Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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

Scary Movie (2000)

In Keenen Ivory Wayans' raunchy teen comedy:

  • the crude, low-brow, semi-sexually-explicit, satirical, Airplane!-style jokes (skewering the slasher film genre, such as Scream (1996) and I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), and more); the name of the school (B.A. Corpse High) and the female gym teacher Miss Mann (Jayne Trcka)
  • the character of the masked and hooded killer - Ghostface (Dave Sheridan)
  • the well-advertised early scene of wet underwear-wearing 18 year-old Drew Decker (Carmen Electra) stabbed in her silicon-enhanced left breast with a knife when pursued by Ghostface, and then hit by a car (driven by her father who was receiving fellatio) and killed
  • the interview scene, when Shorty Meeks (Marlon Wayans) was speaking to hack news reporter Gail Hailstorm (Cheri Oteri) about victim Drew Decker's death: (Gail: "What would have been your last words to Drew?" Shorty: "Run, bitch, run!")
  • the Teen Beauty Pageant scene - the winning of the contest by bimbo contestant Buffy Gilmore/aka Miss Fellatio (Shannon Elizabeth) who performed a real "dramatic reading" - warning as Ghostface slit the throat of Greg Cox (Lochlyn Munro) within her view
  • Ghostface's phone call to Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris), asking: "Do you know where I am?" and playing a mocking game of hide-and-seek
  • the scene in a motion picture theater of the knifing murder of rude, cell-phone using Brenda Meeks (Regina Hall) who was holding a video camera - not by the serial killer Ghostface (sitting next to her) but by the entire audience, for spoiling the movie Shakespeare in Love: ("I don't know why ya'll is actin' like this! My girlfriend already seen the movie and she says they don't even stay together in the end!"); bloodied and screaming, she died in front of the screen
  • the outrageous sex scene between virginal Cindy and her crazed boyfriend Bobby Prinze (Jon Abrahams); she was experiencing vigorous sex on top of him, screaming out: "What's my name, Bobby?", slapping him across the face, and growling; she was propelled to the ceiling with a gusher when he had an explosive orgasm as she was grinding on him; his volcanic ejaculation caused a massive firehose stream of whitish liquid to shower her upwards, where she was plastered to the ceiling; Bobby was so emptied out and drained that his chest frame became dessicated
  • the scene of the Matrix-styled fight between Ghostface and Cindy, when she subdued the killer by kicking him through the window
  • in an imitation of the final scene in The Usual Suspects (the slow-motion breaking of a coffee mug), Cindy's realization in the police station with Sheriff Burke (Kurt Fuller) that Doofy Gilmore (David Sheridan) was the Ghostface killer - with her frustrated scream of "Noooooooooo!" (in a pose borrowed from The Shawshank Redemption) after finding his disguise in the middle of the street

Scent of a Woman (1992)

In director Martin Brest's coming-of-age drama:

  • the first meeting between crude, blind, retired Army Lt. Col. Frank Slade's (Oscar-winning Al Pacino) and his young caretaker Charlie Simms (Chris O'Donnell): "Can't believe they're my blood. I.Q. of sloths and the manners of banshees. He's a mechanic, she's a homemaker. He knows as much about cars as a beauty queen, and she bakes cookies, tastes like wing nuts. As for the tots, they're twits. How's your skin, son? I like my aides to be presentable.
  • Slade's "pearls" of wise musings (to Charlie) and tribute to female breasts and the feminine form while seated next to him on an airplane: ("Ooh, but I still smell her... Women! What could you say? Who made 'em? God must have been a f--kin' genius. The hair - they say the hair is everything, you know. Have you ever buried your nose in a mountain of curls, just wanted to go to sleep forever? Or lips - and when they touched yours were like that first swallow of wine after you just crossed the desert. Tits. Hoo-hah! Big ones, little ones, nipples starin' right out at ya, like secret searchlights. Mmm. Legs. I don't care if they're Greek columns or secondhand Steinways. What's between 'em - passport to heaven. I need a drink. Yes, Mr. Simms, there's only two syllables in this whole wide world worth hearin': Pussy. Hah! Are you listenin' to me, son? I'm givin' ya pearls here")
  • Slade's graceful, sensuous tango dance scene with the beautiful Donna (Gabrielle Anwar)
  • the scene of Slade's test drive of a fancy $110,000 Ferrari while Charlie shouted directions, after convincing the reluctant showroom salesman Freddie Bisco (Leonard Gaines) that he would be accompanying him - and referring to both of them as "gray ghosts": ("He will not be unaccompanied. I'll be with him. I'm his father... If this car performs the way I expect it to, you'll get a certified check of $101,000 and change when in you come tomorrow...Freddie, you're no spring chicken, are ya?")
  • the dramatic scene of Charlie's pleading with Frank not to commit suicide by shooting himself (he shouted: "I'm in the dark!"), with two reasons: "I'll give you two. You can dance the tango and drive a Ferrari better than anyone I've ever seen...Give me the gun, Colonel...If you're tangled up, just tango on"
  • Slade's concluding "out of order" speech to the student body of Baird College and to Mr. Trask (James Rebhorn) during Charlie's disciplinary hearing for being a "snitch": ("Out of order, I'll show you out of order! You don't know what out of order is, Mr.Trask! I'd show you, but I'm too old, I'm too tired, I'm too f--kin' blind. If I were the man I was five years ago, I'd take a flame-thrower to this place. Out of order, who the hell do you think you're talkin' to? I've been around, you know? There was a time I could see. And I have seen. Boys like these, younger than these, their arms torn out, their legs ripped off. But there isn't nothin' like the sight of an amputated spirit. There is no prosthetic for that. You think you're merely sending this splendid foot soldier back home to Oregon with his tail between his legs, but I say you are executin' his soul! And why? Because he's not a Baird man. Baird men. You hurt this boy, you're gonna be Baird bums, the lot of ya. And Harry, Jimmy, Trent, wherever you are out there, F--k You Too!...I'm not finished! As I came in here, I heard those words - 'Cradle of Leadership.' Well, when the bow breaks, the cradle will fall. And it has fallen here. It has fallen. Makers of men. Creators of leaders. Be careful what kind of leaders you're producin' here. I don't know if Charlie's silence here today is right or wrong. I'm not a judge or jury. But I can tell you this. He won't sell anybody out to buy his future! And that, my friends, is called integrity! That's called courage! Now that's the stuff leaders should be made of. Now I have come to the crossroads in my life. I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew. But I never took it. You know why? It was too damn hard. Now here's Charlie. He's come to the crossroads. He has chosen a path. It's the right path. It's a path made of principle that leads to character. Let him continue on his journey. You hold this boy's future in your hands, Committee. It's a valuable future. Believe me. Don't destroy it! Protect it. Embrace it. It's gonna make ya proud one day, I promise you.")

Schindler's List (1993)

In Steven Spielberg's Best Picture-winning historical epic of the Holocaust:

  • the crisp black and white cinematography
  • the opening restaurant/cabaret scene in which would-be war profiteer Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) wheeled and dealed his way into the pocketbooks of SS officers in a Krakow nightclub
  • the interview scene with eighteen pretty secretaries
  • the many scenes of random and indiscriminate killings including the one-armed worker and the female construction engineer - usually at point-blank range with a gun
  • the stunning and brilliant performances by the three male leads - Schindler, Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes), and Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley)
  • the brutal scene of the clearing and liquidation of the Krakow Ghetto
  • the image of a girl in a drab red coat walking amidst the murderous chaos (and later spotted on a cart piled with corpses) as Krakow's ghetto was liquidated
  • the night-time follow-up hunt
  • the scene in which a shirtless, overweight Goeth fired his telescopic rifle from his villa's balcony perch above the Plaszow work camp at innocent prisoners
  • the hinge-making scene and its aftermath
  • Schindler's delivery of the speech about power with restraint
  • the disturbing sexual confrontation of Goeth with his trembling housekeeper Helen Hirsch (Embeth Davidtz) in her basement living quarters
  • the scene of the winnowing out of the healthy from the unfit with prisoners running naked before doctors in the medical examination scene
  • the image of children hiding waist-deep in latrine excrement
  • Schindler's birthday celebration including a sustained kiss of a young Jewess
  • the exhumation and incineration of the corpses in graves
  • the labored compilation and typing of 'Schindler's List' by Stern as Schindler desperately paced the room - including Stern's eloquent summation: "The list is an absolute good. The list is life. All around its margins lies the gulf"
  • the arrival of a boxcar of female workers at Auschwitz and the intense shower scene
  • Schindler's receipt of a golden ring, his emotional final address to his factory workers following the war and his farewell to Stern: ("I could've got more... I didn't do enough")
  • the final coda (in color) pairing real-life survivors with their counterpart actors-actresses as they placed rocks on the real-life grave of Schindler

Scream (1996)

In Wes Craven's horror/slasher film spoof:

  • the opening 12-minute prologue scene in which all-American, sweatered girl Casey Becker (Drew Barrymore in a very short cameo) was alone preparing pop-corn to watch a video when she received an initially playful phone call (she was asked "What's your favorite scary movie?" - and she replied Halloween)
  • the repeated terrifying calls turned obscene, threatening and ugly; when she demanded to know what the caller wanted, he simply replied: "To see your insides" - and she ended up slaughtered and hanging in the front yard
  • the wise words about how to avoid being murdered by the knowledgeable video geek Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy): "You can never have can never drink or do drugs...and number three: never, ever, ever under any circumstances say, 'I'll be right back'"

The Sea Hawk (1940)

In one of the best pirate/swashbuckling adventure films ever made - by director Michael Curtiz:

  • the action-filled sequences of sea battles and duels
  • the dashing character of privateer "Sea Hawk" Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe (Errol Flynn)

The Searchers (1956)

In John Ford's classic and landmark western, featuring breathtaking cinematography of Monument Valley, and set in Texas of 1868:

  • the opening credits (portrayed in a Playbill font-face) displayed before a backdrop of an adobe brick wall, with the words of the romantic Stan Jones ballad (sung by The Sons of the Pioneers) that played during the credits, What Makes a Man to Wander? - defining the central theme of the film - one man's wanderings and obsessive search: "What makes a man to wander? What makes a man to roam?..."
  • the horseback entrance of loner, Civil War ex-Confederate soldier Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) to the solitary, Texas frontier farm of his estranged brother Aaron Edwards' (Walter Coy) family with radiant wife Martha (Dorothy Jordan) - with everyone expectantly watching and taking positions on the homestead's porch, including Ethan's young niece Debbie Edwards (Lana Wood) and her older sister Lucy (Pippa Scott)
  • the strained relationship between prejudiced, racist Indian hater Ethan and Aaron's adopted son, part-Cherokee (one-eighth) Martin "Marty" Pawley (Jeffrey Hunter) - an orphan saved years earlier by Ethan from an Indian slaughter and raised by the family
  • the pre-massacre images - the hysterical close-up of the scream of Lucy realizing a deadly Indian attack was imminent and that they were in grave danger, the sight of menacing renegade Chief Scar (Henry Brandon) casting his dark shadow while standing over young Debbie hiding out in a small family graveyard
  • the return of a posse of Texas Rangers (with Ethan and Martin and others) to the now-burning frontier home after being lured away to search for Comanche marauders or cattle rustlers that had stolen some cattle from the Lars Jorgensen ranch nearby, and their discovery that most of the family (Ethan's sister-in-law and brother) had been butchered, and both of Ethan's young nieces had been kidnapped
  • the burial ground scene when Ethan shot out of the eyes of a dead Comanche corpse (buried under a large sandstone rock) to prevent him from entering the spirit world - and then explained how his defilement of the Indian had thwarted the spiritual belief of the Comanche, causing his spirit to wander forevermore: ("...but what that Comanche believes. Ain't got no eyes, he can't enter the spirit-land. Has to wander forever between the winds")
  • the start of Ethan's relentless years-long search for his kidnapped niece and his ominous statement to fellow searchers after finding Lucy's mutilated and raped body, and telling teenaged Brad Jorgensen (Harry Carey Jr.), Lucy's sweetheart and fiancee: "What you saw was a buck wearin' Lucy's dress. I found Lucy back in the canyon. Wrapped her in my coat, buried her with my own hands. I thought it best to keep it from ya....What do you want me to do? Draw ya a picture? Spell it out? Don't ever ask me! Long as you live, don't ever ask me more"
  • Ethan's oft-repeated: "That'll be the day"
  • the much later sequence of Martin finding now adolescent Debbie (Natalie Wood) in a teepee - one of the squaws of Comanche Chief Scar, and shooting dead the Indian chief (and then Ethan scalped him)
  • the dramatic scene in which Ethan chased on horseback after Debbie - ostensibly to kill her, as Martin yelled out: "No, no, Ethan!" - and she ran down a hill and toward a cave, when Ethan scooped her into his arms in one motion and told her: "Let's go home, Debbie"
  • the final famous scene of a family reunion back at the Jorgensen frontier home - and the exit scene in which Ethan was framed and isolated by the silhouetted dark doorway (in front of the harsh outdoor sunshine) and watched as reunited friends and family entered the homestead, clutching one arm, but he was left out, 'cursed' and doomed to wander - and so he turned and ambled away as the door shut behind him

