pandora's' box with a blue key that signified the break between the first part's dream and the second part's reality (including Diane's suicidal death)
  • also the creepy but masterfully-acted audition scene in which naive wannabe starlet Betty performed a sexually-tainted script with a tanned and aging lothario Jimmy 'Woody' Katz (Chad Everett) - when she whispered into his ear and bit his lip: ("I hate you. I hate us both")
  • the monstrous character behind Winkie's diner - a disheveled homeless man - symbolic of the 'demon' that started to breed evil thoughts in Diane's disintegrating mind - to kill her girlfriend
  • the two memorable, hesitant and exploratory lesbian love scenes between Betty and Rita
  • and the scene of Betty remaking Rita to look more like her as a blonde in order to be transformed into her ideal
  • the very strange scene in the nightclub called Club Silencio in which Rebekah Del Rio (as Herself) sang a Spanish version of Roy Orbison's "Crying"

The Mummy (1932)

In director Karl Freund's creepy, Pre-Code classic horror film:

  • the scene of Sir Joseph Whemple's (Arthur Byron) translating the engraving on the wooden chest found inside the sarcophagus of the Mummy - 3,700 year-old ancient Egyptian high priest Im-ho-tep (Boris Karloff in his second horror starring role) - a terrible curse: ("Death, eternal punishment, for anyone who opens this casket. In the name of Amon-Ra, king of the gods"); it was discovered that Imhotep had not been eviscerated, but wrapped as a Mummy and buried alive; he had been sentenced to the live burial for a forbidden act of sacrilege - for attempting to revive a sacrificed vestal virgin whom he loved named Princess Ankh-es-en-Amon (Zita Johann)
  • the dramatic scene of the awakening and coming to life of the Mummy after archaeologist Sir Joseph Whemple's (Arthur Byron) assistant Ralph Norton (Bramwell Fletcher) foolishly opened the casket (out of curiosity) and removed the Scroll of Thoth with which Isis raised Osiris from the dead; after unrolling the ancient parchment, he began reading a translation of the words, causing Imhotep's resurrection
  • the first movements of the animated mummy - the opening of one eye, the movement of an arm and hand, the snatching of the Scroll, and then the trailing of bandages under the door
  • the reaction of assistant Ralph Norton to the phenomenon -- instant insanity -- uncontrollable screams and hysterical laughter, as he described to Sir Joseph and Dr. Muller (Edward Van Sloan) what had happened: "He went for a little walk. You should have seen his face"
  • the concluding sequence in which Im-ho-tep - now 10 years later and resurrected (and disguised) as an Egyptian man named Ardath Bey, saw Helen Grosvenor (also Zita Johann); he believed that she was his reincarnated ancient princess; his objective was to kill her, then mummify and resurrect her, and finally make her his bride
Sacrificing Helen Grosvenor
  • as Ardath Bey was about to stab Helen Grosvenor in the back with a sacrificial knife (he thought she was his ancient forbidden lover, the princess Ankh-es-en-amon, the daughter of Pharoah Amenophis); she prayed to a large black statue of the goddess Isis to save her and offer forgiveness and protection: ("Oh Isis, holy maiden, I was thy consecrated vestal. I broke my vows. Save me now! Teach me the ancient summons, the holy spells I've forgotten. I call upon thee as of old!"), the statue responded by raising its right arm with an emitted ball of flame from an ankh symbol in its hand to set the Scroll on fire; the spell was broken that kept the curse functioning, and in a stunning transformation scene, Ardath's face crumbled and deteriorated, witnessed by Dr. Muller and Sir Joseph's son Frank (David Manners)

The Resurrected Imhotep

The Insanity of Ralph Norton

10 Years Later -
Ardath Bey

The Muppet Movie (1979)

In director James Frawley's great children's film:

