Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Raging Bull (1980)

In this black and white masterpiece (by cinematographer Michael Chapman) from director Martin Scorsese, adapted from LaMotta's 1970 autobiography:

  • the opening credits sequence (in semi-color) of middle-weight Jake LaMotta (Robert DeNiro) shadow-boxing in a boxing ring
  • Jake's remarkable physical transformation throughout the film as he gained 50 lbs.
  • the brutal and graphic boxing sequences (often in slow-motion with the spray of blood onto the audience and the violent sounds of impact)
  • the memorable tracking shot that followed Jake from the locker room through the crowd and into the ring
  • Jake's taunt to Sugar Ray: "You never got me down, Ray!"
  • the open-air city swimming pool scene with Jake's first view and lustful attraction toward fifteen-year old, blonde "neighborhood girl" Vickie (20 year old Cathy Moriarty)
  • the scenes with manager-brother Joey (Joe Pesci) - especially Jake's relentless questioning when he suspiciously asked: "You f--ked my wife?"
  • the home movies sequence
  • the scene of Jake's imprisonment in the stockade in Dade County when he slammed his head, fists, and then his arms into the cinder-block cell wall ("Why? Why? Why?...Why'd you do it? Why? You're so stupid")
  • Jake's pitiful end as an overweight and bloated night-club emcee - including his recitation in front of a dressing room mirror of Brando's famous On the Waterfront "I coulda been a contender" speech in the taxi-cab scene

The Raid 2 (2014, Indonesia/US) (aka The Raid 2: Berandal)

In co-writer/director Gareth Evans' violent, martial-arts, action-oriented crime thriller sequel:

  • the final epic, beautifully-choreographed, six-minute long fight scene in a whitish, climate-controlled wine room (that took 8 days to film and involved 195 shots) - an exhausting to watch one-on-one curved knife fight between the two combatants, finally ending with a bisecting slash by rookie Jakarta cop Rama (Iko Uwais) to the external carotid neck artery of the Assassin (Cecep Arif Rahman); it was shot with both medium and close-up shots, bringing great immediacy to the fury, ferocity and speed of the attacks between the two

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

In director Steven Spielberg's rousing blockbuster adventure-serial film filled with comic-book style, cliffhangers and many great action stunts:

  • 1930s archaeology professor and treasure hunter Indiana "Indy" Jones' (Harrison Ford) signature image: a brown leather flight jacket, a bullwhip and a snappy fedora
  • the stimulating opening sequence in a booby-trapped jungle cave when Indy snatched a fierce-looking but beautiful golden Fertility Idol artifact from an altar, located in a mid-1930s South American rainforest jungle cave setting and then had to make a mad dash after setting off a chain reaction of destruction (including poisonous darts and arrows), with traitorous Peruvian helper Satipo (Alfred Molina) (with the two moments of "Give me the whip" and "Throw me the idol") who was bloodily spiked in the head
  • the following sequence of an immense, thundering rolling boulder tumbling in Indy's direction, perfectly sized to fit the passageway. Indy dashed just ahead of the destructive, crushing boulder. He lept to safety outside the cave, just as the giant rock slammed into the entrance of the cave and sealed it perfectly
  • Indy's pursuit by a tribe of cannibals in a tropical setting toward an awaiting escape plane, where he first exhibited his fear of snakes to the pilot: "I hate snakes, Jock. I hate 'em"
  • Indy's exciting pursuit on horseback of a Nazi truck caravan
  • the Gun vs. Sword scene - and Indy's calm and casual execution (with one shot from a gun) of a massive, menacing, black-garbed, Arabian swordsman (stuntman Terry Richards) exhibiting spectacular swordsplay in a bazaar
  • Indy's piteously fearful and weary sigh when he realized he would have to descend into a pit of asps and cobras at the ancient tomb - The Well of Souls: "Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?"
  • the terrific finale when the Ark of the Covenant (reportedly containing fragments of the Ten Commandments) was opened by the Nazis and the horrors of hell were released while nearby Jones was tied to a pole with sharp-witted love interest Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen)
  • his comment to Marion Ravenwood about his prowess: "It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage"
  • the deeply ironic final shot (homage to a similar closing Citizen Kane (1941) "toss that junk" scene) in which a warehouseman pushed the crated Ark down a long aisle formed by huge stacks of similar crates in an enormous government warehouse

