Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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

Network (1976)

In Sidney Lumet's brilliant satire on TV and the media (based on Oscar-winning Paddy Chayefsky's script) - a pitch-black criticism of the hollow, lurid wasteland of television journalism:

  • the character of smart, ambitiously-driven, new VP of programming Diana Christensen's (Oscar-winning Faye Dunaway) rant to her various program directors, to do anything to improve network ratings, including having a show based upon a real-life terrorist group: ("So this concept analysis report concludes: 'The American people want somebody to articulate their rage for them.' I've been telling you people since I took this job six months ago that I want angry shows. I don't want conventional programming on this network. I want counter-culture. I want anti-establishment....We better start putting together one winner for next September. I want a show developed, based on the activities of a terrorist group. 'Joseph Stalin and his Merry Band of Bolsheviks.' I want ideas from you people. That is what you're paid for. And, by the way, the next time I send an audience research report around, you'd all better read it or I'll sack the f--king lot of you, is that clear?")
Diana Christensen: "I Want Angry Shows!"
  • the Messianic, raging figure of maniacal veteran TV anchorman Howard Beale (posthumous Oscar-winning Peter Finch) who during his evening news broadcast told his viewers, off from his script, that he had been fired and would commit suicide during his final broadcast a week later: "I have decided to kill myself. I'm gonna blow my brains out right on this program a week from today. Tune in next Tuesday. That should give the public relations people a week to promote the show. We ought to get a hell of a rating out of that - a fifty share, easy"; during his next broadcast, he used shocking four letter words to tell his viewing audience that he had intended to commit suicide because he "ran out of bulls--t"
  • although there were worries and threats to fire Beale, Diana Christensen was visibly turned-on by media ratings during the Beale controversy; and during this time, she started a sexual affair with veteran network news boss Max Schumacher (William Holden), a married man 25 years her elder; on their first dinner date, she coldly told him: "I can't tell you how many men have told me what a lousy lay I am. I apparently have a masculine temperament. I arouse quickly, consummate prematurely, and can't wait to get my clothes back on and get out of that bedroom. I seem to be inept at everything except my work. I'm good at my work. So I confine myself to that. All I want out of life is a 30 share and a 20 rating"; during a weekend tryst in the Hamptons, without hardly pausing, she orgasmed during an intense ranting about programming challenges regarding "The Mao Tse-tung Hour"
  • Howard Beale (dubbed an "angry prophet") announced on the air that he believed he had been inspired by a "shrill, sibilant, faceless Voice" that had awakened him from sleep; he believed that he had been given a mission on television "to tell the people the truth - not an easy thing to do because the people don't want to know the truth"
Howard Beale's Description of Himself as Inspired by a "Voice"
  • and later, Beale's rousing, rallying battle cry challenge to listeners: ("We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is: 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get MAD!" - then, he delivered an on-air rant directive to defiantly yell out from New York City windows: ("So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell: 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take this anymore!'")
  • Howard's next major speech - the so-called "We Deal in Illusions" speech, attacked television itself; Howard appeared on-stage (wearing a black suit, white shirt and black tie) as a messianic figure in front of one colorful stained glass window: "So, you listen to me. Listen to me! Television is not the truth. Television's a god-damned amusement park. Television is a circus, a carnival, a traveling troupe of acrobats, storytellers, dancers, singers, jugglers, sideshow freaks, lion tamers, and football players. We're in the boredom-killing business. So if you want the Truth, go to God! Go to your gurus. Go to yourselves! Because that's the only place you're ever gonna find any real truth. But, man, you're never gonna get any truth from us. We'll tell you anything you wanna hear....You maniacs. In God's name, you people are the real thing. We are the illusion. So turn off your television sets. Turn them off now. Turn them off right now. Turn them off and leave them off. Turn them off right in the middle of this sentence I am speaking to you now. Turn them off!" - as he exorted his audience, his eyes circled around and he collapsed to the onstage floor in a swoon - a show-stopping seizure
"We Deal In Illusions" Speech - An Attack on Television Itself
  • the superb sequence in which Max divulged his month-long, obsessive affair with Diana (he called the relationship "a transient thing" and "a menopausal infatuation") to his wife of twenty-five years, Louise Schumacher (Oscar-winning Beatrice Straight); after his confession, his long-suffering wife berated him in a moving monologue for his unfaithfulness and "love" for Diana ("She gets the winter passion, and I get the dotage? What am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to sit home knitting and purling while you slink back like some penitent drunk? I'm your wife, damn it! And, if you can't work up a winter passion for me, the least I require is respect and allegiance! (She sobbed) I'm hurt! Don't you understand that? I'm hurt badly!")
  • then, Schumacher put-down Diana for her soullessness, amorality, and heartlessness: ("I'm not sure she's capable of any real feelings. She's television generation. She learned life from Bugs Bunny. The only reality she knows comes to her from over the TV set")
  • the scene of Beale's chastisement by angered UBS Chairman of the Board, corporate pitchman and powerful business magnate and conglomerate head Arthur Jensen (Ned Beatty): ("You have meddled with the primal forces of nature")
  • the scene of Max Schumacher's angry denouncement of the emotionless and cold Diana, his guilt about the pain and suffering he had caused, and his description of his own impending mortality: ("I feel guilty and conscience-stricken and all of those things that you think sentimental but which my generation called simple human decency. And I miss my home because I'm beginning to get scared s--tless. Because all of a sudden, it's closer to the end than it is to the beginning, and death is suddenly a perceptible thing to me - with definable features....everything that you and the institution of television touch is destroyed. You're television incarnate, Diana, indifferent to suffering, insensitive to joy. All of life is reduced to the common rubble of banality"
  • the film's climactic ending when, during the start of his TV show, Howard Beale was murdered by two revolutionary radicals or assassins who had been hired by the network to do away with him; Beale pitched backwards from the impact of multiple bullet wounds - bloodied; another newsman announced his epitaph - the film's last narrated line: "This was the story of Howard Beale, the first known instance of a man who was killed because he had lousy ratings"

Max Schumacher's Affair with Diana

Howard Beale: "I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell: 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take this anymore!"

Max's Confession of Unfaithfulness to His Wife Louise - And Her Response

Chastisement of Beale by UBS Head Arthur Jensen (Ned Beatty)

The End of Schumacher's Affair with Diana

The Assassination of Howard Beale

Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941)

In another of W.C. Field's unusual comedies - directed by Edward F. Cline, with off-beat humor, double-takes, broad comedy and priceless lines and sketches:

  • in the opening scene, on the way to Esoteric Studios, scriptwriter Great Man's (W.C. Fields) walk when he stopped to admire a billboard sign for his most recent movie (The Bank Dick (1940)) - but he was insulted by two boys who criticized his film, calling it a "Buptkie"; he also made a pass at a pretty girl: "Hi ya tootie-pie. Everything under control?" but didn't realize she was accompanied by a husky enraged boyfriend, and he was punched in the face and knocked over a gate - he declared: "All five of 'em hit me at once"
  • the Great Man's two very funny restaurant ordering scenes in the Cozy Corner Cafe - a greasy-spoon restaurant with a tough, obnoxious, fat waitress named Tiny (Jody Gilbert); he asked: "Is there any goulash on this menu?"; she wiped a spot off the menu and replied: "It's roast beef gravy"; then, he asked about the steak: "Is that steak New York cut?"; she crossed if off the menu because it was unavailable. Pouring him a glass of ice water, she became distracted and he ended up with the overflow on his lap. He joked: "No extra charge for the cold shower, I hope"; struggling to order something, he asked: "Do you think it's too hot for pork chops?" That also was crossed off the menu, along with a number of other items. He wondered: "That, uh, practically, uh, eliminates everything but ham and eggs...No ham." He was forced to order two four-minute eggs in a cup, white bread, and milk, causing him to mutter: " I don't know why I ever come in here - the flies get the best of everything."
The Cozy Corner Cafe
Trying to Order from Obnoxious Waitress Tiny
Tiny: "Don't be so free with your hands!"
  • during his second visit to the restaurant with the fleshy waitress, he told her: "I didn't squawk about the steak, dear. I merely said I didn't see that old horse that used to be tethered outside here" - and then insultingly commented on her big behind: "There's something awfully big about you too"; when he paid his tab, she advised: "And another thing, don't be so free with your hands" - to which he replied: "Listen honey. I was only trying to guess your weight. You take things too seriously"
  • while waiting in the Producer's outer office at the studio, the Great Man listened to the receptionist's (Carlotta Monti) loud conversation on a phone, and quipped about one of her lines: "Drown in a vat of whiskey. Death where is thy sting?"
  • the middle section of the film was a re-enactment of the Great Man's fanciful script about his improbable adventures, including the scene of his flying over Mexico with his niece Gloria Jean (Gloria Jean playing herself); while sitting in the open-air rear observation platform deck (an impossibility), he recited another memorable one-liner about his broken romance with a beautiful blonde: "I was in love with a beautiful blonde once, dear. She drove me to drink. That's the one thing I'm indebted to her for"
  • his diving to retrieve his precious bottle of booze which he had accidentally knocked over the side while gesturing; he made a drunken free-fall dive from out of the airplane; catching up with the bottle as he fell thousands of feet to the ground, he landed on a giant mattress in a strange mountain cliff-top retreat in a strange country (Ruritania), bouncing about a dozen times until he came to rest, and then asked himself: "Why didn't I think of that parachute? What a bump!"
  • the game of "squidgulum" (a variation on 'Post Office', a kissing game) that he played with the lovely, nubile and virginal Ouliotta Delight Hemoglobin (Susan Miller) who claimed that she had never met a man before; she placed her hands on her head and closed her eyes, as he kissd her twice
  • when they were interrupted by her aggressive mother, wealthy, matronly and black-robed Mrs. Hemoglobin (Margaret Dumont) with a ferocious mastiff guard dog with fangs, she wanted to join in the kissing game; he ran to escape and avoid kissing her, and fell in a large basket off the cliff of her mountain top retreat; when it crash landed and he fell to the ground, he remarked: "What a catastrophe!"
  • during a second fast exit from the mountain top to avoid marriage to Mrs. Hemoglobin, the Great Man jumped in the cliff-side basket with Gloria Jean, and as he looked down, he noted: "Don't start worrying until we get down to one-thousand, nine-hundred, and ninety-nine. It's the last foot that's dangerous"
  • the final ten minutes - the Great Man's mad drive through downtown LA to take an oversized woman (he presumed she was pregnant) to visit the maternity hospital (borrowed for Abbott and Costello's In Society (1944)), with a police escort from cops on motorcycles, sirens blaring; after many near-misses and collisions, his car's roof was tangled up with the hook and ladder of a fire-engine, and his car was hoisted high into the air and then dumped back onto the highway; he narrowly missed pedestrians and other cars in the frantic ride to the hospital; his wrecked and disintegrating car finally came to a halt next to the "Maternity Hospital Quiet!" sign, where he was left holding only the steering wheel in his hands. Hospital orderlies rushed out with a stretcher and wheeled the unconscious passenger into the delivery room - she recovered consciousness just in time to berate the hospital staff. The Great Man staggered at the crash site, musing: "Lucky I didn't have an accident...I would have never gotten here"
Mad Drive Through Los Angeles

Insulted by Two Boys

Punched by Hunky Boyfriend

"Drown in a vat of whiskey. Death where is thy sting?"