  • the enchanting opening (a film-within-a-film) that told of the origins of Kermit in the swamp and the image of Kermit strumming a banjo and singing the Oscar-nominated "The Rainbow Connection"
  • the film's deliberately cheesy puns and jokes (i.e. turning left at the literal fork in the road)
  • the astonishing puppetry featuring such tricks as Kermit the Frog (voice of Jim Henson) riding a bicycle without any visible means of support
  • all the friendships formed between Kermit and the other bizarre Muppet cast of characters met along the way including the unfunny, clownish Fozzie the Bear (voice of Frank Oz), the silly, chicken-loving Great Gonzo (voice of Dave Goelz), and the vain, preening and explosively violent Miss Piggy (also Oz) who carried a romantic torch for Kermit
  • Miss Piggy's (also voice of Oz) ode to love at first sight for Kermit: "Never Before, Never Again"
  • pianist Rowlf the Dog's (also Henson) duet with Kermit: "I Hope That Something Better Comes Along"
  • with over a dozen celebrity cameos from Hollywood's Golden Age through to hip comedians and actors of the time, including ventriloquist Edgar Bergen (who died shortly after his scene was filmed and to whom the film was dedicated) and his dummy Charlie McCarthy, the brilliantly funny Steve Martin as a sarcastic waiter, and the insane German-accented Professor Max Krassman (Mel Brooks)
  • Gonzo's sweetly sung "I'm Going to Go Back There Someday" while the gang was stranded in the desert at night
  • the magical conversation Kermit literally had with himself: ("Well, then...I guess I was wrong when I said I never promised anyone. I promised me...")
  • the western-styled showdown between cowboy-costumed Kermit and villainous Doc Hopper (Charles Durning) who threatened: ("All right, Frog, one last chance. You're gonna do my TV commercial live or stuffed"); Kermit replied: ("Hopper, what's the matter with you? You gotta be crazy chasin' me half-way across the country. Why are you doing this to me?"); when Doc Hopper expressed his desire to own a thousand frog-leg restaurants, Kermit replied: ("I've got a dream too. But it's about singing and dancing and making people happy. That's the kind of dream that gets better the more people you share it with. And, well, I've found a whole bunch of friends who have the same dream. And, it kind of makes us like a family. You have anybody like that, Hopper? I men, once you get all those restaurants, who're you gonna share it with? Who are your friends, Doc? Those guys? I got lots of friends")
  • the deus ex machina ending when Animal grew to giant size after swallowing InstaGrow pills and scared off Doc Hopper, and Orson Welles' cameo appearance as Lew Lord, who told his secretary (Cloris Leachman): "Miss Tracy, prepare the standard 'rich-and-famous' contract for Kermit the Frog and company"
  • the climax when a rainbow shone through the studio set ceiling onto the cast, while the entire Muppet group sang a reprise of "The Rainbow Connection" ("Life's like a movie, write your own ending, keep believing, keep pretending, we did what we set out to do...") - interrupted when Sweetums (voice of Richard Hunt) burst through the film into the theater where the rest of the Muppet cast was screening the film: ("I just KNEW I'd catch up to you guys!")
  • the end credits antics of the Muppets, concluding with Animal bursting through the "THE END" screen and telling the audience: "Go home! Go home! Bye-bye!"

Murder, My Sweet (1944) (aka Farewell, My Lovely)

In director Edward Dmytryk's film noir detective classic:

  • the opening shot of a blinding ceiling light and sounds of accusatory voices, and then a pull-back camera to the side of detective Philip Marlowe (Dick Powell), with bandaged eyes as he was interrogated by police and then began to relate part of his tale - in flashback
  • the brooding appearance of a figure in Marlowe's office windowpane (flashing city lights reflected onto the face of brutish Moose Malloy (Mike Mazurki) standing behind him in the darkness)
  • the two amusing instances when Marlowe struck his match on a marble Cupid's back-end, and when he played hopskotch (recalling Powell's days as a dancer) on the black/white checkered-tiled floor of millionaire Mr. Grayle's (Miles Mander) mansion
  • the memorable narrated dialogue: ("I caught the blackjack behind my ear. A black pool opened up at my feet. I dived in. It had no bottom")
  • and the nightmare ("a crazy, coked-up dream") he experienced when pursued through a series of identical doors by a doctor with a giant hypodermic needle - and further scenes of his drug-induced hallucinations
  • also the final shoot-out in the Grayles' beach house, where mysterious, flirtatious, gold-digging double-identity, femme fatale vamp Mrs. Helen Grayle/Velma Valento (Claire Trevor), who had set up numerous individuals over the alleged theft of her jade jewelry, was killed by her husband (who in turn killed and was killed by Moose - who had already murdered underworld kingpin Jules Amthor (Otto Kruger))

Murmur of the Heart (1971, Fr./It./W.Ger.) (aka Le Souffle Au Coeur)

In director Louis Malle's semi-biographical, controversial examination of desire and love in a classic coming of age story:

  • the scene of Laurent's two older boastful brothers, Thomas (Fabien Ferreux) and Marc (Marc Winocourt), entering his room and showing off their penis size to him and getting a ruler to measure whose was largest: (Thomas: "Bigger than yours already and I'm still growing" Marc: "Midget, wanna see a man's dick?), and then being caught by the housemaid Augusta (Ave Ninchi): ("Filthy pigs! Shame on you")
  • the scene of a lecherous Father Henri (Michael Lonsdale) making a subdued pass at studious, 14 year-old Laurent Chevalier (Benoit Ferreux) during compulsory confession, who put his hand on Laurent's shoulder, and began asking about his "wicked thoughts," and then gave a long warning about self-abuse: ("Did you abuse yourself again?...How many times?...Alone?...Do you realize how serious this is? If you don't stop these bad habits, God will turn away from you forever. We're all such weak pitiful creatures, prey to the vilest temptations of the flesh. For those who vow chastity, it's a struggle, believe me. Such temptations come with your age, and you give in to them. But watch out. You'll form habits that you'll later find impossible to break. Think of your future wife. She'll expect the same purity of you that you'll expect of her. I'm confident you'll master this. We have high expectations for you"); and then he touched Laurent's leg: ("Why, what muscles? Do you do much swimming?..You've developed a lot in a year. I bet both my hands won't even go around your thighs. See? They don't")
  • the brothel scene in the basement-bar of discotheque L'Oree du Bois (run by Madame Madeleine) where Laurent was taken by his brothers to lose his virginity to prostitute Freda (Gila von Weitershausen), who assured him as they began to undress in a bedroom: "Come sit by me. So this is your first time? Don't worry. I'm used to it. I always get the virgins. Everything'll be all right. Just relax, sweetie. I never kiss customers. That's only for my fiancee. Come here and I'll wash you...Come on. You're cute, you know that? You're big for your age. You're raring to go, I see. Dry off, sweetie. Since this is your first time, I'll take off my bra. But you'll have to help me put it back on. You think I have a nice figure? Do you like me? I've put on some weight lately. The food's so good around here. I hear your friends are paying for this. Nice of them. Is it your birthday? What soft skin! Softer than mine. You okay? Frightened? Don't you worry. I'm very gentle. Everything will be just fine. Just do as I say. I excite you a little, don't I? Let me lie down and you get on top. Ha-ha. What's the rush? There's no meter running. Ouch, that hurts! Gently. I'll give you the rhythm. You like that? Nice, isn't it? Not bad for a beginner. You're gifted. You'll be a lady-killer when you're older"); but then Laurent's brothers disrupted the love-making by barging into the room
  • the sensitively-rendered scenes between Laurent and his adoring mother Clara (Lea Massari), while she helped care for him in a hotel following scarlet fever and a heart murmur; she admitted "I have no sense of modesty" standing in front of him in her bra and panties, but then after she caught him glimpsing her naked in a tub, she slapped him; later, he impulsively kissed Clara, telling her: "I think you're great...Whatever you do, I'm on your side"; and the scene of giving comfort to her after she broke up with her lover - and they became more intimate when she helped him shampoo his hair; after getting drunk celebrating Bastille Day, Laurent helped Clara undress before a one-night incestuous love-making, when she told him: "I don't want you to be unhappy, or ashamed, or sorry. We'll remember it as a very beautiful and solemn moment that will never happen again...We'll never mention it again. It'll be our secret. I'll remember it without remorse, tenderly. Promise you'll do the same"