Serenity (2005)

In writer/director Josh Whedon's 26th century, sci-fi space action-adventure/western film (adapted from the TV series Firefly) - his directorial debut film:

  • the opening scene of doctor Simon Tam (Sean Maher) rescuing his psychic 17 year-old, goth-like sister River Tam (Summer Glau) from her Alliance captors, led by the evil and sinister government Operative (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who were experimenting on her brain and wishing to harness her power ("Given the right trigger, this girl is a living weapon")
  • all of the characters that composed the crew of the rogue Serenity transport spacecraft that took on the Tams as passengers - including Captain Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds (Nathan Fillion)
  • the scene in a way-station bar when River saw a subliminal secret message in an anime advertisement ("Miranda") - that triggered an aggressive attack
  • the scene on the Outer Rim habitable planet of Miranda where the crew encountered only corpses and watched a terrifying hologram from scientist Dr. Caron (Sarah Paulson) who explained how the Alliance caused death on the planet by using a Pax drug released through the air processors - and thereby also contributed to the development of hyper-aggressive, menacing, flesh-eating Reavers
  • the final standoff scene of the Serenity crew against the ferocious Reavers as Mal broadcast the truth of the hologram message ("I'm gonna show you a world without sin") after fighting the Operative and defeating him as River simultaneously battled the Reavers single-handedly and left a pile of their corpses at her feet to save the crew
  • the concluding scene with River serving as Mal's co-pilot in a repaired ship (and Mal's final line: "We'll pass through it [storm] soon enough...What was that?")

Sergeant York (1941)

In director Howard Hawks' inspirational war biopic:

  • the opening boom shot down a Tennessee river behind the credits
  • the scenes depicting Alvin York's (Oscar-winning Gary Cooper) Tennessee backwoods existence before the war
  • the fast-paced action scenes of World War I including the tracking shots of York's scramble through no-man's land and his single-handed killing of over two-dozen German soldiers and the capture of dozens more

A Serious Man (2009, US/UK/Fr.)