Rain Man (1988)

In Barry Levinson's bittersweet comedy/drama:

  • the tremendous characterization of idiot savant autistic Raymond Babbitt (Oscar-winning Dustin Hoffman)
  • his accurate visual count of the number of toothpicks spilled out of a box (246)
  • his memorable quotes: ("I'm an excellent driver," "I get my underwear at K-Mart in Cincinnati, Ohio," "K-Mart sucks," "Four minutes to Wapner" (referring to Judge Wapner of The People's Court TV show that aired in the 80s), and "Qantas never crashed")
  • the memorable cross-country trip with slick, car-dealing brother Charlie ("main man") (Tom Cruise)
  • their gambling experiences in Las Vegas
  • the scene of Raymond's first gentle (and "wet") kiss from Susanna (Valeria Golina) in an elevator
  • Charlie's teaching Raymond how to dance
  • the brothers' discussion about Abbott and Costello's 'Who's On First?' comedy routine that Raymond didn't understand
  • their emotional farewell scene at an Amtrak train station - especially when they touched heads together and the camera slowly zoomed in on the moment

Raising Arizona (1987)

In the Coen Brothers' wild, fast-paced, Looney Tune-like screwball comedy/fantasy:

  • the eleven-minute opening sequence (before the credits) of the first meetings between the two protagonists during multiple returns to prison: hapless petty crook H. I. McDunnough (Nicolas Cage) and female police officer and photographer Edwina or "Ed" (Holly Hunter)
  • their quick courtship/marriage, followed by HI's off-screen narration about the loss of their happy "salad days" in a desert trailer with the news of distraught Edwina's barren infertility: ("Edwina's insides were a rocky place where my seed could find no purchase")
  • the birth of the Arizona quints and the childless couple's decision to execute a kidnapping of one of the Arizona quintuplets fathered by shady unpainted-furniture salesman magnate Nathan Arizona Sr. (Trey Wilson) when they discovered that they couldn't adopt due to his criminal record: ("Biology and the prejudices of others conspired to keep us childless")
  • the actual scene of the madcap kidnapping of 'Nathan Jr.' in the nursery, and the young boy's delivery to Edwina as HI tossed her Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care book ("Here's the instructions")
  • the slapstick near-disastrous, brilliantly-timed convenience store robbery to steal Huggies diaperscaper in which H.I. (with a stocking over his head) robbed the store of its cash -- along with Huggies diapers: ("I'll be taking these Huggies and whatever cash ya got... And make it quick, I'm in dutch with the wife") - and the hysterical, deadpan one-liner by a hayseed hick (John O'Donnal) in a pickup truck when H.I. tried to commandeer it: "Son, you've got a panty on your head"
  • also the hilarious scene the morning after the crime of unfinished-furniture magnate/father Nathan Arizona Sr. being questioned by the press, cops, and the FBI while being fingerprinted: ("Damn it, are you boys gonna chase down yer leads, or you gonna sit around drinkin' coffee in the one house in the state where I know my boy ain't at?!")
  • the crude duo of H.I.'s two disreputable, loud, slobbish, ex-con cellmates - fugitive buddies and brothers Gale and Evelle Snoats (John Goodman and William Forsythe) who used HI's place as a hideout and also stole the baby
  • the frightening and diabolical character -- "the Lone Biker of the Apocalypse" bounty hunter Leonard Smalls (Randall 'Tex' Cobb) who pursued everyone on his Harley for the baby - culminating in a frenetic chase through an Arizona town
  • the final battle between a vastly overmatched H.I. and Leonard -- H.I. killed him by accidentally pulling a pin from Leonard's grenade bandolero
  • the scene in which H.I. and Ed returned the baby (T.J. Kuhn)
  • H.I.'s concluding dream of the future: ("...This whole dream, was it wishful thinking? Was I just fleein' reality, like I know I'm liable to do? But me'n Ed, we can be good, too... and it seemed real. It seemed like us. And it seemed like, well... our home...")