The Music Box (1932) (short)

In this 29-minute Oscar-winning Best Short film from director James Parrott:

  • the scenes of Transfer Company deliverymen Stan (Stan Laurel) and Ollie (Oliver Hardy) laboriously moving an uncooperative crated upright piano up a steep set of stairs to a house - purchased as a birthday gift; "the music box" continually wanted to find its way to the bottom of the steps
  • the encounters with a sassy Nursemaid (Lilyan Irene) pushing a baby carriage who asked to pass - when the two obliged and moved aside, the piano bounced back down the steps; the moment of Stan's kicking of the Nursemaid's backside after she chuckled at them insultingly ("Of all the dumb things"); and her retaliation with a punch to Stan's face - and when Ollie laughed, the Nursemaid's smashing of a large glass baby bottle over his head
  • further encounters with an irate cop (Sam Lufkin), an angry customer (a distinguished and pompous Professor Theodore von Schwartzenhoffen played by Billy Gilbert) not knowing the piano was a surprise birthday gift, and a helpful postman (Charlie Hall) who told the two: ("You didn't have to do that. You see that road down there?...All you had to do was to drive around that road to the top here")
  • the sequence of using a block and tackle to hoist the piano crate into the second story window, resulting in further disaster

The Music Room (1958, India) (aka Jalsaghar)

In Satyajit Ray's fourth feature film partially told in flashback - a musical drama contrasting the old traditional ways and more modern ways - and one of the first examples in Indian cinema to incorporate classical Indian music and dancing as integral and essential components, with a score composed by distinguished Bengali maestro Vilayat Khan:

  • in the film's opening under the title credits, the camera tracked forward to view an ornate swinging chandelier (with candles) in darkness, located in the center of the main character's 'music room' (jalsaghar) - where elaborate and indulgent concerts (at great expense) would be held
  • the film's theme - the downfall of the main character: an aging, melancholic Bengali feudal landlord (zamindar), Biswambhar Roy (Chhabi Biswas) in the 1920s, whose decadent aristocratic wealth was rapidly declining in his large, crumbling palace (with bats flying down the corridors) where he smoked a hookah on his roof, while his adjoining land was being eroded and washed away by the encroaching river
  • the contrast of the music-addicted, reclusive, depressed landlord to his nearby, uncultured neighbor -- upwardly-mobile, nouveau riche money-lender Mahim Ganguly (Gangapada Basu) with a more modern home (with electricity provided by a noisy generator) and a competing music room
  • a flashback to Roy's scheduled, ostentatious New Year's Day music concert (jalsa), held in his music room in the palace (to compete and upstage his rival Ganguly's concert), and Roy's ominous view of an insect drowning in his glass during the concert, followed by a climactic storm sequence and the news that Roy's wife Mahamaya (Padma Devi) and teenaged son Khoka (Pinaki Sen Gupta) had drowned in a capsized boat during the storm on their untimely return to attend the performance
  • Roy's planning of his first musical dance performance in his re-opened, dusty and cob-webbed music room since his family's death four years earlier; during a long take, he looked around the shabby room, noticing the worn carpets, bookcases, family portraits, and ornate chandelier covered with spiderwebs; he also looked at his antiquated image in a tarnished mirror
  • after a triumphant and successful concert in the music room, Roy foolishly and extravagantly offered his last bag of family jewels to one of the dancer-entertainers, to again upstage Ganguly
  • in the sequence following, he drunkenly wandered through the now-empty concert music room, offering toasts to his forebearers: ("To you, my noble ancestors!"), and then to his own youthful portrait (marred by his sight of a spider scurrying across the painting's leg) ("To you, my noble self"); there was the metaphoric sight of the lights in the hallway corridor and the chandelier's lights being extinguished one-by-one ("All lights are out!") - darkening the entire room, causing him to become hysterical, until his aging servant Ananta (Kali Sarkar) opened the heavy curtains and let in the first rays of sunlight
  • the ending - Roy's manic and crazed decision to gallop away on his white horse to the beach, where he was reminded of his dead family when he saw a beached, broken-down boat on the shore; he was thrown off the back of the horse (his turban went flying from his head to the sand) as it charged toward the boat - he suffered lethal wounds when he struck the ground
  • the last image - a duplication of the opening image - the swinging chandelier