"She drove me to drink. That's the one thing I'm indebted to her for"

Diving After His Bottle of Booze From Plane

Kissing Game with Young Ouliotta Delight Hemoglobin

With Mrs. Hemoglobin

Crash-Landing in Basket

The Mountain-top Retreat

About to be Married to Mrs. Hemoglobin

The Second Time in a Falling Basket

Never on Sunday (1960, Greece/US) (aka Pote Tin Kyriaki)

In writer/director Jules Dassin's controversial, low-budget, black and white, off-beat, Pygmalion-like romantic comedy (in both English and Greek with subtitles), about a "Happy Street-Walker of Piraeus" (the film's tagline) in Greece (the Athens port city of Piraeus) - the recipient of an X certificate, but with five Academy Awards nominations, including Best Director, Best Actress, Best Original Story, and Best Costume Design, and an Oscar for Best Original Song (Never On Sunday):

  • the opening pre-credits sequence (to the tune of the title song in the background) - as exuberant, earthy, free-spirited prostitute Ilya (Oscar-nominated and Cannes Best Actress Melina Mercouri) advertised her sexual wares (but "never on Sunday" - "Every Sunday is open house for my special friends") as she shed her clothes racing down a pier and jumping in the ocean (in a black bra and panties) - followed by many other shipyard workers; it was said of her that she was unlike most whores: "But she makes no prices, and only if she likes you"; she regaled the workers with news that she had customers once per hour - the baker at 9, the fruit man at 10, and the butcher at 11
  • Ilya's co-star: Homer Thrace (director Dassin himself, who later married his female star) - an uptight American tourist and classical Greek scholar (he called himself "an amateur philosopher") from Middletown, Connecticut, who had his first glimpse of Ilya as his ship was docking, and she was leading a pack of swimmers to greet his vessel - he noted: "There is the purity that was Greece"
  • the film's theme song, featuring Greek music (highlighting the traditional bouzouki instrument played by the locals) heard during the credits
  • in a cafe, Homer's statement that he was looking for something very specific in Greece: "I came to Greece to find the truth....Our world is unhappy. Why? Where did it begin to go wrong? Might not the traces be here? No society ever reached the heights that were attained by ancient Greece. It was a cradle of culture. It was a happy country. What happened? What made it fall? Historians don't satisfy me. Wars, politics, something's missing. Something personal. I want to walk where Aristotle walked. And Socrates. I can't explain it, but I don't know. I have a feeling I'll find something"
Beginning of Attraction Between Ilya and Homer
Homer: "The personification. Her, the answer to the mystery.
A personal equation of the fall of ancient Greece."
  • and then when Ilya went off with a sailor-customer, Homer had an inspiration: "Maybe that's what I'm looking for. What luck! Ilya - the symbol of my quest. The personification. Her, the answer to the mystery. A personal equation of the fall of ancient Greece"; later at her door, he told her: "You are the beauty that was Greece. You are the reason I came to Greece" - and the next morning, he pursued her
  • on one of her Sunday open-houses (her birthday), Ilya entertained her "special friends", including Homer, who realized she truly loved classic Greek tragedies, but he was aghast that she would change their endings to make them happy; he surmised that Ilya was unhappy with her lifestyle - "A whore can't be happy. A whorish world can't be happy! I'd like to reach her mind....(with) reason, in place of fantasy. Morality, instead of immorality. I've got to educate her. Transform her...Ilya is lovely. But for me, she's not a woman; she's an idea. She's an outlaw. Yes! Can't you see? The law must be re-established everywhere"; he overheard her reciting another changed, happy ending to her friends: ("And they all go to the seashore!")
  • their attendance in the open-air Greek amphitheatre, where she stared at the blank stage, and then they watched Euripedes' tragic Greek play Medea - with her great pleasure (without being dismayed by Medea killing her children); afterwards, during a visit to the Acropolis, he couldn't believe she would change the tragic endings, and then he became more personal about her lifestyle - he revealed his real intent - to uplift Ilya's morals, save and reform her: "What happened to you? All evil is disharmony. You are in disharmony with yourself. You have beauty, grace, and you are --- I, American Boy Scout, I will bring you back to harmony...I'm fighting for your soul, listen to me"
At an Open-Air Greek Amphitheatre and at Acropolis
  • Homer's proposition: for two weeks, Ilya had to agree to stop prostituting herself to study the beauty of Greek culture and history: "Beauty that was Greece - give me two weeks of your life...I want every minute of two weeks...If in the end of two weeks, you don't begin to think my way, I'll disappear...I'll make you see a world you never knew about...You'll be reborn. Ilya, two little weeks"
  • during the two week period, Ilya entertained herself - she placed a small record player on her bed to play the film's instrumental theme song, as she sang and danced barefooted to the music while clicking her fingers to the beat
Homer's Confession and Departure
"I've been dying to sleep with her...From the first minute"
Homer Departing From Port
  • in the conclusion, Ilya's free-spirited nature overcame Homer's retraining, and his personality was the one that was transformed; he finally admitted to her that he was in love with her sensual nature: "I've been dying to sleep with her...From the first minute" - but it was too late, for she had found love with Tonio (Giorgos Foundas); Homer waved to her as she and others jumped in the water from a boat in the harbor (a mirror to the opening scene) as he departed from the Piraeus port (and threw his academic notepad into the water)

Ilya Shedding Clothes and Racing to Pier to Jump Into Ocean

Homer Viewing Ilya: "There is the purity that was Greece"

Homer to Ilya: "You are the beauty that was Greece"

Homer Pursuing Ilya

During Birthday Open House: Ilya Changing Endings of Greek Tragedies to Make Them Happy

Semi-Nude With One of Her Clients-Lovers

Homer's Proposition: Ilya's Two Week Period of Abstinence

The New World (2005)

In writer/director Terrence Malick's visually-stunning poetic historical epic and costume drama - his fourth feature film, with a score enhanced by Mozart's concerto and a recurring prelude from Wagner's Das Rheingold, and marked by the extensive use of narrated internal monologues:

  • the evocative opening sequence, beginning with a narrated invocation by a female voice (presumably Pocahontas): "Come, Spirit. Help us sing the story of our land. You are our mother, we your field of corn. We rise from out of the soul of you" - hands extended upward from an unidentified figure (shot from a low-angle), who was also swimming underwater with two other nude maidens; the narration continued: "Dear Mother. You fill the land with your beauty. You reach to the end of the world. How shall I seek you? Show me your face, you, the great river that never runs dry"
  • the arrival of three ships on the coast of the New World in Virginia, in the year 1607 - with the natives on land astonished, curious, and fearful of the foreign vessels; the expedition was led by Captain Christopher Newport (Christopher Plummer) with a landing party, with the objective of establishing a colony
(Narration) "We rise from out of the soul of you"
Unidentified Figure
Three Nude Maidens Swimming Underwater
  • the introduction of idealistic and stubborn prisoner Captain John Smith (Colin Farrell), who was removed from being held under the deck, brought to shore, and was pardoned from being hanged, and admonished sternly by Captain Newport: "Now remember, Smith, you come to these shores in chains. You’re under a cloud, which will darken considerably if I hear any more of your mutinous remarks. Is that understood?"
  • the dialogue-free sequence of the first encounter between the Europeans and the so-called "naturals" - who timidly visited and approached the strange visitors "like a herd of curious deer"
  • the scene in which Captain Smith was chosen by Captain Newport ("You have an opportunity to repair your reputation") to lead an envoy inland; when the group became lost, it was confronted and attacked, and Smith was captured by the natives; as the legend told, he was brought before local Chief Powhatan (August Schellenberg), when the lovely and graceful "princess" Pocahontas (Q'orianka Kilcher), the favored daughter of Powhatan, saved him from death out of curiosity and empathy ("At the moment I was to die, she threw herself upon me"); she spoke to her father: "Spare his life"; Powhatan responded: "He can teach her about his land across the waves"
  • the sublime, idyllic sequences of them falling deeply in love - as he taught her English words for various objects: ("Sky," "Sun," "Water," "Wind," "Eyes," "Lips," "Moon," "Smoke," "Fire," "Heat" .); in narration (off-screen), Smith described her: "Her father had a dozen wives, but she was his favorite. She exceeded the rest not only in feature and proportion, but in wit and spirit too. All loved her"; he also described the native people: "They are gentle, loving, faithful, lacking in all guile and trickery. The words denoting lying, deceit, greed, envy, slander and forgiveness have never been heard. They have no jealousy, no sense of possession. Real, what I thought a dream"
  • with the love of Pocahontas, Captain Smith realized his life's transformation: "I was a dead man, now I live...There is only this. All else is unreal"; as they made love, Pocahontas spoke (in voice-over): "Oh, to be given to you, you to me. I will be faithful to you. True. Two no more. One. One. I am. I am"
  • eventually forced to leave the tribal group, Capt. Smith was returned to the English settlement, where he was confronted by lack of leadership, in-fighting, starvation, crime, disease and other evils (cannibalism) in contrast to the natives; Smith felt like he had been awakened from his "dream"; during the winter, the "Princess" brought a rescue party with food, clothing, and supplies to the beleaguered and starving Jamestown fort inhabitants - where Smith had been appointed governor; they were briefly reacquainted, but Smith feared if they showed too much recognition, her life was in danger; she asked: "Why have you not come to me?...Who are you whom I love?"; although there was a time of falling back in love, the two realized the difficulties inherent in their relationship (Smith: "Where would we live? In the woods? On a treetop? A hole in the ground?")
Smith Returned to Jamestown
The Drab Rundown Settlement
Pocahontas Saving the Jamestown Settlement
  • the scene of Pocahontas' despair and mourning for the death of Captain Smith when he abandoned her to search for the Northwest Passage, and she was told that he had died during his journeys (a false claim)
  • the scene of Pocahontas, now married to loyal farmer-husband John Rolfe (Christian Bale), was summoned to England to meet King James; she experienced an uncomfortable reunion scene of Pocahontas in the garden of a country estate with her first love: regretful Jamestown explorer Captain John Smith, as they remembered their past: Smith: "Did I make a mistake in coming here?...Perhaps I'm out of order speaking with you this way, but I've thought of you often....You knew I had promise, didn't you?" Pocahontas answered: "Yes. Did you find your Indies, John? (pause) You shall" - he replied: "I may have sailed past them" - Smith responded that what they had in Virginia (the New World) in their past was not a dream but the real 'truth': "I thought it was a dream - what we knew in the forest. It's the only truth. It seems as if I was speaking to you for the first time"; she slightly bowed to him, turned, and sadly walked away
  • their reunion was followed by her expression of fully devoted love (and kiss) to her husband John Rolfe at the estate; she walked up to him and gave him an arm embrace; and then she asked: "Could we not go home?" and he responded: "As soon as possible"; she devotedly called him: "My husband" as she gave him a kiss
Reunion of Captain John Smith with Pocahontas in England
and Love For Husband John Rolfe
  • in the film's conclusion, she was running and playing hide-and-seek with her only child Thomas in a manicured English garden of the estate; but before returning to the New World with Rolfe, Pocahontas acquired pneumonia and died in bed (with her weeping husband next to her), on the 13th of April, 1616; in voice-over, and in death, Pocahontas closed her eyes and spoke to her mother: "Mother, now I know where you live"
  • Rolfe's words (in voice-over) described her death, as he read his letter addressed to their son Thomas about his deceased Native-American mother (aka Rebecca): "Dear Son, I write this so that someday in the future you might understand a circumstance which shall be but a far memory to you. Your dear mother, Rebecca, fell ill in our outward passage at Gravesend. She gently reminded me that all must die. 'Tis enough,' she said, that you, our child, should live"
  • in the last sequence, Rolfe and the boy set sail for America, and the film closed with shots of the clear streams and towering forests of the New World

Rolfe and Son Thomas Onboard
Sailing for America
The New World

The Landing Witnessed by Natives

Captain John Smith
(Colin Farrell) Pardoned from Hanging

Initial Contact Between 'Naturals' and British Expedition in New World

Captain Smith's First Sighting of Pocahontas

Pocahontas Pleading for Captain Smith's Life

Falling in Love - Teaching Pocahontas English Words for Objects

Making Love

Winter Scene: Smith's Brief Reacquaintance with Pocahontas

Running and Playing in English Gardens with Son Thomas

(voice-over) "Mother, now I know where you live"

Rolfe Grieving at Pocahontas' (Rebecca's) Deathbed

Niagara (1953)

In this Techni-colored melodramatic noir thriller directed by Henry Hathaway, about the destructive nature of a femme fatale's alluring, out of control sensuality and lust:

  • the ever-present roar and metaphor of Niagara Falls - reflecting one of the film's taglines: "A raging torrent of emotion that even nature can't control!"
  • the main plot: Rose Loomis (26 year-old Marilyn Monroe) , a voluptuous and young sexy woman (advertised as a "tantalizing temptress whose kisses fired men's souls!") was plotting to kill her depressed and emotionally-unstable shell-shocked Korean War veteran husband George Loomis (Joseph Cotten), while they were vacationing at Niagara Falls (on the Canadian side) at the Rainbow Cabins (modern housekeeping units) within sight of the landmark Falls
  • in the opening, the sensual, adulterous Rose was lounging naked in her bed sheets in one of the Rainbow Cabins next to the Falls; there were also two memorable hip-bouncing walking scenes, first briefly in a light blue dress, and then another scene of Rose's backside in a tight black dress and red top, walking away from the camera
Rose Loomis (Marilyn Monroe)
  • two others (on a 'delayed' honeymoon after two years of marriage) who arrived at the Cabins from Toledo, Ohio were pretty Polly (Jean Peters, who later married Howard Hughes) and clean-cut Ray Cutler (Casey Adams); they became friends with the Loomis couple, but soon suspected something was wrong with the troubled pair
  • during a trip to the scenic tourist tunnel under Horseshoe Falls, Polly spotted Rose kissing a man not her husband - she told Ray: "Didn't that Mrs. Loomis say she was going shopping?...Well, she sure got herself an armful of groceries"
  • the sinfully-wayward, unhappily married and trashy Rose was in an affair with Ted Patrick (Richard Allan); Rose and Ted had together arranged to murder George and make his death look like a suicide, to collect on George's life insurance policy
  • Rose's most flaunting appearance - in a pinkish-red dress at an outdoor teenaged dance party at the Cabins, where she asked that the DJ play the record, "Kiss" (the illicit lovers' theme song) and then sat closeby and listened, telling Ray and Polly: "There isn't any other song"; she sang along: "With all your heart's protection, This is a moment of thrill. Thrill me, Thrill me, with your charm, Take me, Take me in your arms, And make my life perfection, Take me, Darling, don't forsake me, Kiss me, Hold me tight, Love me, Love me tonight"; her angry and crazed husband interrupted the romantic musical interlude by racing from their cabin and destroying the LP with his bare hands (and cutting himself)
Sexy Rose Loomis (Marilyn Monroe) Openly Flaunting Herself
  • George's later description to Polly about the reason for his rage: "Parading around, showing herself off in that dress, cut down so low in front you can see her kneecaps...She'd like to wear that dress where everybody could see her, right in the middle of Yankee Stadium. She's a tramp! I tell you now so you won't have to ask"; he was a failing sheep rancher who had met Rose in a Duluth, MI beer hall where she worked as a waitress
  • Rose's provocative conversation with her husband who suspected Rose's scheming with another man - George: "You smell like a dimestore. I know what that means." Rose: "Sure. I'm meeting somebody. Just anybody handy as long as he's a man...Anybody suits me, take your pick"
  • George followed after Rose when he suspected she was plotting against him - he was right - Ted had written her a message on the back of an unmailed postcard: "If everything OK you'll hear the Bell Tower play our song - See you in Chicago"; once Ted had killed George, he would request the Rainbow Tower Carillon to play Rose's special song ("Kiss") to signal that George was dead; soon after, George was reported as a "missing person" - and a pair of George's unclaimed shoes were discovered at the exit to the scenic tourist tunnel under Horseshoe Falls; the Bell Tower carillon played, causing Rose to think Ted had murdered George
Murder Plot
George's Unclaimed Shoes
The Shock of Seeing Ted's Body at Morgue
  • in reality, George had killed Patrick in self-defense and thrown his body into the Falls; at first, Rose believed that George was dead (he decided to "stay dead" to start his life over, by collecting Patrick's shoes at the exit instead of his own); at the city morgue, Rose was called upon to identify a retrieved body from the Falls - and she was shocked that the dead man was Ted, not George; she fainted and collapsed
  • Polly's fright when sleeping in the Loomis' cabin, and momentarily glimpsing a view of the supposedly-dead George in her room (he had come to kill Rose) - it was interpreted as a nightmare; shortly later at the falls, George confronted Polly privately and explained his predicament, and pleadingly begged: "Please, I'd do the same for you if it meant as much. Let me stay dead"
George's Revenge Murder of Rose
George: "I loved you Rose. You know that"
  • the ending - a revenge killing: Rose's jealous and incensed husband stalked and pursued his scheming and trampish wife who was trying to flee; he followed her up a shadowy, carillon clock-bell tower before murdering her by strangulation (in a striking overhead shot); then he told her corpse: "I loved you, Rose. You know that"
  • the exciting finale in which Polly and George (who hijacked the boat that she was on) were adrift (the boat ran out of gas) and heading toward the waterfall precipice -- a desperate George tried to submerge and scuttle the boat, but went over the falls to his death, while she was rescued by helicopter from a rock outcropping

The Torrential Niagara Falls

George Loomis
(Joseph Cotten)

Other Honeymooners at the Cabins: Polly and Ray Cutler

Two Rear-Views of Rose

Polly Spotting Rose's Adulterous Rendezvous with Ted Patrick

Enraged George Destroying "Kiss" LP Record

Trampish Rose: "Anybody suits me, take your pick"

Polly's Fright at Seeing the "Dead" George in her Cabin

George to Polly: "Please... let me stay dead"

Kidnapped Polly on Boat with George, Heading Toward Falls

George Saving Polly

Watching George's Death Before Being Rescued

Night After Night (1932)

In director Archie Mayo's saucy pre-Code comedy/drama, noted for Mae West's supporting role performance in her first talking film as a bawdy, wise-cracking gangster's moll - with frequent double-entendres:

  • the plot: 9th Avenue speakeasy ("55") owner and crude Prohibition tough guy Joe Anton's (George Raft) romantic interest in once-wealthy debutante Miss Jerry Healy (Constance Cummings) - known as "Miss Park Avenue"
  • the character of bejeweled, sharp-witted Maudie Triplett (Mae West), Joe's ex-girlfriend, who made a memorable entrance into the speakeasy; she was famously noted for her brassy dialogue with the coat-room clerk, when she was complimented on her diamonds: (Clerk: "Goodness, what lovely diamonds!" Maudie: "Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie")
  • the sequence of Maudie barging into the intimate, proper and private dinner party at the night-club held by Joe for Jerry, when Maudie arrived to create havoc - she upset the proceedings and embarrassed Joe by pulling him toward herself for a kiss: "Oh Joe, it's just life to see ya. Come here, crawl to me baby. Crawl to me"
Maudie Introduced by Joe to Jerry and Mabel
Maudie to Joe: "Crawl to me, baby"
Joe Showing Jerry His Bedroom's Framed Pictures
  • after a night of heavy drinking, the scene of Maudie's words of advice to Joe's very proper, elderly speech coach Miss Mabel Jellyman (Alison Skipworth) - advising her to change her profession and make more money: "Why dearie, you're wasting your time. Why, a gal with your poise and class, why you'd make thousands in my's one of the best payin' rackets in the world" - and then she corrected Mabel's assumption that she was a prostitute: "Say listen dearie, you got me all wrong. I've got a chain of beauty parlors" - and offered her a hostess position
  • in the film's closing moments, Joe realized that even though Jerry had kissed him, she now rebuffed him and told him that she was planning to marry some else, and admitted she wasn't in love with her fiancee, but was only marrying for money; he responded coldly: "You're just another dame with a skirt on, and there's no difference between you and Iris except the way you manicure your nails...I've got nothing but contempt for you...You're just nothing to me, just nothing at all"
  • slightly later, a spiteful Jerry arrived at the club to wreck Joe's bedroom; she smashed most of the framed pictures on the walls; then, when Joe arrived, he interpreted that she really cared for him and began to force kisses from her; she fought back and then collapsed; as the speakeasy was being assaulted downstairs by mobsters and gunfire was heard, Jerry rushed after Joe and begged to apologize to him; she acknowledged her wrong-doing, and admitted that she cared for him: "You can't go down there. I love you. I didn't know it but I do now...You were right. That's why I came back. Oh, I do love you"
Jerry's and Joe's Breakup
Jerry's Confession That She Was Marrying Someone Else for Money
Joe's Rebuke to Jerry: "You're just nothing to me, just nothing at all"
Smashing Pictures in Joe's Bedroom

'55' Speakeasy Owner Joe Anton (George Raft)

Joe's Interest in Miss Jerry Healy (Constance Cummings)

Maudie's Entrance: "Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie"

Maudie to Mabel: "Why dearie, you're wasting your time...Say listen dearie, you got me all wrong. I've got a chain of beauty parlors"

Forced Kisses

Jerry: "Oh, I do love you"

Night and Fog (1955, Fr.) (aka Nuit et Brouillard)

In director Alain Resnais' documentary-style short film about the horrors of war:

  • in the film's ending, the gruesome, horrifying, graphic, and sobering images of piles of corpses of Holocaust victims being bulldozed into mass graves

A Night at the Opera (1935)

In this superb classic directed by Sam Wood, with some of the funniest sequences in all of cinematic history - and universally considered to be the Marx Brothers' best and most popular (commercially-successful) film - their first with MGM [Note: the remake Brain Donors (1992) paid homage to the film]:

  • the opening sequence, in which shady shyster manager Otis P. Driftwood (Groucho Marx) berated wealthy dowager Mrs. Claypool (Margaret Dumont) for sitting with his back to him at dinner: ("Yes, with your back to me. When I invite a woman to dinner, I expect her to look at my face. That's the price she has to pay"), although he had been wining and dining a pretty blonde the entire time behind her back; then at her table, he ordered: "Waiter...Have you got any milk-fed chicken?...Well, squeeze the milk out of one and bring me a glass"; as he sat with her, he continued to flatter her: "Of course, that's why I'm sitting here with you. Because you remind me of you. Your eyes, your throat, your lips! Everything about you reminds me of you. Except you. How do you account for that? (If) she figures that one out, she's good"
  • Driftwood's censor-baiting complaint/suggestion to Mrs. Claypool: "You're willing to pay him a thousand dollars a night just for singing? Why, you can get a phonograph record of Minnie the Moocher for 75 cents. And for a buck and a quarter, you can get Minnie"
  • the classic 'contract-tearing' parody scene of contract negotiations between the corrupt Driftwood and con-artist Fiorello (Chico Marx), for a lesser-known opera singer tenor named Riccardo "Ricky" Baroni (Allan Jones) - in the sequence of non-sensical, fast-talking dialogue composed of baffling non-sequiturs, redundancy and pointless negotiation, the scene progressed until all unwanted, disputed, unintelligible, and offending clauses ("The party of the first part...") were removed from their respective copies of the singer's proposed contract - by ripping them off and throwing them away; by the scene's conclusion, they were perplexed to find that they had no contracts at all - only scraps of paper in their hands; the scene ended with a discussion of the contract's final clause (Driftwood: "If any of the parties participating in this contract is shown not to be in their right mind, the entire agreement is automatically nullified...That's what they call a 'sanity clause'") and Fiorello's conclusion that "You can't fool me - There ain't no Sanity Clause"
  • the food-ordering scene outside a small state-room on a cruise ship (the S.S. Americus bound to New York from Italy), when Driftwood ordered a meal from the ship's steward; his order was supplemented by additional orders from behind the stateroom door - whenever Tomasso (Harpo Marx) honked his horn, the hard-boiled egg order was changed: (Driftwood: "And two hard-boiled eggs" Tomasso: "HONK!" Driftwood: "Make that three hard-boiled eggs")
  • the famous "stateroom" scene in which Suite # 58 (a telephone-booth-size state-room) was ultimately crowded with 15 individuals: the Marx Brothers (Fiorello, Tomasso, and Driftwood) and Riccardo, plus two chambermaids to make up the room, an engineer (to turn off the heat), a manicurist (to trim Driftwood's nails), the engineer's large assistant, a female passenger looking for her Aunt Minnie, a determined, gum-chewing, cleaning washwoman to mop up, and numerous staff stewards with trays of egg orders and dinner; the scene climaxed when social-climbing opera matron Mrs. Claypool opened the door that spilled all the occupants out onto the floor like an avalanche
Food-Ordering Scene
The Crowded Stateroom Sequence
  • the scene at City Hall in which the stowaways (to get off the cruise ship) gagged three Russian airmen and posed as the heroic aviators ("Heroes of the Air") with glued-on beards; Fiorello's hilarious speech described the aviators' trouble-ridden trip to America ("The first time we started, we get-a halfway across when we run out-a gasoline and we gotta go back...")
  • the hilarious, rearranged furniture and bed-removal sequence in Driftwood's apartment to elude and confuse private Detective Henderson who was searching for the imposters and became utterly confounded: "There's something funny goin' on around here, but I'll get to the bottom of it" - but then confessed when all four beds disappeared: "I know I'm crazy!"
  • and the operatic opening night finale (a lavish production number) - a performance of Il Trovatore with madcap havoc: wild changes of backdrops, backstage and onstage chaos, Tomasso swinging Tarzan ape-like on stage fly-ropes in tune to Verdi's music; and after switching the sheet music for orchestral players to "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," Fiorello and Tomasso began playing baseball catch in the orchestra pit while Driftwood roamed in the aisle hawking and shouting: "Peanuts! Peanuts!"
Switched Sheet Music
Playing Catch
"Peanuts! Peanuts!"

Opening Scene

Driftwood: "...And for a buck and a quarter, you can get Minnie"

Contract-Tearing Parody Scene

New York City Hall Scene

Confused Detective Henderson

Opening Night Opera Finale - Chaos

Night Moves (1975)

In Arthur Penn's moody, post-Watergate noirish, psychological detective film with the enigmatic title 'Night Moves' - a chess metaphor that may be more significantly renamed 'Knight Moves,' symbolizing the protagonist's chessboard of life in which he was ultimately myopic and 'blind' to the events of his case:

  • in an early scene, middle-aged, chess enthusiast, ex-football player and LA private eye Harry Moseby (Gene Hackman) drove up to the Magnolia Theatre marquee advertising Eric Rohmer's New Wave art film My Night at Maud's (1969, Fr.); he made the shocking discovery that his unfaithful wife Ellen Moseby (Susan Clark) was having an affair when he saw her ride off with another man: crippled Marty Heller (Harris Yulin) with a walking stick who lived in an art-filled Malibu beach house
  • Harry's famous quote when his wife had earlier asked if he would attend the Rohmer film, and he declined: "I saw a Rohmer film once; it was kind of like watching paint dry"
  • the main plot: Harry was investigating a missing persons crime case in the Florida Keys; he had been hired in LA by wasted ex-actress and sexually-liberated studio boss divorcee Arlene Iverson (Janet Ward) to find her daughter, a promiscuous 16 year-old runaway named Delilah "Delly" Grastner (Melanie Griffith in an early role at age 16 or 17) who had been missing for two weeks
  • Harry's tracking of Delly to the Florida Keys, where the liberated Delly was living with her stepfather Tom Iverson (John Crawford) and his sexy hippie mistress Paula (singer Jennifer Warren); she was first seen unclothed behind a clothesline (similar to Brigitte Bardot's entrance in ...And God Created Woman (1956, Fr.)); she refused to return to California with Moseby (Delly: "I'm not going back to that bitch!...She doesn't want me. The money! I know Arlene and so does Tom. He hates her as much as I do"); Delly believed that the only reason Arlene wanted her back was to live off her trust fund of $30,000/year
Harry Moseby
(Gene Hackman)
Ellen Moseby
(Susan Clark)
Delly Grastner
(Melanie Griffith)
(Jennifer Warren)
(James Woods)
Joey Ziegler
(Edward Binns)
  • the night-time dive sequence from a glass-bottom boat when the fully-nude Delly discovered a crashed plane with the decomposed remains of a stunt pilot named Marv Ellman (Anthony Costello), one of Arlene's ex-boyfriends; fish were seen eating at the dead pilot’s eyes; later, it was revealed that either the crash was entirely an accident, or that greasy LA mechanic Quentin (James Woods), Delly's former boyfriend, had monkeyed with the plane's mechanics to sabotage the plane, in order to get back at Marv for stealing Delly away
  • its conclusion: the suspicious death of Delly in LA in a car accident on location at a movie set where she was a stunt extra; the accident was orchestrated by stunt coordinator Joey Ziegler (Edward Binns) who was driving the car and had set Delly's safety belt; further questions were raised about Quentin's part in the murder; was Delly silenced because she knew too much?; Arlene's reaction was one of indifference ("So I'm not grief-stricken. What does that make me?")
  • the revelation of the smuggling of pre-Colombian art sculptures and antiquities by Delly's stepfather Tom (and Paula), who was working in cahoots with pilot Marv Ellman
  • the shocking ending of the deaths of four individuals:
    - Tom Iverson murdered Quentin in the dolphin swim area when Quentin threatened to go to the police
    - Tom Iverson engaged in a vicious fist-fight with Harry - ending with Iverson knocking himself out at a wooden piling (did Ziegler then finish him off, off-screen?)
    - Joey Ziegler piloted Tom's yellow Piper Cub seaplane to strafe the water's surface and hit Harry with gunfire; then, the plane's pontoon hit and killed Paula who was emerging on the surface from scuba diving after retrieving the Mayan artifact from the earlier sunken plane; when the pontoon also struck the inflatable raft carrying the ancient statue, the plane's pontoon's broke off
    - Ziegler's disabled plane (with a wrecked undercarriage) crashed into Tom's boat where Harry was located; through the glass-bottom boat AND the seaplane's window, Harry observed Ziegler caught in the plane's cockpit as he drowned
  • the final image of dying and bruised Harry on Iverson's stranded boat (named "Point of View") circling aimlessly about the Gulf of Mexico wreckage

Uninhibited and "Liberated" Delly

Delly's Nighttime Nude Dive and Shocking Discovery of Decomposing Skull of Pilot Marv Ellman

The Mayan Artifact Retrieved From Downed Plane by Paula

Death of Paula - Hit by Plane Piloted by Ziegler

Crash of Ziegler's Plane into Iverson's Boat

Harry Watched Helplessly as Ziegler Drowned in Plane's Cockpit

Harry's Fate

Night Nurse (1931)

In this notorious Warner Bros. pre-Code melodrama from director William Wellman, its emphasis was on the themes of drug usage and alcoholism, neglectful mothering and child abuse, medical establishment malpractice and corruption, and violence against women:

  • the film's startling opening scene: the driver's POV of an ambulance (with siren) careening and racing through streets to the city's hospital with a car-crash patient wheeled in with a broken skull
  • the salacious and sexually adventurous activities of the two "night" nurses who were roommates in training: Lora Hart (Barbara Stanwyck) and sassy, wise-cracking blonde friend B. Maloney (Joan Blondell), and the film's use of every imaginable excuse to have the two actress-stars frequently and liberally undressing down to their silky, lacy underwear: (1) in a hospital scene, Lora was urged by B. Maloney to try on her nursing uniform in the open, and she replied: "I guess everybody around here has seen more than I've got"; then, in her bra and slip, she was spied upon by a horny male intern Eagan (Edward Nugent) who entered the room: "Oh, don't be embarrassed, you can't show me a thing. I just came from the delivery room"; and (2) the two stripped when sneaking into their dorm room late at night, (3) and then undressed a third time when working
Heroines Undressing Multiple Times
Lora in Bra and Slip
Lora and B. Maloney Stripping
in Dorm Room
Lora in Bra
More Undressing
  • the film's story: the discovery by courageous live-in private nurse Lora that there was a dastardly abusive plot (a slow-poison scheme) to kill two deliberately-malnourished, anemic children Desney and Nanny Ritchey (Betty Jane Graham and Marcia Mae Jones) by their unfit, widowed, alcoholic socialite 5th Avenue mother Mrs. Ritchey (Charlotte Merriam), in order to acquire their trust fund inheritance; the evil plan had been orchestrated by the mean and evil family chauffeur Nick (Clark Gable)
  • the scene of Lora being sexually assaulted by a drunken guest named Mack (Walter McGrail) in the same room where she was tending to an inebriated and passed-out Mrs. Ritchey; she was rescued from molestation by Nick (wearing a gaudy silk robe with a dragon pattern on the back) who entered the room and punched out the man, but then when she insisted on calling for a doctor, Lora was also punched unconscious by the brutish Nick; later, she was urged and bribed (with $100 by Mrs. Ritchey) to keep quiet, as well as by the family's conniving, drug-addicted physician Dr. Milton Ranger (Ralf Harolde) (with obvious tics) who was in cahoots with Nick
  • Lora's harsh words to the drunken, always-partying, irresponsible, self-proclaimed proud 'dipsomaniac' Mrs. Ritchey: "You're a cruel, inhuman mother...You're a rotten parasite, that's what you are. Don't blame it on the booze, it's you! Why do poor little children have to be born to women like you?!...You're going up in that nursery with me if I have to drag you by the hair of your head!" - and then swung at soused Mack and sent him to the floor when he tried to interfere
Lora's Reprimand of Irresponsible
Lush Mother Mrs. Ritchey (and Mack)
  • Lora also stood up to and confronted the nasty Nick when she learned from the housekeeper Mrs Maxwell (Blanche Friderici) that he was working with Dr. Ranger to eliminate the two kids to acquire control of the trust fund: "In your case, I'm talkin' about murder...If this baby dies, you're in with Ranger...How long did you think you could get away with this, you fool? Do you think just because you can strong-arm a couple of women, you have the brains to put over a racket like this? I had your number the minute I stepped into the house, and what's more, I reported my suspicions on the outside...You want those kids to die...because you want what their father left 'em. That's why you keep the mother all hopped up and full of booze all the time. One of these days, you'll take her out and marry her and grab the children's trust fund. That's what you're after, but you're not gonna get away with it!"
  • by the conclusion, the plot was foiled and the children were saved when the hospital's kindly chief of staff Dr. Arthur Bell (Charles Winninger) attempted to intervene at the house, and provided Nanny with an emergency blood transfusion (assisted by Lora), even though Nick tried to prevent the procedure by knocking him to the floor; Lora's "My Pal" Mortie (Ben Lyon), a bootlegger that Lora had befriended earlier in the film, stopped Nick from any further involvement and led him away (with a concealed gun)
  • in the film's unusual ending, Lora happily accompanied criminal "My Pal" in his convertible; he urged her to shift the gears - full of phallic sexual innuendo: "When I say shift, shift"; he hinted that he had sent Nick to the morgue: "Ya know, I just been thinkin', maybe Nick won't be arrested...Well, I ain't seen him around since last night... I happened to be talkin' to a couple of guys last night...only I happened to mention that I didn't like Nick so good"
  • there was a book-ending view of an ambulance rushing to bring a corpse to the morgue, where one of the attendants mentioned that the victim was "taken for a ride" - and "he was wearing a chauffeur's uniform"

Ambulance in Opening Scene

Lora Hart (Barbara Stanwyck) Applying For Nurse Job From Head Nurse

Lora Meeting Nurse Trainee Roommate B. Maloney

Lora with Two Young Ritchey Patients

Lora Assaulted by Drunken Guest Mack

"I'm Nick, the chauffeur!"

Lora to Nick: "I'm talkin' about murder!"

Nick Trying to Prevent Dr. Bell From Performing a Blood Transfusion on Nanny

The Bootlegger Leading Nick Out (With Concealed Gun)

Riding Off with Bootlegger - Shifting His Gears!

Ambulance Attendant: "He was wearing a chauffeur's uniform"

The Night of the Hunter (1955)

In actor/director Charles Laughton's only directed film - a remarkable debut film noir, a truly compelling, haunting, and frightening classic masterpiece thriller-fantasy:

  • the opening, voice-over delivered by plain, Bible-fearing farm woman Rachel Cooper (Lillian Gish), dressed in a plain dress with shoulder shawl, who magically materialized over the star-filled night background; she spoke to her five disembodied foster children around her and suspended in the heavens, and told them a Bible story about false prophets ("ravening wolves") in sheep's clothing, while a chorus sang behind her: "Dream, Little One, Dream": "Now, you remember children how I told you last Sunday about the good Lord going up into the mountain and talking to the people. And how he said, 'Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.' And how he said that King Solomon in all his glory was not as beautiful as the lilies of the field. And I know you won't forget, 'Judge not lest you be judged,' because I explained that to you. And then the good Lord went on to say, 'Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly, they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.'...A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit. Neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Wherefore by their fruits, ye shall know them" - there was a brief view of children discovering the legs of the corpse of a murdered woman inside a basement entrance while they were playing hide-and-seek
The Preacher in Stolen Model T
  • the next image of a terrifying and deranged killer-evangelist Rev. Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) with borderline sanity - a sinister, crazed, malevolent, black-cloaked, wide-brimmed and hatted 'Preacher' - a serial killer driving in a stolen Model T Essex, and his chilling, perversely evil and memorable monologue to the Lord as he glanced heavenward and delivered an insane prayer, asking permission to kill another rich widow: "Well now, what's it to be Lord? Another widow? How many has it been? Six? Twelve? I disremember. (He tipped his hat) You say the word, Lord, I'm on my way...You always send me money to go forth and preach your Word. The widow with a little wad of bills hid away in a sugar bowl. Lord, I am tired. Sometimes I wonder if you really understand. Not that You mind the killin's. Yore Book is full of killin's. But there are things you do hate Lord: perfume-smellin' things, lacy things, things with curly hair"
  • the first sight of his finger tattoos: LOVE and HATE emblazoned on the fingers of his right and left hands, seen as Rev. Powell attended a strip show - his left hand, tattooed with the letters "H-A-T-E" on his four fingers, clenched and then reached in his coat pocket to grab his concealed switchblade knife; as his libido was aroused, the flick-knife spontaneously opened - a sexual phallic symbol - violently and orgasmically ready to strike
  • the ominous scene, shot with a slanted camera angle, as a train approached the depressed rural town of Cresap's Landing - carrying Powell who had been released from prison and was in malevolent pursuit of a $10,000 cache of money, believed to be in the possession of the Harper family: widowed wife Willa Harper (Shelley Winters), and her two children: young 9 year-old John Harper (Billy Chapin), and young Pearl (Sally Jane Bruce)
  • the frightening moment of Powell's shadow filling the window of the children's bedroom - it was the preacher dressed all in black standing by the streetlight in front of their house; he strolled away, seductively singing a modified version of his signature tune (and the film's ironic refrain), the hymn - "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms": "Leaning, leaning..."
The Preacher's Shadow - Standing Under Streetlight
  • the sequence of Powell's favorite hand-wrestling sermon told to young John and other admirers in the town's store - a monologue that provided commentary on the eternal battle between the forces of good and evil that grappled together: "Ah, little lad, you're starin' at my fingers. Would you like me to tell you the little story of Right Hand-Left Hand - the story of good and evil? (He rose and flexed the fingers of his left hand) H-A-T-E! It was with this left hand that old brother Cain struck the blow that laid his brother low. (He raised his right hand) L-O-V-E. You see these fingers, dear hearts? These fingers has veins that run straight to the soul of man. The right hand, friends! The hand of love! Now watch and I'll show you the story of life"; he pretended that his hands were battling each other in a schizophrenic wrestling match - the struggle between good and evil, love and hate - his warring inner demons: "These fingers, dear hearts, is always a-warrin' and a-tuggin', one agin the other. Now, watch 'em. Ol' brother Left Hand. Left hand, he's a-fightin'. And it looks like LOVE's a goner. But wait a minute, wait a minute! Hot dog! LOVE's a winnin'? Yes, siree. It's LOVE that won, and ol' Left Hand HATE is down for the count!"
Love vs. Hate Monologue
  • the tortuous wedding night scene between the Preacher and Willa Harper, who was dressed in a nightgown as she stood barefoot in front of a bathroom mirror before joining her virile husband in bed - she was vulnerable and ready to consummate her love, but he lectured her about not having any more children: "Look at yourself! What do ya see, girl? You see the body of a woman, the temple of creation and motherhood. You see the flesh of Eve that man since Adam has profaned. That body was meant for begettin' children. It was not meant for the lust of men. Do you want more children, Willa?...It's the business of this marriage to mind those two you have now, not to beget more"
  • the off-screen scene of the preacher violently coaxing Pearl to disclose where her father hid the money: "Where's the money hid? You tell me, you little wretch, or I'll tear your arm off!"
  • Willa's frightening knifing murder scene in a A-frame bedroom - she was resigned to her death with her arms crossed over her chest; Powell delivered a benediction, and then raised his switchblade knife high above her (in his right hand - the one marked with LOVE) to carry out the ritualistic murder - on the altar-bed
  • the creepy, nightmarish, hypnotically-eerie discovery of Willa's corpse sitting underwater in a Model T with her long blonde hair tangling, swaying, and mingling diaphanously in the current with the river's underwater reeds
  • the pursuit sequence in the basement fruit cellar as the homicidal Powell (Frankenstein-like), who had just learned that the money was hidden in Pearl's doll, chased the two children up the stairs with arms outstretched
  • the children's escape and flight to their father's skiff, where Powell waded out and lunged toward them with a knife, but slipped waist-deep in the mudhole as the skiff slid into the current just out of his reach - and the lyrical, fairy-tale-like nighttime sequence of their floating down the river amidst God's benevolent creatures on the shoreline (a croaking frog, rabbits, an owl, tortoise, sheep, and a spider's web)
  • the distant silhouette of the preacher on horseback (a stolen horse) against the night-time sky as the children slept in a barn's hayloft
  • the preacher's first acquaintance with his strong-willed opponent - a kindly, warm-hearted, benevolent savior Mrs. Rachel Cooper, an elderly matriarchal widow who protectively rescued children: ("I'm a strong tree with branches for many birds. I'm good for somethin' in this old world, and I know it, too"), and brought Pearl and John to her farmhouse, and defended against the Preacher's intrusion with a shotgun
  • the image of Rachel sitting on the porch in a rocking chair on a screened-in porch (looking like Whistler's Mother) with the shotgun across her lap to battle against him with her own vigil; as he stood outside and sang his rendition of the hymn with the words: "Leaning, leaning..., she countered by defiantly and harmoniously singing the authentic version of the Protestant religious hymn with a spiritual reference to Jesus: "Lean on Jesus, lean on Jesus"
Dueling Hymns
Rachel Prepared to Save Children - With a Shotgun
Powell's Arrest
Final Words: "They Abide and They Endure"
  • in the conclusion, the arrest of Powell, the reveal of the money, and Rachel's triumphant, reassuring final words at Christmas-time as she marveled about the orphaned, brutalized children who had reclaimed their innocence, after many nights of being hunted by a demon; she delivered a prayer: "Lord, save little children. The wind blows and the rain's a-cold. Yet they abide...They abide and they endure"

Rachel: "Beware of false prophets"

Discovery of Corpse of Murdered Woman

Powell's Left Hand Tattoo

The Ominous Train Bringing Powell to Cresap's Landing

Willa's Torturous Wedding Night with The Preacher

Willa's Murder

Pursuit of the Children Up From the Basement Cellar

Pursuit of Children Escaping in Skiff

Shoreline Creatures - A Frog

The Children's Flight From the Preacher - Seen on Horseback

Rachel Cooper
(Lillian Gish)

Protecting the Children From the Preacher

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

In George Romero's raw and uncompromising low-budget midnight movie about flesh-eating zombies:

  • the opening memorable and haunting scene, set around 8 pm on a Sunday evening (with thunder and lightning threatening), as two bickering siblings, Johnny Blair (Russell Streiner) and his sister Barbra (Judith O'Dea) arrived after their annual three-hour trek from Pittsburgh in a two-door Pontiac to visit their father's grave in an abandoned, rural western Pennsylvania cemetery
  • Johnny's recollections of their childhood play when he recalled scaring Barbra in the same location when they were younger: "Do you remember one time when we were small, we were out here? It was from right over there. I jumped out at you from behind the tree, and grandpa got all excited, and he shook his fist at me, and he said, 'Boy, you'll be damned to hell.' Hah! Remember that? Right over there. Well, you used to really be scared here...Well, you're still afraid'
Johnny Teasing Barbra: "They're coming to get you, Barbra"
Attack of a Real Zombie Upon Barbra
  • the repetition of their child's play when Johnny joked and teased Barbra using a Boris Karloff-like voice: "They're coming to get you, Barbra... They're coming for you, Barbra...They're coming for you. Look, there comes one of them now"; Barbra took the prank seriously (she angrily reprimanded him: "You're acting like a child!") - when suddenly a staggering, stumbling, pale-faced zombie figure (S. William Heinzman) looking like a drunk vagrant in a disheveled suit approached and then actually attacked Barbra - when Johnny came to her defense, he was killed as they struggled and he fell and his head struck a tombstone, while Barbra watched in horror
  • the zombie's pursuit of Barbra, who was forced to abandon her car and race to a nearby, isolated, and empty two-story farmhouse for refuge; inside after grabbing a butcher knife, she noticed an additional army of ravenous, trance-like zombies approaching the outside of the house; she discovered a half-eaten, partially-mutilated body of a female at the top of the stairs
  • the horrific sequence of a horde of crazed, lurching, flesh-eating zombies surrounding the old farmhouse and terrorizing survivors, including the traumatized Barbra and black hero Ben (Duane Jones), who had come to her rescue; he swiftly barricaded the doors and windows
  • the radio news report that an "epidemic of mass murder" was being committed by a virtual army of unidentified assassins with no apparent pattern or reason for the slayings - it was a "sudden general explosion of mass homicide"; further ghastly reports were that murder victims were being devoured by their murderers ("the killers are eating the flesh of the people they murder")
  • the discovery of other survivors hiding in the home's cellar: loud-mouth husband Harry Cooper (producer Karl Hardman), teenaged Tom (Keith Wayne), Tom's pretty girlfriend Judy (Judith Ridley), Harry's wife Helen Cooper (Marilyn Eastman) and their injured, zombie-bitten ill daughter Karen Cooper (Kyra Schon)
  • the jump-out-of-your-seat moment when Ben walked by a partially-boarded up window in the kitchen and hands suddenly reached out to grab at him
  • the emergence of dozens of zombies, including one nude female from the morgue with a burial tag still attached to her left wrist, and another one who ate a squirming worm off a tree trunk
Zombies Approaching Farmhouse
  • the failed escape attempt when they tried to fuel Ben's pickup truck at an outdoor gas pump, and the truck exploded in flames, killing Tom and Judy inside; the cannibalistic zombies ate their charred remains, including entrails and bone fragments
  • the words of local Sheriff McClelland (George Kosana) on TV on how to eliminate the zombies: "A ghoul can be killed by a shot in the head or a heavy blow to the skull...Kill the brain and you kill the ghoul"
  • the series of murders: first, the lethal shooting of Harry by Ben, after which zombie-bitten young daughter Karen, now reanimated as a "living dead" zombie, consumed her father's corpse in the cellar, and Karen also stabbed her traumatized mother Helen to death with a garden trowel, and afterwards ate her
  • the further "undead" attack and murder of Barbra by her own zombified brother Johnny who dragged her off into the horde of hungry zombies, who were able to invade the farmhouse; meanwhile, Ben was forced to shoot and kill the reanimated corpses of both Harry and Helen
  • in the shocking last scene - the tragic and mistaken shooting of Ben by one of the 'search and rescue' vigilantes, believing he was a zombie; the sole surviving black man was shot in the forehead as he stood near the upstairs farmhouse window (Sheriff McClelland: "Hit him in the head, right between the eyes. Good shot. OK, he's dead. Let's go get him. That's another one for the fire")
Downbeat Ending
Posse Sniper Murdered Ben - His Body Was Added to Pyre of Other Zombie Bodies
  • the ending credits sequence: Ben's body was dragged from the house with a meat hook and burned in a pyre of other zombie bodies (in a series of still frame shots), as the downbeat film ended hopelessly