Rambling Rose (1991)

In director Martha Coolidge's coming-of-age drama:

  • the realistic late-night scene when the sexually-uninhibited Rose (Laura Dern) taught 13 year old Buddy Hillyer (Lukas Haas) about the facts of life and female anatomy by letting him sexually touch her privates under her clothes in bed. At first, she told him: "You're just a child and wouldn't understand, but that kind of thing can stir a girl up." As he touched her, he asked: "Am I hurtin' you?" and as she breathed deeply, she responded: "No. No, you're not hurtin' me. You'd just better quit it, Buddy, is all..." before she was brought to a shuddering orgasm. Afterwards, he asked: "What's the matter, Rose? Are you sick or somethin'?" She replied: "I've robbed the cradle and fell into Hell."

Rancho Notorious (1952)

In Fritz Lang's third (and last) western, a Technicolored frontier revenge western for RKO Pictures, with a distinctive, stylized (set-bound) story with perverse Freudian overtones - and following Destry Rides Again (1939), this was the second Western specifically written for star Marlene Dietrich:

  • the film's opening thematic ballad and recurring song: "Legend of Chuck-a-Luck" - emphasizing the refrain of "Hate, Murder, and Revenge" - the deadly forces of fate; some of the lyrics: "O, listen to the Legend of Chuck-a-Luck, Chuck-a-Luck, Listen to the Wheel of Fate As round and round with a whispering sound It spins, it spins The old, old story of Hate, Murder and Revenge!" [Note: Chuck-a-Luck referred to a roulette-style gambling game, both a gambler's vertical wheel and the Wheel of Fate.]
  • the murder and rape (off-screen) of Wyoming ranch-hand Vern Haskell's (Arthur Kennedy) sweetheart and fiancee Beth Forbes (Gloria Henry) in the town's Assayer's office (To Vern: "I don't know how to tell you this. She wasn't spared anything")
  • the scene of Whitey (John Doucette), the mortally-wounded partner of the murderer, who provided Vern with a single "Rosebud"-type clue to the guilty man's destination: the word 'Chuck-a-Luck'
  • Vern's relentless search for Beth's surviving outlaw killer, by befriending infamous sharpshooter Frenchy Fairmont (Mel Ferrer) in jail, who knew ex-saloon singer and dance hall queen Altar Keane (Marlene Dietrich); she was the proprietor of the Chuck-a-Luck horse ranch, a known safe haven for outlaws located close to the Mexican border; she harbored thieves, cattle rustlers and killers in exchange for 10% of the proceeds of their crimes
  • Vern's noticing that Keane was wearing a jewel-studded brooch he had given Beth moments before her death - therefore, Beth's murderer was someone at the ranch who had given Keane the brooch - revealed shortly later by her to be Kinch (Lloyd Gough)
  • the love triangle that developed between Frenchy, Vern, and Keane
  • the climactic showdown and shoot-out between Vern and hide-out murderer Kinch; during the concluding gunfight with Vern, Keane was mortally wounded when she took a bullet for Frenchy

Random Harvest (1942)

In director Mervyn LeRoy's romantic drama:

  • the marriage proposal scene between Charles (Ronald Colman) and former wife/secretary Paula (Greer Garson) ("My life began with you") during a picnic
  • the final revelatory scene at the cottage in which amnesiac Charles unraveled clues and responded to being called "Smithie, oh Smithie, oh darling" - embracing and kissing his long-lost love

Rashomon (1950, Jp.)