Mutiny On the Bounty (1935)

In Frank Lloyd's Best Picture-winning historical seafaring drama based on the novel by Nordhoff and Hall:

  • the character of tyrannical Captain William Bligh (Charles Laughton) ordering floggings, keelhaulings and other cruel disciplines, and his oft-repeated call: "Mr. Christian!"
  • Fletcher Christian's (Clark Gable) love scene with native girl Maimiti in the jungle
  • the famous confrontational mutiny scene when Christian decided to rebel - and Captain Bligh was forced into a small boat with limited supplies where he threatened: ("I'll live to see you - all of ya - hanging from the highest yardarm in the British fleet")
  • Roger Byam's (Franchot Tone) stirring speech at his court-martial trial in England in the conclusion: ("These men don't ask for comfort. They don't ask for safety...They ask only (for) the freedom that England expects for every man. If one man among you believed that - one man! - he could command the fleets of England. He could sweep the seas for England if he called his men to their duty, not by flaying their backs but by lifting their hearts - their... that's all")

My Darling Clementine (1946)

In John Ford's western classic:

  • the early scene of Wyatt Earp's haircut (Henry Fonda) interrupted by a shooting outdoors by drunken Indian Charlie
  • Wyatt's visit to brother James' grave after he was killed by the Clantons
  • the image of Wyatt balancing himself on the two hind legs of his chair on the porch in Tombstone
  • the scene of a half-drunk Shakespearean actor (Alan Mowbray) humiliated and forced to deliver the famous Hamlet soliloquy atop a saloon table
  • the town's open-air dance social with Earp majestically escorting schoolteacher Clementine (Cathy Downs) to dance
  • the historic OK Corral shootout climax against the Clantons led by Old Man Clanton (Walter Brennan) when Doc Holliday's (Victor Mature) affliction weakened him and made him vulnerable
  • and at film's end -- Earp's goodbye to Clementine before riding off away from the camera toward the rock monuments in the distance in the last image: ("Ma'am, I sure like that name - Clementine")

My Fair Lady (1964)

In George Cukor's Best Picture-winning screen musical (from the Lerner & Loewe Broadway play of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion):

  • the character of arrogant linguistic professor Henry Higgins (Oscar-winning Rex Harrison) with tremendous style and wit as he both talked and sang his lines
  • Eliza Doolittle's (Audrey Hepburn) poignant transformation from a disheveled Cockney flower vendor to a well-dressed and refined lady with proper diction in only six months, as a result of a wager
  • Eliza's initial reaction to Higgins' proposition: "I'm a good girl, I am!", and her reconsideration of his offer by singing: "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?"
  • Eliza's vengeful fantasy song "Just You Wait"
  • the joyous celebration when she finally made a real breakthrough, singing: "The Rain In Spain/I Think She's Got It"
  • the Ascot races scene when Eliza's dignified English lapsed into colorful street language ("Done her in") - and it was humorously interpreted as the "new small talk"
  • Eliza's yell at a faltering horse: "Come on, Dover! Move yer bloomin' arse!", causing other horrified patrons to faint or gasp
  • the scene of Eliza's descent down the staircase in a beautiful gown
  • Eliza's successful attendance at the ball when socialite Freddy Eynsford-Hill's (Jeremy Brett) became infatuated with Eliza, singing: "On the Street Where You Live" (and Eliza's later, frustrated sung response: "Show Me" ("...Tell me no dreams filled with desire. If you're on fire, show me!...")
  • Eliza's telling-off of Higgins, singing "Without You" ("There'll be spring every year without you. England still will be here without you")
  • the scene of Higgins' spiteful rejection of Eliza while walking home, and his slow realization song/speech: "I've grown accustomed to her face...She almost makes the day begin..."
  • the film's concluding sequence, when Eliza reappeared in Higgins' study, and told him: ("I washed my face and hands before I come, I did"); he delivered the final, contrary, misogynistic closing line to her: "Eliza? Where the devil are my slippers?"