Opening Cemetery Sequence

Johnny Killed as He Tried to Defend Barbra

Graveyard Zombie

Half-Eaten Female in Farmhouse

Jump-Scare: Hands Reached In Window

Failed Escape Attempt: Exploding Truck Killed Tom and Judy

Cannibalistic Zombies Ate Charred Remains

Karen Consuming Father's Corpse

Zombie Karen's Brutal Matricide

Zombified Brother Johnny's Murder of Sister Barbra

A Night to Remember (1958, UK)

In Roy Baker's documentary-style, fairly-accurate accounting of the April 14, 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic after it sailed from Liverpool and across the North Atlantic - it was the most expensive British film at the time and one of the earliest disaster films:

  • the climactic film ending in which the RMS Titanic oceanliner hit an iceberg ("Iceberg dead ahead, sir") and sliced a hole in the ship, causing it to sink fairly rapidly
  • as the ship slowly went under, lifeboats were deployed and women and children (in first and second class) boarded them
  • the ship began to list as it took on more water, and passengers became frantic, while some were resigned to their inevitable fate - in the first-class smoking room, a steward paused to ask the resolute, stone-faced ship's designer Thomas Andrews: "Aren't you going to try for it, Mr. Andrews?", but he received no reply
  • during the ship's final plunge of the front section of the ship into the deep water, passengers jumped into the sea as the stern rose high into the air, and many of those in the water suffered an icy death
On Lifeboats
Sinking of Bow
Listing of Ship and Final Sinking
Slanted Interior
Disaster At Sea
  • the final scene was on the deck of the Carpathia that had rescued the survivors from the water or from lifeboats; according to the latest count, 1,500 people were lost; while 705 survived; the wireless operator (Alec McCowen) brought Captain Arthur Rostron (Anthony Bushell) a transmitted message received from the nearby Californian (that earlier could have saved the Titanic), asking if they could help; the Captain responded with the film's final spoken dialogue: "Tell them no, nothing. Everything that was humanly possible has been done"
  • a scrolling epilogue postcript appeared above a tracking shot of the surface of the ocean, strewn with floating lifejackets, furniture (deck chairs, tables, etc.), a musical instrument, the playroom's rocking horse, and other discarded items: "BUT THIS IS NOT THE END OF THE STORY - FOR THEIR SACRIFICE WAS NOT IN VAIN. TODAY THERE ARE LIFEBOATS FOR ALL. UNCEASING RADIO VIGIL AND, IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC, THE INTERNATIONAL ICE PATROL GUARDS THE SEA LANES MAKING THEM SAFE FOR THE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD"

Advertisement for Titanic's Sailing

Collision With Massive Iceberg

Lowered Lifeboat

Chaos On-Board

Orchestral Members Playing On Deck

Ship's Designer in Smoking Room Asked By Steward: "Aren't you going to try for it, Mr. Andrews?"

Carpathian Captain: "Everything that was humanly possible has been done"

(Tim Burton's) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

In Tim Burton's (and director Henry Selick's) imaginatively dark musical fantasy and original yet twisted tale - there was amazing technical brilliance displayed with stop-motion animated puppets and originally-composed songs (by Danny Elfman) - it was the first full-length stop-motion animated film, based on the parodic poem of the same name by visionary producer Burton, written when he was a Disney animator; it had wonderfully- realized set designs -- such as the two holiday dream-worlds: the dark, Cabinet of Dr. Caligari-ish and The Night of the Hunter-ish Halloween Town, and the round, bright Christmas Town:

  • the amazing opening "This Is Halloween" by the denizens of Halloween Town (spooks, goblins, ghosts, witches, skeletons, and other creatures, etc.), to introduce their locale
  • the main character: a bored, depressed and skeletal Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon with Elfman supplying his singing voice), known as the 'Pumpkin King' - wearing a black pin-striped suit complete with a bat bow-tie and black dress shoes
  • Jack's existential torch song "Jack's Lament" was performed while shy rag-doll Sally (Catherine O'Hara), his future understanding and loyal girlfriend, eavesdropped on him in the graveyard as he climbed to the top of a curlicue hill (silhouetted by the full moon): ("...Oh, somewhere deep inside of these bones / An emptiness began to grow..."); he had grown weary of his repetitive role as the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town's pagan holiday
"This is Halloween"
"Jack's Lament"
  • Jack's discovery, through one of many holiday portals (Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, etc.), the enchanting, radically-different snowy, fun-filled and sparkling Christmas Town; he delivered a show-stopping song-and-dance "What's This?" in reaction to the joyous nature of Christmas Town, with snowmen, ice-skating, elves, polar bears, strings of brightly-colored lights, and candycanes, mistletoe, chestnuts roasting on a fire: ("There's children throwing snowballs instead of throwing heads, they're busy building toys and absolutely no one's dead!...")
The Entry-Portal (on a Tree Trunk) to Christmas Town, and
Jack's First View of Christmas Town
  • at a town meeting with Halloween Town's citizens upon his return, Jack described what Christmas was all about (wrapped gifts, Xmas trees, stockings), including a red-suited man named Santa Claus (interpreted as "Sandy Claws") with a reindeer sled
  • because of Jack's obsession with trying to capture the town's jollyness, he requested that three devilish trick-or-treat children (Lock, Shock, and Barrel) go on a secret mission to kidnap the leader of Christmas Town, and they contemplated their plan with the song "Kidnap the Sandy Claws" (although their first mistaken abductee was the Easter Bunny!)
  • Sally (with the power of premonitions) came to warn Jack of his misguided plans ("But it seems wrong to me, very wrong"); he assigned her to sew him a red Santa suit
  • in the "Making Christmas" sequence, Jack assigned Christmas-type jobs to everyone in Halloween Town, such as making presents, and building a sleigh, but was unaware that the citizens were making unbelievably frightening presents placed in gift boxes
  • Jack's well-meaning but disastrous mission to kidnap the leader of Christmas Town put Santa Claus into jeopardy, when he was taken to the evil gambler - the Oogie-Boogie Man (Ken Page)
  • the sleigh's return to Christmas Town - with imposter Jack in a Santa suit commandeering a coffin-shaped sleigh pulled by reindeer skeletons - he delivered scary Halloween gifts instead of Christmas gifts - there were images of terrified children opening up their horrific presents: ("And what did Santa bring you, honey?") (i.e., a shrunken head, a scary yellow duck, bats, a large toy snake that ate Christmas trees, etc.)
  • the fantastic "Poor Jack" song - Jack realized his mistake and sang a torch song in an angel headstone's arms - lamenting: "What have I done? / What have I done? / How could I be so blind?"
  • the scene of Jack's rescue of both Sally and Santa Claus from the Oogie-Boogie Man, who was unmasked (when a thread was pulled from his garment) and revealed to be a swirling mass of bugs under his garment; Jack apologized to Santa Claus/Kris Kringle ("I'm afraid I've made a terrible mess of your holiday"), who reprimanded Jack but then assured him that he could return to Christmas Town and fix things
  • in the sweet, triumphant and romantic finale again set in the graveyard, Jack finally realized his love for Sally; he spied Sally stealing away to pluck petals from a flower on the top of the snowy curlicue hill, silhouetted by the full moon; he approached her, and while clutching his breast, he sang about his attraction to her: (Jack: "My dearest friend, if you don't mind, I'd like to join you by your side. Where we can gaze into the stars" Jack and Sally (in union): "And sit together, now and forever, for it is plain as anyone can see, we're simply meant to be")
  • the film's ending - the couple embraced in the light of a full moon and kissed, as Jack's red-nosed, ghostly pet dog Zero flew into the sky to become a sparkling star

Jack Skellington
(The Pumpkin King)

Rag-Doll Sally

The Mayor of Halloween Town

Christmas Town Sign

Jack's Explanation of Christmas Practices

Jack's Request For Townsfolk to Make A Sleigh

Lock, Shock, and Barrel on Secret Mission to Kidnap Santa Claus

"Making Christmas"

Santa Claus Kidnapped

The Oogie-Boogie Man

"And What Did Santa Bring You, Honey?"