In director Akira Kurosawa's cinematic masterpiece about the nature of truth from different perspectives - the winner of the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 1951, and the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival:

  • the mysterious 12th century medieval story of a criminal incident that took place in the woods -- bandit Tajomaru's (Toshiro Mifune) alleged rape of Masako (Machiko Kyo) and murder of her samurai husband (Masayuki Mori)
  • the crime incident's telling from four different points of view - (in flashbacks) - witnessed by the four individuals (the bandit, the woman, the dead man through a medium's testimony, and a woodcutter (Takeshi Shimura))

Ratatouille (2007)

In director Brad Bird's computer-animated Pixar film - the winner of the Best Animated Feature Film Oscar:

  • the early sequence of a gun-toting granny battling against a rat infestation in her country home
  • also blue French chef country rat Remy's (voice of Patton Oswalt) visualization of taste to his older indiscriminate red-colored brother Emile (voice of Peter Sohn): ("Each flavor was totally unique, BUT... combine one flavor with another, and... something NEW was created")
  • the scene of Remy convincing fired, non-culinary-skilled garbage boy Alfredo Linguini (voice of Lou Romano) (revealed later to be famed but deceased master chef Gusteau's son) to not drown him in a glass bottle, but to have them team up together (Linguini: "I can't cook but you can, right?")
  • Remy's new dubbed name "Little Chef" because he pulled on Linguini's hair (while hiding in the young man's toque hat) to direct his motions like a puppeteer in order to teach him how to cook
  • the publication of snobbish, hard-to-please and harsh food critic Anton Ego's (voice of Peter O'Toole) glowing, self-actualizing review of restaurant Gusteau's cuisine (regarding the traditional dish of ratatouille) prepared by Remy: (..."Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source") - reminding him of eating the dish as a boy
  • the final shot of Linguini and Remy's new bistro named "Ratatouille" in the city of Paris

Reality Bites (1994)

In director/actor Ben Stiller's debut film, a definitive Generation-X film set among a group of college graduates in Houston, Texas:

  • the scene of the post-collegiate friends spontaneously dancing around a gas station Food Mart (while buying junk food) to the song "My Sharona" on the radio

ReAnimator (1985)

In director Stuart Gordon's cult comedy-horror film - a combination mad zombie and mad scientist film (and a retelling of the original Frankenstein films), from a series of stories by H.P. Lovecraft:

  • Jeffrey Combs as third year medical student Dr. Herbert West - an incorrigible and obsessed 'mad-scientist' with a reanimating fluorescent green reagent
  • the most infamous scene of a naked Megan Halsey (Barbara Crampton) on a laboratory gurney with lecherous Dr. Hill's (David Gale) reanimated, disembodied 'undead' head next to her, aroused by the sight of her. After massaging both of her breasts, he leaned over her with his head (held by his own body) and managed to speak in a gravely voice, while trying to kiss her breasts: "I've always admired your beauty, my dear. I think I've always loved you. (She screamed and attempted to push him away.) And you will love me. You will!" As she protested: "Please stop, let me go," he attempted to provide oral sex ('head') to Megan, but was interrupted by West
  • the concluding battle scene in the medical school's hospital room with reactivated corpses and body parts flying everywhere

Rear Window (1954)

In Alfred Hitchcock's superb thriller:

  • the opening voyeuristic sequence of efficient visual story-telling in which the camera tracked out through the framed windows of a Greenwich Village apartment, and introduced the setting and entire complex - a lower courtyard and garden, surrounding Lower East Side apartment structures; followed by a long panning camera movement to view the lives of some of the apartment neighbors, including an older couple sleeping on an outside fire escape to avoid the heat, a blonde exerciser, and a tour of the subject in the camera's apartment - to identify a man immobilized in a wheelchair with his leg in a cast - photographer L.B. "Jeff" Jefferies (James Stewart)
  • the viewpoint of Jeff's sharp-tongued, visiting nurse-therapist Stella (Thelma Ritter) who disapproved of his spying on neighbors and denounced the practice: "Oh dear, we've become a race of Peeping Toms. What people oughta do is get outside their own house and look in for a change. Yes, sir. How's that for a bit of home-spun philosophy?"
  • the confined Jeff's "peeping tom" static camera point-of-view from his Greenwich Village apartment's rear window, while stuck in his wheelchair, and becoming initially suspicious of the activities of across-the-courtyard neighbor Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr)
  • the scene of high-fashion model and girlfriend Lisa Carol Fremont (Grace Kelly) glamorously appearing in front of the stationary individual Jeff; she bent over, and then lovingly kissed him, roused and awakened him from his sleep; she suggestively whispered a number of questions to him: " Lisa: "How's your leg?" Jeff: "It hurts a little." Lisa: "And your stomach?" Jeff: "Empty as a football." (She kissed him again) Lisa: "And your love life?" Jeff: "Not too active." Lisa: (smiling) "Anything else bothering you?" Jeff: "Mm-hmm. Who are you?"
Glamorous Lisa Fremont (Grace Kelly)
  • the discovery of the strangled dog in the courtyard, punctuated by screams from the distraught dog owner ("Which one of you did it? Which one of you killed my dog?"); the dead dog laid on the concrete in front of Thorwald's garden - maliciously killed with its neck broken; Jeff noticed that the only person who didn't emerge from inside when the dog was discovered was Thorwald, seen smoking a glowing cigarette in his darkened apartment; [later, it was theorized that the dog became "too inquisitive," so Thorwald had to dig up Mrs. Thorwald's body parts from the flower bed and move them elsewhere, and murder the snooping dog]
  • the suspenseful scene of Lisa's tense exploration and search of suspected wife-murderer Thorwald's apartment just before he returned for incriminating evidence - she was ecstatic when she found an alligator hand-bag, proof of Thorwald's guilt - he must have murdered her because, according to Lisa, no woman goes on a trip leaving behind her favorite jewelry (or handbag); Jeff nervously reacted as he watched powerlessly and helplessly from across the courtyard when she was trapped and confronted face-to-face in the apartment by Thorwald (who called the police), when she pointed to the wife's wedding ring on her finger - Thorwald followed the sight-line of the signal sent by Lisa (behind her back) to Jefferies in his apartment - alerting Thorwald to the fact that he was being watched, and the tables were now turned
Using Lisa to Infiltrate Into Thorwald's Apartment
  • the tension-filled finale in which Jeff was confronted by the killer in his own apartment - at first, he fended him off with bright flash-bulb flashes from his camera, but then was a victim of attempted strangulation; Thorwald dumped Jeff out of the wheelchair and through the open window, where he dangled from the window ledge three floors above the courtyard as Thorwald tried to push him to his death; detectives grabbed Lars from behind at the last minute, but Jeff let go and fell backward to the ground below - his fall to the courtyard was partially broken by detectives; reunited, Jeff's head was cradled in Lisa's arms as she heard him congratulate her: "I'm proud of you"
Suspenseful Finale
Jeff Using Flash-Bulbs to Ward Off Attacking Thorwald in His Apartment
  • the ending shot of a pants-wearing Lisa reading an adventure tale - Beyond the High Himalayas, by William O. Douglas; after noticing that Jeff (now with two leg casts) was asleep and not watching her, she switched off her male image by putting down her material and assertively substituting her own preferred Harper's Bazaar magazine
  • the deeply ironic final shot of a window shade rolling down on the voyeuristic film audience before the ending Paramount Studios logo

Greenwich Village Apartment Courtyard

Jeff's Leg Cast

(Thelma Ritter)


Spying on Neighbor Thorwald (Raymond Burr)

Discovery of Strangled Dog: ("Which one of you did it? Which one of you killed my dog?")