My Favorite Wife (1940)

In Garson Kanin's screwball comedy hit, again pairing Irene Dunne and Cary Grant after their successful The Awful Truth (1937):

  • the honeymoon scene at Yosemite Park lodge, when newly-married, 'widowed' lawyer Nick Arden (Cary Grant) with his second wife-bride Bianca (Gail Patrick) entered the elevator, and as the door closed taking them to Suite 'C', Nick caught a surprise glimpse of his first wife Ellen (Irene Dunne), who had unexpectedly returned after being shipwrecked for seven years on an island (and subsequently declared dead) before being rescued by a Portuguese freighter
  • the frustrations experienced by a perturbed Bianca, who thought her erratic and strange-acting husband (full of excuses) was purposely avoiding her on their honeymoon night, especially when he left for a shave in the hotel's barber shop, declaring: ("Oh, I feel like a hairy ape...well, I don't feel right unless I shave...")
  • Nick's scene with the confused hotel desk clerk when he ordered a second room, Suite 'A', for another wife - Ellen: ("I'd like to have another room"), and the clerk's reaction: ("What a man!")
  • Ellen's tormenting of Nick and Bianca, by pretending to be a southern friend of the family
  • the revelation during a late-night visit by an insurance officer (Hugh O'Connell) that there may have been a second person on the island with Ellen, named Stephen Burkett (Randolph Scott)
  • Nick's tracking down of Burkett, finding him to be a handsome, virile, athletic diver and pool swimmer at the posh Pacific Club - and the fact that Ellen and Stephen called themselves "Adam" and "Eve" on the island; when Nick first spotted Burkett on the diving board, a woman came up to him and asked: ("Is that Johnny Weissmuller?"), and Nick jealously replied: ("No, I wish it were")
  • the scene of Ellen unsuccessfully trying to fool Nick by recruiting a mousey shoe salesman (Chester Clute) to claim that he was "Adam" while they were on the island
  • the courtroom scenes, after Nick was arrested for bigamy, with befuddled Judge Bryson (Granville Bates), who had already declared Ellen legally dead, annulled the first marriage, and approved the second marriage; he noted to the two paired couples: ("I'd like to tell my wife about this case. She thinks all my cases are dull")
  • the final reconciliation scene in a mountain cabin between Nick and Ellen when he dressed up as Santa Claus to join her in her bedroom rather than sleep separately in the attic

My Left Foot (1989, UK)

In Jim Sheridan's biopic based on Christy Brown's autobiography - a disabled, working-class Dubliner who was afflicted with cerebral palsy:

  • the opening scene (interspersed with flashbacks into Christy's life) just before adult Christy Brown (Oscar-winning Daniel Day-Lewis), and gifted painter, fundraiser and writer (with his left foot), was to receive an award at a charity-event/benefit; and his request of nurse-caretaker Mary Carr (Ruth McCabe) to provide him with a light for his cigarette - and his tirade at her for refusing: ("I don't need a f--kin' psychology lesson. I just need a f--kin' light"); and then his anger later expressed at her for walking off: ("'Again some time.' I heard that before, Mary. Why is it always some f--king time? Mary, Stay! Stay!")
  • the moving scenes of the young and paralyzed nine or ten year-old Christy's (Hugh O'Conor) childhood, when he made his first mark on a piece of slate with chalk wedged between the toes of his left foot, then painfully scratched his first word ("MOTHER") on the parlor floor
  • the scene in which he struggled to get down the stairs to save his unconscious mother (Brenda Fricker)
  • the scenes of his participation in street-soccer (on his 17th birthday) and other games with his peers - often carted around in a wooden wheelbarrow
  • the devastating heartbreaking scene in a restaurant during dinner when a drunken, angry and hurt Christy reacted (with a blurted out and sarcastic "Con-grat-u-lations - Peter and Eileen... on the won, wonderful news. I'm glad you taught me how to speak so I could say that, Eileen") to news that his love interest (after he told her: "I love you, Eileen") - his speech therapy teacher Dr. Eileen Cole (Fiona Shaw) - had become engaged to someone else; and then he rejected Eileen's declaration of platonic love, by spitefully replying: ("Ah, you mean platonic love. I've had nothing but platonic love all me life. Do you know what I say? F--k Plato! And f--k all love that's not 100% commitment!"); and then Christy became hysterical when he was about to be removed ("Wheel out the cripple! Wheel out the cripple!"), and he grabbed the tablecloth with his teeth; eventually Eileen yelled: "Stop it!"
  • Christy's tortured suicidal attempt with a razor held between his toes, after writing a suicide note: ("All is nothing, therefore nothing must end")

My Little Chickadee (1940)

In Edward Cline's western comedy, the only film pairing both W.C. Fields and Mae West:

  • the few classic scenes between Flower Belle Lee (Mae West) and con-man/husband of convenience Cuthbert J. Twillie (W. C. Fields)
  • his best lines:
    - when told that there was nothing good about Flower Belle by prudish Mrs. Gideon (Margaret Hamilton), he responded: "I can see what's good. Tell me the rest"
    - holding and kissing her hand on the train, he exclaimed: "What symmetrical digits!"
    - Twillie's proposal of marriage: "Will you take me?" and Flower Belle's reply as she rolled her eyes: "I'll take you, and how"
  • the scene of their phony sham marriage aboard the train
  • Flower Belle's assurance that she would be a good schoolmarm teaching math: "I was always good at figures"
  • also Flower Belle's famous line to two suitors: "Any time you got nothin' to do and lots of time to do it, come up"
  • Twillie's last line to Flower Belle as he left town to attend to his "hair" oil wells: " must come up and see me sometime"
  • the camera's last image -- Flower Belle sashaying her bottom as she ascended the stairs

My Man Godfrey (1936)

In director Gregory La Cava's landmark sophisticated screwball comedy, set during the Depression:

  • the set-up to the film: spoiled socialite Irene Bullock's (Carole Lombard) discovery of "forgotten man" Godfrey "Smith" Parke (William Powell) at the city dump during a scavenger hunt, and her subsequent hiring of him to be her family's butler, in the home of the Bullocks: Alexander (Eugene Pallette) and ditsy wife Angelica (Alice Brady)
  • the famous scene of Angelica's protege Carlo (Mischa Auer) performing a gorilla imitation to cheer up Irene; he hunched over, ambling and loping around the living room, and jumping up and over the furniture and onto the window frame; Irene's phony fear reaction to his ape mimickry (""He frightens me"), while Alexander joked: ("Why don't you stop imitating a gorilla and imitate a man?...Someday I'm going gorilla-hunting and I won't miss"); and slightly earlier, Carlo's lamenting moan about financial ruin: ("Oh, Money, money, money! The Frankenstein Monster that destroys souls")
  • the bathroom scene in which Godfrey tossed Irene, when she faked swooning, under the cold water of a shower fully clothed, and she replied receptively: ("Oh, Godfrey, now I know you love me"); when he rejected her statement: ("I do not love you and you're getting me all wet"); Irene continued: ("You do or you wouldn't have lost your temper")
  • the final sequence, after Godfrey resigned from the wacky family and was running a luxurious and fashionable nightclub, aptly named "The Dump"; Irene trailed after him and vowed her love: ("You love me and you know it. You know, there's no sense in struggling against a thing when it's got you. It's got you and that's all there is to it. It's got you!"); she talked him into instantly getting married in a civil ritual with a judge, and tried to be reassuring: ("It may get me into a lot of trouble, but, uh, I guess I've known your family long enough to take a chance") - and then she spoke the final lines of the film before the ceremony: ("Stand still, Godfrey, it'll all be over in a minute")

My Neighbor Totoro (1988, Jp.) (aka Tonari no Totoro)

In director Hayao Miyazaki's fanciful and imaginative anime tale about friendship - his breakthrough film:

  • the first appearance of the "cat bus" - a 12 legged, feline vehicle, one of the magical and whimsical creatures (called Totoros (pronounced toe-toe-ro)) in the forest; it had a wide mouth and face, was striped, and slightly resembled the "Cheshire Cat" in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland
  • the later reunion of the two young protagonist sisters: 10-year-old Satsuki and 4-year-old Mei Kusakabe, who were transported in the bus to the hospital to see their ill mother Yasuko

My Night with Maud (1969, Fr.) (aka Ma Nuit Chez Maud, or My Night at Maud's)

In Eric Rohmer's 3rd film of his 'Six Moral Tales' - an intelligent, dialogue-rich and dramatic romantic comedy about life's chances and choices:

  • the opening sequence of unnamed main character Jean-Louis ("J-L") (Jean-Louis Trintignant), a 34 year-old smug, conflicted and uptight Catholic civil engineer working for Michelin, who attended Christmas Eve Mass at a cathedral in Clermont-Ferrand; during the service, he spotted a beautiful 22 year-old blonde girl Francoise (Marie-Christine Barrault), a lab assistant; in voice-over, he obsessively vowed to settle down and marry her (without really knowing her) as his ideal woman: "I suddenly knew, without a doubt, that Francoise would be my wife"; afterwards, in his car, he trailed after the elusive female on her moped, but lost sight of her behind a slow-moving vehicle
  • the discussion between the self-deceiving and hypocritical J-L and his old Marxist high-school friend Vidal (Antoine Vitez), a university philosophy teacher; one of their discussion subjects was Pascal's wager (playing the odds regarding God's existence because it was wiser to believe - since if you're right, you go to heaven, but if you're wrong, you lose nothing)
  • the dinner conversation between J-L, Vidal and his free-thinking, wise and skeptical brunette friend - a beautiful, vivacious divorcee single mother and pediatrician named Maud (Françoise Fabian) - a secular and modern female
  • the circumstances (a heavy snowfall) that forced J-L to stay over at Maud's place when she asked for "bedside company"; and the flirtatious sequence in Maud's bedroom where she temptingly modeled a skimpy nightshirt to "show off" her legs, as she admitted: "My only means of seduction"; J-L responded: "Not the only means, but the best!"
  • Maud's statement that J-L had a complicated and conflicted nature: "What troubles me the most about you is you're side-stepping. You don't face your responsibilities. You're ashamed of being a Christian. And ashamed of being a Don Juan!"
The Lengthy Bed Scene Conversation With Maud
  • the lengthy scene of Maud and J-L's self-reflective, challenging conversation about sex and morality with him, including Maud's baring of her soul about how she was unlucky in love - she sadly remembered and spoke about her marriage, her own dead lover (killed in an icy car crash), and her former husband's mistress: "You really want to hear my life story? I had a lover and my husband, a mistress. She was a little like you: very moral, Catholic. Not a hypocrite, a sincere believer. But I hated her so much. She was crazy about him. He's a guy that drives girls crazy. I was crazy myself. I made him break with her. That was my one good deed. She probably wouldn't have married him"
  • the revelation that Maud discarded her nightshirt and slept in the nude ("I always sleep naked - nightclothes get so twisted around"); he reluctantly joined her in the bed when she urged him to forsake an uncomfortable armchair: "Don't be childish. Come lie next to me. On the blankets. Or under - if I'm not too ugly ....You'll have a cramp. Are you scared? Of yourself? Of me? I swear I won't touch you. I thought you had self-control"; he laid next to her on top of a thick, white-furred coverlet (although he was clothed), because it was too cold and awkward to sleep in a nearby armchair, and then tried to cover himself with the blanket
  • early the next morning, Maud's clumsy attempt at seduction and request for sex from J-L, but he signaled that he wanted to remain chaste; she jumped naked from bed and dismissed him after he resisted her: "I like people who know what they want"; soon after, he left her apartment
  • later, the circumstances that forced J-L to spend a chaste, boring, and uninteresting night at Francoise's place - a major contrast to his night with Maud
  • the outdoor sequence of Francoise's halting confession to J-L that she had very recently been engaged in an affair with a married man: ("I have a lover...until recently...I loved him. Madly. I could say I've forgotten him but you can't forget someone you've loved. We parted just before I met you...It's all over. We'll never see each other again"); she was forgiven by J-L when he admitted he also had affairs: ("Listen, Francoise. We can wait as long as you want. You're wrong if you think it changes anything for me. I have no right. Actually, I'm happy. It's true. I felt uneasy before. Some of my affairs lasted a very long time. Now we're even....I'll make a confession: The morning we meet, I'd just left a girl. I'd slept with her"); they mutually agreed to never discuss their past sexual histories again
Meeting Up Five Years Later
  • the epilogue or closing scene five years later: a chance meeting at the beach between J-L (now with wife Francoise and toddler son) and Maud, when it was revealed - in an extraordinary and ironic coincidence - that she knew of Francoise ("We know each other - by sight"); Maud further recalled J-L's earlier conversations with her about his future ideal fiancee (blonde and Catholic); Maud told J-L that she had remarried, but it wasn't going too well ("I never have any luck with men"); as he joined up with Francoise already on the beach, J-L exclaimed: "I didn't know you knew each other. When she left Clermont, I hardly knew you. We had just met...You know, when I met you, I'd just left her, but..." (J-L's voice over: "I was to say: 'Nothing happened' - I saw that her embarrassment didn't come from what she'd learned about me, but from what she guessed I'd just learned about her. It suddenly hit me. Instead, I said...") "...That was my last fling. It's odd that we bumped into her" - he had thoughtfully saved his wife embarrassment, by telling her that Maud was the last affair he had in his past; Francoise was reassured and again stated: "I find it rather funny. Anyway, all that was so long ago. We said we'd never talk about it"; the film ended with the family happily running toward the water for a swim

My Sister Eileen (1955)

In director Richard Quine's romantic, light-hearted, and witty widescreen Hollywood musical (co-scripted by Quine and Blake Edwards, and with choreography by Bob Fosse) - a remake of the non-musical, black and white comedy My Sister Eileen (1942), starring Rosalind Russell, Janet Blair and Brian Aherne - and both were based upon the Broadway stage hit from 1940; the under-rated and often forgotten musical film was surprisingly entertaining:

  • the characters of two sisters from Columbus, Ohio who sought opportunities in NYC - Eileen Sherwood (Janet Leigh), a sexy and pretty blonde bombshell and an aspiring actress, and Ruth Sherwood (Betty Garrett), a plain-Jane lady and a witty, smart and pragmatic writer
  • their rental of a Greenwich Village brick-wall basement studio apartment (near underground subway blastings that often shook the foundations) - a "concrete catacomb"
  • in the extremely inventive musical number "As Soon as They See Eileen," the sisters changed into pajamas, while Ruth felt dejected about life and the lack of attention and dates from men, unlike her sister, who seemed to send men head-over-heels for her; as Ruth made faces in a mirror and applied cold cream, she sang about how Eileen would always turn heads, while others wouldn't pay attention to her: "I'm over twenty with plenty of knowledge, I and my college degree, But I'm frankly annoyed; tell me Dr. Freud, what is the matter with me?"
  • the scene of Ruth seeking work from Mad Hatter publishing house-magazine editor Robert "Bob" Baker (Jack Lemmon), Ruth's former boss' college roommate, at first, Bob called her stories tragic and unrealistic, and hinted that she was a "frustrated old maid"
  • and Eileen's acquaintance with dreamy-eyed Walgreens soda fountain jerk-manager Frank Lippincott (Bob Fosse) - receiving emotional support from him after failing at three auditions (and being propositioned on the casting couch).
  • in the musical song-dance number "Alley Dance," Frank and newspaperman-reporter Chick Clark (Tommy Rall) performed acrobatically and competitively in a challenge dance outside of a burlesque theatre - as they both vied for Eileen's attention while she was inside; they played tricks with their hats, shuffled their feet, did splits and jumps, leaps and backflips, and kept their steps in synch when dancing together - Chick also executed a perfect triple spin jump!
  • the sequence in which Eileen cheered Ruth up by singing "There's Nothing Like Love"; extolling love's virtues, she donned a football helmet, a gentleman's jacket and shoes, and promised that Ruth would fall in love with a heroic man someday; dressed as a man, she asked Ruth for a dance, and persuaded her that she was attractive too
  • the film's best number "Give Me a Band and My Baby" - set in an outdoor, empty bandstand, where the foursome of Eileen, Ruth, Chick, and Frank pantomimed playing musical instruments, danced and sang
  • the sequence of Robert's attempted seduction of Ruth, when he thought that her mis-adventures and love story escapades about 'My Sister Eileen' were actually about herself; during a dinner date with her at his place, he gave her a drink, complimented her, and tried to seduce and kiss her; he also sang the musical number: "It's Bigger Than You and Me"; she was taken aback and told him to "Slow down, you've got the wrong idea about Eileen"
  • the pleasant love sequence that evening, when Eileen found Frank declaring his love for her (he was speaking to her hat perched on a tree branch) - he was outside her apartment in a patio courtyard; during a marvelous dance-and-song love duet, they performed together to a reprise of the song: "There's Nothing Like Love"
  • in the rollicking conclusion, there was a scene at the dock where wild, white-uniformed Brazilian naval cadets chased after Ruth all the way back to the apartment, where Eileen and Ruth engaged them in dancing the Conga - the commotion caused the police to arrive and put them all in jail; it ended up that Bob was happily united with Ruth (to her great surprise), and Frank with Eileen
  • The End title screen - it was seen above a Conga line - the Brazilian navy had arrived to apologize, and the film ended with a crazy dance party enjoyed by everyone