Christmas Tree Snake

"Poor Jack "

Unmasking of the Oogie-Boogie Man

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

In Wes Craven's horrific and unpredictable film teen slasher film, about a demonic, sadistic dreamworld character with a burned face and metal clawed glove-hand who terrorized teens in the small town of Springwood, Ohio (on Elm Street) while they slept:

  • the character of burn-faced, striped sweater-wearing Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) with a fedora hat, bladed-clawed hands in this original film and all its sequels - a child murderer who attacked during dreams [Note: later in the film, it was revealed that Freddy was the victim of vigilante justice, when angry parents in the community (after the killer was released from custody because of a minor technicality) burned the child murderer to death in a boiler room. Years later, the children whose parents were responsible for Krueger's death were being terrorized.]
  • in the film's opening, 15 year-old Christina "Tina" Gray (Amanda Wyss), suffering from nightmares, was pursued into a dark boiler room; when she was grabbed from behind by the shadowy silhouette of Freddy, she awoke
  • in the next soft-focus segment, girls in white dresses were skipping rope and singing a haunting children's song: "One, two, Freddy's coming for you, Three, four, Better lock your door, Five, Six, Grab your crucifix..."
  • the next night while Tina slept, she was lured to a back alley, where she saw a figure with a disfigured face, laughing at her in his first startling silhouetted appearance, Freddy unnaturally spread his elongated arms wide to about 10 feet on both sides to scrape his right-hand fingernails -- razor-bladed -- on the alley wall, causing sparks
  • during Tina's nightmarish dream in her mother's bedroom, Tina's boyfriend Rod Lane (Nick Corn) watched as Tina flailed about against an invisible attacker under the bedcovers; he saw her bare torso bloodily slashed open with four long gashes - obviously the bladed glove; she was picked up into the air (levitated), thrown against the wall, and dragged up to the ceiling upside-down and feet-first - with blood smearing her path, as she was slashed further and blood splattered around the room; in the middle of the ceiling, her body was suddenly released, and she flopped onto the bloodied bed and floor below, dead
  • Tina's friend and policeman's daughter Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) was the next one to be terrorized - she also experienced a nightmarish confrontational appearance of Freddy, with a horribly burned-melted face, in her school's basement hot boiler room ("Come to Freddy")
  • in the film's most celebrated scene, Nancy was taking a luxurious hot bubble bath when she became drowsy and fell asleep - with her legs open; she was terrorized by the killer's clawed hand appearing and moving towards her crotch area; she was violently jerked, dragged and pulled under the water beneath the surface of the tub -- into a bottomless well or abyss below; in a panic, she flailed, gasped, choked and struggled back towards the surface, managing to break through with her hands by grasping the tub's edge; Nancy's mother Marge (Ronee Blakley) heard her screams and came to the rescue by picking the door lock, although Nancy claimed she had only slipped getting out of the tub
Freddy's Attack on Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) in Bathtub
  • Freddy's additional terrifying appearance in Nancy's own bedroom during another nightmare, with pillow feathers flying as he slashed at her
  • in a mini-dream scene, killer Freddy transformed Nancy's phone mouthpiece into his own mouth, with his long tongue darting out into the startled Nancy's mouth, as he triumphantly told her: "I'm your boyfriend, now!"- a premonition of her boyfriend Glen's death
  • the liquifying death scene of Glen Lantz (Johnny Depp in his debut movie role) when he drifted off to sleep at midnight with a blaring TV on his lap, while sprawled back fully-clothed on his bed; Freddy's clawed hand burst through a hole in the center of the bed under him, sucked, swallowed and pulled him through the bed cover down into the hole (along with the TV, stereo, bed covers, pillow, sheet, and headphones, etc.), and then reduced him to a bloody geyser or column of his shredded and drained remains that exploded (or was vomited) out of the hole and gushed toward the ceiling, drenching the room in his blood
Freddy's Bloody Murder of Nancy's Boyfriend Glen
- A Spectacular Geyser of Blood and Gore
  • in the ambiguous, tacked-on, twist-ending epilogue (it appeared that everything that had occurred earlier was a dream, now followed by another dream??), all of the teens were now alive; teenager Nancy exited her mother Marge's bedroom after vanquishing the demonic dream killer; she found herself outside her front door in the bright but diffuse morning fog; her mother saw her off and vowed to stop drinking; she was picked up for school by her friends, no longer deceased, in Glen's convertible in front of her house; as the car roof tightly clamped shut over their heads, it revealed itself as red/green striped (the colors of Freddy's sweater); uncontrollably, the windows rolled up and the car drove off, with the frightened and kidnapped kids trapped inside
  • oblivious to their entrapment, Marge waved goodbye, as the camera panned to the right where a group of white-dressed young girls were jumping rope and singing the Freddy rhyme; suddenly, Freddy's right arm smashed through the front door's small window and grabbed Marge - and pulled her entire body through the opening

Haunting Children's Song

Freddy with 10 Feet Long Arms

Boyfriend Rod Watching Tina's Demise During Dream

To Nancy: "Come to Freddy"

To Nancy: "I'm your boyfriend, now!"

Marge (Ronee Blakley) With Daughter Nancy

Nancy and Teens Trapped in Car

Freddy's Arm Grabbing Marge

Girls Jumping Rope

9 1/2 Weeks (1986) (aka Nine 1/2 Weeks)

In director Adrian Lyne's (and writer Zalman King's) sensual, soft-porn melodrama about sexual experimentation - a blockbuster hit only after being released to video, and a precursor to the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy of films (from 2015-2018); in its original form before severe editing, it was five hours in length - two inferior successors to the original film appeared in 1997 and 1998: Another 9 1/2 Weeks (aka Love in Paris) (1997), and The First 9 1/2 Weeks (1998):

  • the main characters: enigmatic, aloof and handsome Wall Street executive arbitrageur John Gray (Mickey Rourke) and divorced, naive, and vulnerable 30-ish NYC art gallery (SoHo's Spring Street) assistant Elizabeth McGraw (Kim Basinger who had just recently posed for Playboy), who first met at an outdoor street fair; then, he impressed and surprised her by buying an expensive $300 scarf as a gift
  • the story: their bizarre romance that included endlessly creative, obsessive, sado-masochistic and experimental ways that the two erotic but kinky adventurers-lovers in New York City aroused themselves during foreplay in his luxury apartment, including submissive sexual power games initiated by John
Elizabeth McGraw
(Kim Basinger)
With John Gray
(Mickey Rourke)
  • after an ultimatum request that she accept being blindfolded, he caressed Elizabeth's half-naked body with melting ice cubes, and asked the thematic question: "Does this excite you?"
  • the scene of John presenting Elizabeth with an expensive gold watch in a red box - and instructing her to hopefully use it for self-stimulation: "Elizabeth, each day at 12 o'clock, would you look at that watch and think of me touching you?"
  • the scene of Elizabeth becoming aroused while watching art slides in her office; she touched herself all over and then masturbated; as the slide projector automatically clicked through the pictures with increasing intensity, she extended her legs outward onto a wall
Masturbation While Watching Slide Show
  • the long sequence of John's sensual sex games with food in front of a refrigerator, while spoon-feeding her many items (with her eyes closed), to the tune of the Newbeats' "Bread and Butter" [Note: The scene was parodied in Hot Shots! (1991) between Charlie Sheen and Valeria Golina but with vegetables and olives.]
Montage of Sensual Food-Sex Games
One Olive
Spoonfuls from Bowl of Maraschino Cherries
One Cherry Tomato
A Pint of Strawberries
One Glass of Champagne
Two Spoonfuls of Vick's Cough Syrup
Forkful of Cold Spiral Pasta
A Spoonful of Cherry Jello
Four Jalapeno Peppers
One Glass of Milk
Spray From A Shaken Bottle of Sparkling Water
Dripped Gobs of Honey
  • the scene of Liz snooping through his apartment's closet, clothes, and his personal items (and discovering a picture of him with another woman, April Tover); afterwards, John sexually assaulted and punished Liz, by spanking her, overpowering her and forcing her onto a dining room table to have sex ("pretend" rape?) with him, and she eventually pleasurably succumbed to him and stayed for the night
Snooping in John's Closet
Sexual Assault (Rape?) As Punishment
  • the scene of Elizabeth and John having steamy and wild sex on his apartment's roof-top behind a giant clock-face - to the tune of Bryan Ferry's "Slave to Love"
  • the sequence of gender-switched, cross-dressing Elizabeth (wearing a mustache, tuxedo and top hat) smoking a cigar and meeting John in a hotel lobby; after a violent skirmish in an alleyway against two homophobic guys who accused them of being gay (Elizabeth stabbed one of the thugs in the butt with a knife), they had steamy sex on a brick stairway as rain poured down on them; he ripped her tight leotard in two and then fondled her bare breasts
  • Elizabeth performed a slow sensual striptease for John's satisfaction on the outer roof balcony (to the tune of Joe Cocker's "You Can Leave Your Hat On")
  • another scene of dominance was introduced by John's question: "Elizabeth, we're gonna play a little game. I'm a man with a very big problem. Because, you see, I can't get excited. I can't get excited unless I see you get on your hands and your knees and crawl across the floor. And I'm willing to pay a lot to see you do that. Would you do that for me?"; although she thought his request was "stupid," he repeatedly commanded her to "Get on all fours and crawl...Elizabeth, I don't want to negotiate with you. Now crawl...Pick up the money"; as she reluctantly crawled across the floor and picked up bills, he brandished a horse-whip in front of her
Degradation and Sado-Masochistic Whipping
  • the controversial scene in a dingy hotel room of John hiring a black hooker (Cintia Cruz) to fondle, caress and sexually arouse the black-blindfolded Elizabeth - and then in Elizabeth's presence, he also began touching the semi-naked prostitute to make her jealous during the threesome; incensed by John's insensitivity, Elizabeth violently slapped the two of them and fled from the hotel
  • in the film's ending, the desperately-unhappy Elizabeth challenged John after one final night at his apartment; he vowed that although he had been with lots of women, she was different ("I want you to know somethin'. I want you to know that there's been lots of other girls. There's been lots of women. But I never felt anything like this before. You know, when I just hold you in my arms, it's just the way you feel. Somethin' I didn't count on. I never counted on loving you so much"); she questioned his mysterious lack of commitment after 9 1/2 weeks by asserting: "You knew it would be over when one of us said stop. But you wouldn't say it. I almost waited too long"
  • in the film's final moments, she walked out on him; after she shut his door and was out of hearing range, he whispered that he loved her and expected her to return within 50 seconds: ("Elizabeth. Elizabeth. I love you. Would you please come back by the time I count to fifty? One..."); she kept walking - with tears in her eyes

Elizabeth Blindfolded by John

Tantalizing Ice Cubes

Sex Behind Clock-Face on Rooftop

Gender-Reversed Cross-Dressing Rendezvous

Rainy Stairwell Sex

Complete Striptease on
Outdoor Roof Balcony

Elizabeth Blindfolded and Touched by Hooker

John With Hooker to Anger Elizabeth

Ending: "You knew it would be over when one of us said stop"

"Would you please come back by the time I count to 50? One..."

(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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