Jeff to Lisa: "I'm proud of you"

Ending Sequence

Rebecca (1940)

In Alfred Hitchcock's Best Picture-winning first American film:

  • the opening scene of the revelation of the ruins of Manderley as the second Mrs. De Winter (Joan Fontaine) in voice-over described her flashbacked dream: ("Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again")
  • the scene of wealthy, grieving widower Mr. Maxim De Winter (Laurence Olivier) contemplating suicide
  • the first appearance of the stern and unsmiling housekeeper Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson)
  • the chilling scene of Mrs. Danvers touring the closed-off room of Rebecca with the second Mrs. De Winter and showing her clothes and furnishings - while caressing Rebecca's things with a lesbian-fetish interest
  • the cruel set-up of the 'second' Mrs. De Winter, by suggesting that she take inspiration from the stairs-hall portrait of one of Maxim's ancestors with a fluffy white dress, similarly worn by Rebecca at the previous masquerade ball
  • the radiant new bride gliding down the stairs in a copy of Rebecca's white ruffled dress for the costume ball and being told harshly by Maxim to take the dress off: ("What the devil do you think you're doing?...Go and take it off. It doesn't matter what you put on. Anything will do. What are you standing there for? Didn't you hear what I said?")
  • the following cruel torment that Mrs. Danvers inflicted on the second Mrs. De Winter: "I watched you go down just as I watched her a year ago. Even in the same dress you couldn't compare...You tried to take her place. You let him marry you. I've seen his face, his eyes. They're the same as those first weeks after she died. I used to listen to him, walking up and down, up and down, all night long, night after night, thinking of her. Suffering torture because he lost her...You thought you could be Mrs. De Winter. Live in her house. Walk in her steps. Take the things that were hers. But she's too strong for you. You can't fight her. No one ever got the better of her. Never. Never. She was beaten in the end, but it wasn't a man. It wasn't a woman. It was the sea"
Mrs. Danvers' Torment of the 'Second' Mrs. De Winter
Mrs. Danvers: "You tried to take her place"
Mrs. Danvers Urging Suicide
  • the scene of Mrs. Danvers urging the second Mrs. De Winter to jump to her death from the window: "Why don't you go? Why don't you leave Manderley? He doesn't need you. He's got his memories. He doesn't love you - he wants to be alone again with her. You've nothing to stay for. You've nothing to live for really, have you? Look down there. It's easy, isn't it? Why don't you? Why don't you? Go on. Go on. Don't be afraid!"
  • the haunted Mr. De Winter's dramatic revelation that Maxim despised Rebecca: ("You thought I loved Rebecca? You thought that? I hated her!"), and the dramatic confession by Maxim that her body would be found: ("I put it there"), including his torment (by guilt, not love), and his reenactment of Rebecca's death in the boat house
  • in the final sequence, the death of Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca's bedroom and the movement of destructive flames approaching an embroidered, monogrammed "R" on the pillowcase
Manderley's Destructive Flames
Mrs. Danvers in Flames
Monogrammed "R" on Pillowcase

Ruins of Manderley

Mr. De Winter Contemplating Jumping to His Death

Stern Housekeeper Mrs. Danvers

Tour of House - Portrait of One of Maxim's Ancestors

New Bride Wearing Rebecca's Dress

Mr. de Winter's Shocking Revelation About Rebecca: "I hated her"

Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

In director Nicholas Ray's seminal film about confused 50s youth:

  • the opening scene in the police station when the three main teenaged characters were introduced: drunken troublemaker Jim Stark (James Dean) found lying on a sidewalk curb with a wind-up toy monkey next to him, pretty, unloved Judy (Natalie Wood) in a bright-red outfit with matching red lipstick, and emotionally-disturbed, anguished 'orphan' John "Plato" Crawford (Sal Mineo)
  • Judy's "dirty tramp" speech to patient, sympathetic juvenile-offenders officer Ray (Edward C. Platt) about her father's cruelty when she dressed up, but he resisted and reproached her grown-up maturity: "He hates me... I don't think, I know. He looks at me like I was the ugliest thing in the world. He doesn't like my friends. He doesn't like one thing about me. He called me - he called me a dirty tramp, my own father... I mean, maybe he doesn't mean it, but he acts like he does. We were all together. We were gonna celebrate Easter and we were gonna catch a double bill. Big deal! So I put on my new dress and I came out, and he grabbed my face and he started rubbing off all the lipstick. I thought he'd rub off my lips. And I ran out of that house"
  • the scene of the alienated Jim Stark expressing his frustrated rage and agony when he screamed at his bickering and love-smothering parents, Mr. Stark (James Backus, the voice of the cartoon character Mr. Magoo) and his mother (Ann Doran) who came to pick him up: "You're tearing me apart!...You say one thing, he says another, and everybody changes back again"
  • Jim's continued description of his dysfunctional family, especially his passive, weak, henpecked and 'chicken' father: "It's a zoo. He always wants to be my pal, you know? But how can I give him anything? If he's, well, I mean I love him and all that type of stuff, and I-I mean, I don't want to hurt him. But then, I don't, I don't, well I don't know what to do anymore, except maybe die....if he had guts to knock Mom cold once, then maybe she'd be happy and then she'd stop pickin' on him, because they make mush out of him..."I'll tell you one thing, I don't ever want to be like him...How can a guy grow up in a circus like that?...Boy, if, if I had one day when, when I didn't have to be all confused, and didn't have to feel that I was ashamed of everything...If I felt that I belonged someplace, you know, then..."
  • on the first day of school, Jim's first question to Judy in his neighborhood and her reply: ("You live here, don't you?" -- "Who lives?") - she refused his offer of a ride, and went off with a carload of other teens, led by leather-jacketed boyfriend and gang leader Buzz (Corey Allen)
  • the choreographed, tense switchblade knife fight scene outside the planetarium between HS newcomer Jim and challenger Buzz
  • the sequence of Jim's return home to find his frilly, apron-clad father ludicrously positioned on his knees on the upstairs landing cleaning up a spilled tray of food - his cowardly, emasculated father was not willing to admit the accident to his mother: "Shhh. Listen, I'd better, better clean it up before she sees it" - Jim pleaded with his weak and foolish dad to stand and be a man
  • the "chickie run" scene with Buzz's hot-rod car plunging over the cliff edge and Jim's offering of his outstretched hand to pink-sweatered Judy
  • the powerful sequence of Jim's appeal to his parents following the tragedy of Buzz's death, when he argued with both of his parents; as his mother approached from upstairs, the camera revolved an entire 180 degrees counter-clockwise to reflect his point of view - he told his parents that he needed a "direct answer" this time, because he was "in trouble": ("They called me chicken. You know, chicken? I had to go because if I didn't I'd never be able to face those kids again. I got in one of those cars, and Buzz, that - Buzz, one of those kids - he got in the other car, and we had to drive fast and then jump, see, before the car came to the end of the bluff, and I got out OK, and Buzz didn't and, uh, killed him...I can't - I can't keep it to myself anymore"); his weak-willed, indecisive father could not offer support: "But you know that you did the wrong thing. That's the main thing, isn't it?" Jim wanted to tell the truth to the authorities as his father had instructed him, but his mother suggested that he just not "volunteer" the information, or that they move away again to get away from the problem; Jim became enraged at both his cowardly father and mother for not standing up for him: ("You better give me something. You better give me something fast...Dad, let me hear you answer her. Dad, Dad, stand up for me")
  • the scene of Jim and Judy's first kiss, after she had apologized for treating him poorly on the first day of school: "I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I treated you mean today. You shouldn't believe what I say when I'm with the rest of the kids. Nobody, nobody acts sincere"; under a moonlit sky, he kissed her for the first time, sweetly on the side of her forehead - she told him: "Your lips are soft"
  • the scene of Jim, Judy, and misfit Plato exploring and touring a deserted mansion and an empty swimming pool, as Plato assumed the part of a real estate agent leading them through the run-down Gothic property with a lighted candelabra ("Well, what do you think of my castle?")
  • Judy's profession of love for Jim who she thought was "a man who can be gentle and sweet...someone who doesn't run away when you want them. Like being Plato's friend when nobody else liked him. That's being strong...I love somebody. All the time I've been, I've been looking for someone to love me. And now I love somebody. And it's so easy. Why is it easy now?...I love you, Jim. I really mean it"
  • the final tragic, senseless and violent scene at the planetarium, when Plato was shot down by police when he rushed at them with an unloaded gun, and Jim tried to protect his friend, but failed; he called out with his arm outstretched: "I got the bullets, look!"