Mysterious Island (1961)

In Cy Endfield's family-oriented sci-fi adventure (a sequel to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)), based on Jules Verne's 1874 classic science-fiction novel, and with a musical score by famed Bernard Herrmann:

  • the escape scene, during the American Civil War, from a stockade of a group of three Union POW soldiers Captain Cyrus Harding (Michael Craig), black soldier Neb (Dan Jackson) and young Herbert (Michael Callan), a Confederate rebel Sgt. Pencroft (Percy Herbert), and observing civilian newspaperman from the North Gideon Spilitt (Gary Merrill), in a hot-air balloon
  • the scenes of being stranded on a 'mysterious island' somewhere near New Zealand in the South Pacific
  • the discovery of two British shipwrecked castaways on the beach: the aristocratic Lady Mary Fairchild (Joan Greenwood) and her sexy niece Elena (Beth Rogan)
  • Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion animation of creatures, including a giant crab, a colossal chicken, and an oversized bee sealing two of the survivors into a honeycomb cell, and an underwater squid sequence
  • the revelation of infamous pacifist Captain Nemo (Herbert Lom), a secret benefactor in his shell-shaped diving gear, and his legendary but crippled submarine Nautilus (with a fancy and plush hi-tech interior), who appeared just in time to blow-up a cutthroat pirate ship and save everyone (except himself) from volcanic destruction

Mystic River (2003)

In Clint Eastwood's intense adult crime drama:

  • the scene of disturbed, violated, and haunted Dave Boyle (Oscar-winning Best Supporting Actor Tim Robbins) with his young son Michael (Cayden Boyd) remembering an incident 25 years earlier when he was a young boy (Cameron Bowen) and ordered to "Get in" a car -- during an abduction by two pedophiles (who assaulted him over a 4-day period in a cellar after driving him away in the back seat of a black Ford sedan)
  • the scene of grieving ex-con and corner patriarchal grocery-store owner Jimmy Markum (Oscar-winning Best Actor Sean Penn) learning of the discovery of a body in the local park - belonging to his 19 year-old daughter Katie (Emmy Rossum) and screaming out to Massachusetts State homicide detective Sean Devine (Kevin Bacon) as he was restrained: "Sean, is that my daughter in there?!"
  • the powerfully-acted scene of Jimmy on the back porch with Dave struggling to grieve and let go with his wrenching tears over the hurtful loss of Katie (Jimmy: "There's one thing you could say about Katie even when she was little. That girl was neat...I loved her..most....And it's really starting to piss me off, Dave, because I can't cry for her. My own little daughter, and I can't even cry for her." Dave: "Jimmy. You're crying now." Jimmy: "Yeah, damn. I just want to hug her one more time. She was 19 f--king years old")
  • the scene of an emotionally-scarred Dave with his untrusting, panicked wife Celeste (Marcia Gay Harden) when he recalled his childhood's 4-day abuse and felt like an undead vampire ("Maybe one day you wake up and you forget what it's like to be human...Dave's dead. I don't know who came out of that cellar, but it sure as shit wasn't Dave...It's like vampires. Once it's in you, it stays...")
  • shortly afterwards, the scene of a tormented Celeste telling Jimmy that she suspected her husband as the killer (although Dave claimed he beat up a pedophile behind McGill's bar the same night that Katie died)
  • the scene of Jimmy forcing Dave to falsely admit that he killed Katie by repeatedly demanding: "Admit what you did, Dave, and I'll let you live" - before stabbing him and finishing him off with a gunshot to the head and throwing his body in the Mystic River
  • and the next scene, the following day when Sean told Jimmy that they had found the real killers in the case, with Jimmy's reaction: "If only you had been a little faster" and Sean's observation: "Sometimes I think, I think all three of us got in that car...The reality is we're still 11 year old boys locked in a cellar imagining what our lives would have been if we'd escaped"
  • the ending superimposed shot of the concrete sidewalk with the three boys' names permanently carved into it and views of the Mystic River and the Tobin Bridge

(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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