The Reckless Moment (1949)

In Max Ophuls' taut domestic noirish 'woman's melodrama' and thriller, with stark shadowy cinematography (by Burnett Guffey) - his fourth and final Hollywood film before returning to Europe:

  • the central character: upper middle-class, chain-smoking, bespectacled, and sheltered housewife Lucia Harper (Joan Bennett) (with her patriarchal husband Tom (Henry O'Neill) noticeably absent and away on business in Berlin, Germany), living in a small, sleepy beach-seaside community (Balboa) 50 miles from Los Angeles; one of their children was an arrogant, nail-biting, and impetuous 17 year-old daughter Beatrice or "Bea" (Geraldine Brooks), an LA art school student
  • in the opening scene, Lucia drove to Los Angeles to confront her daughter's older lover - slimy Ted Darby (Shepperd Strudwick), and threatened him to stay away; he replied that he would - but for a price; and then upon her return home, she confronted a resistant Bea who refused to stop seeing him; Lucia wrote a letter to her husband, stating: "I have to handle it alone"
  • the clandestine boathouse scene when Bea met up with Darby, and during an angry struggle, struck him in the head with her flashlight; after she fled, he stumbled around, lost his balance, tripped, and fell onto a large boat anchor
  • the next morning, Lucia found Darby's corpse, dead in a case of manslaughter; in a panic and "reckless moment," the determined, frantic, devoted and selfless mother (to defend her domesticity and family from scandal) dragged the body to a motorboat, and dumped the body (with the anchor) in a lagoon; soon after, the corpse washed ashore and was discovered; headlines read: "EX-ART DEALER DARBY FOUND SLAIN! - Stabbed in Back; Left in Swamp"
  • the blackmailing scene of suave, small-time Irish crook Martin Donnelly (James Mason in his third US film) who visited Lucia and demanded $5,000 hush money, on behalf of his tough boss-partner Nagel (Roy Roberts), a loan shark, in exchange for incriminating letters that Bea had written to Ted; Martin soon became infatuated with Lucia, although his dangerous and unprincipled partner continued to pressure him and demand payment
  • the neurotic and entrapped woman-in-peril Lucia's attempts to raise the funds (at first she was unsuccessful in securing a loan from a bank), and resorted to pawning her jewelry (for only $800), with Donnelly in tow
  • in the stirring conclusion, Donnelly decided to defend Lucia against Nagel; after being stabbed, Donnelly choked Nagel to death; when he drove off with Nagel's body in the car, there was a devastating car crash into a roadblock; as he lay dying in the wreckage, Donnelly returned the incriminating love letters to Lucia, and assured her that he would take the blame for the deaths of Darby and Nagel
  • the film's ending: Lucia phoned her distant husband and assured him that everything would be fine once he returned home: "Tom, Tom, we've mailed your Christmas packages. We're gonna have a blue Christmas tree. Everything's fine except we miss you terribly. Yes, Tom"

The Red Badge of Courage (1951)

In director John Huston's historical epic based upon Stephen Crane's Civil War novel:

  • the scene of the Union general promising to share supper with half a dozen different platoons after the upcoming battle
  • the scene in which the Union officer back behind the line of fighting ordered a suicide charge but called his men cowards when they ran
  • the intensely realistic battle sequences

(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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