In this Best Picture-nominated dark comedy from the Coen Brothers:

  • the series of unexpected batterings, trials and tormenting tribulations experienced by a perplexed, middle-class Jew in suburban Minnesota in 1967 -- a beleaguered, mild-mannered, Job-like university physics professor named Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg):
    -- a letter containing money given to him as a bribe by disgruntled South Korean student Clive Park (David Chang) to change his mid-term grade from an F to passing (and with additional threats of a lawsuit by the student's father)
    -- imminent tenure consideration with unofficial warnings from the chairman of the committee Arlen Finkle (Ari Hoptman) that anonymous letters had been received referring to his "moral turpitude"
    -- an expensive bar-mitzvah for his marijuana-smoking son Danny (Aaron Wolff) who loved listening to the rock group the Jefferson Airplane and complained repeatedly about poor TV reception from the rooftop TV antenna making it impossible for him to watch F-Troop
    -- a rebellious, self-centered eldest daughter Sarah (Jessica McManus) who was stealing money from her dad's wallet for a desired nose-job
    -- his matronly, discontented and adulterous wife Judith (Sari Lennick) seeking a divorce because she was seeing overbearing, erudite, and unctuous widower Sy Ableman (Fred Melamed)
    -- Larry's displacement from the house to the local Jolly Roger Motel along with his ailing, depressed, loser/odd-ball brother Arthur (Richard Kind) who had a sebaceous draining cyst on his neck and was suspected of both illegal gambling and sodomy
    -- a property line dispute with his redneck, anti-semitic neighbor Mr. Brandt (Peter Breitmayer)
    -- his disorientation after spying on his nude-sunbathing, semi-abandoned, blase, promiscuous next-door neighbor Mrs. Samsky (Amy Landecker) from his rooftop while adjusting the antenna - who later offered to smoke a joint with him in her home (she asked provocatively: "Do you take advantage of the new freedoms?")
    -- a triple fender-bender on the same day that Sy was killed in another automobile accident
    -- repeated annoying phone calls from Dick Dutton at the Columbia Record Club for four-months non-payment of fees for receipt of the selection of the month
    -- high-priced consultation with pessimistic divorce lawyer (Adam Arkin)
    -- and his unsuccessful encounters with three rabbis regarding his treatment by Hashem (aka God)
  • in his last meeting, he pleaded: "I've tried to be a serious man, you know? Tried to do right, be a member of the community, raise Danny, Sarah, they both go to school, Hebrew school....Please, I need help"
  • his life succinctly illustrated by a blackboard completely filled with physics formulas demonstrating "The Uncertainty Principle" -- as he told the exiting class when the bell rang: "It proves we can't ever really know what's going on. But even though you can't figure anything out, you will be responsible for it on the mid-term"
  • the clincher - a film-closing call from his doctor to ominously discuss recent X-rays (taken at the start of the film) amidst a threatening tornado
  • at the end of the credits, it was noted: "No Jews Were Harmed in the Making of This Motion Picture."

The Set-Up (1949)

In director Robert Wise's excellent, noirish realistic sports film drama, about corruption in the sport of boxing:

  • Robert Ryan as almost washed-up 35 year-old pugilist Bill "Stoker" Thompson and his concerned wife Julie (Audrey Totter) - the scene of their argument about an uncoming fight - she claimed that he was too old to fight; Bill was confident: "Look, Julie, I can take this kid like I told you! I can feel it! If I can belt him solid just once!"; she disagreed: "I understand that he's 23, and you're 35, Bill! Thirty-five in this business, you're an old man!..."; when he said he felt close to making a "top spot" in the sport, she discouraged him: "I remember the first time you told me that! You were just one punch away from the title shot then! Don't you see, Bill? You'll always be just one punch away! Oh, Bill, it ain't I wanna hurt you! But what kind of a life is this? Springfield, Middletown, Unionville, Paradise City! How many more beatings do you have to take?"
  • the set-up: Stoker's corrupt manager Tiny (George Tobias) neglected to tell his fighter that he should take a pre-arranged 'dive' in a fight and deliberately lose, presuming that he would lose on his own; he accepted bribe money from gangland members; the match was at the (fictional) Paradise City Arena, for $500 prize money, between "Stoker" and a younger 23 year-old opponent - the heavily-favored Tiger Nelson (heavyweight champion boxer Hal "Baylor" Fieberling)
  • the celebrated and extended 18 minute four-round boxing match, filmed in real time; it was a brutally-painful, bloody, sweaty and exhausting slugfest, with a few cutaways to views of crowd members in the audience
  • in the post-fight alleyway scene, the battered and bruised "Stoker" was confronted and surrounded by mobster thugs, and beaten for disobeying the set-up; they threatened to crush his hand with a brick to prevent him from ever fighting again ("You'll never hit anybody with that hand again!")
  • the concluding scene of a "Stoker" in the arms of a comforting Julie - he told her what had happened: ("They busted it! They busted it for good! With a brick! I wouldn't do it! I wouldn't do it!...They wanted me to lay down! I was takin' that kid!"); he then admitted: "I can't fight no more!"; she replied: "You won't have to fight no more, Bill. I'll make it up to ya, darling! We'll get that cigar stand you talked to me about or maybe even a piece of that fighter! It's gonna be alright Bill, you wait and see"; Bill still felt that he had been victorious: "Julie! I won tonight! - I won!"; she responded with the film's final line: "Yes, you won tonight, Bill! We both won tonight! We both won tonight!" -- with a last view of a neon 'Dreamland' sign, and the sound of sirens from an approaching ambulance

Se7en (1995)

In David Fincher's crime thriller:

  • the ingenuity of the clues at the various murder scenes (none of which were seen committed)
  • the unforgettable, nail-biting, concluding climax in which maniacal serial killer John Doe (Kevin Spacey) led arrogant, hotshot replacement Detective David Mills (Brad Pitt) and retiring veteran Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) to another sick and gruesome crime and souvenir - "her pretty head" (a severed head, never shown) delivered in a bloody cardboard box; Doe confessed to the sin of Envy before killing Mills' pregnant wife Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow) and having her head delivered to their location in the middle of the desert: ("Because I envy your normal life, it seems that Envy is my sin - she begged for her life, Detective. She begged for her life, and for the life of the baby inside of her. (To Somerset) Oh, he didn't know")
  • the lurid demonstration of the last of the Seven Deadly Sins (gluttony, greed, sloth, lust, pride, envy and wrath) - to demonstrate Wrath, anguished and angered Lt. Mills vengefully shot Doe in the head, and then emptied his gun of bullets into Doe's body, in exchange for his pregnant wife's beheading
  • Det. Somerset's final words (in voice-over): "Ernest Hemingway once wrote, 'The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.' I agree with the second part"

Seven Beauties (1975, It.) (aka Pasqualino Settebellezze)

In director Lina Wertmuller's tragi-comic war film (she became the first Oscar-nominated female director for this film):

  • the dream-like opening credits sequence with a jazzy tune (repeating the refrain: "Oh yeah"), about man's inhumanity to man throughout history (with stock WWII documentary photos of Mussolini and Hitler, bombs, and trench warfare)
  • the character of small-time Naples crook Pasqualino Frafuso (Oscar-nominated Giancarlo Giannini) who had to support his many ugly sisters and mother
  • his time in an insane asylum (where he raped a bound madwoman) after murdering and dismembering the pimp who coerced his sister into a life of prostitution
  • the scenes in a WWII Nazi concentration camp when a desperate, debased and unscrupulous Pasqualino traded sexual favors with the grotesquely-obese, whip-wielding commandant (Shirley Stoler) for survival (she told him: 'You have found the strength for an erection, that's why you'll survive") - but he also chose those to be executed (and also killed his best friend)
  • the film's final shot - in closeup - of Pasqualino returning home and his sadly-spoken words to his mother: "Yes, I'm alive"

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)

In one of the greatest and most exuberant dance musicals from MGM, from director Stanley Donen, with many dynamic dancing scenes (choreographed by Michael Kidd), and an Oscar-winning Musical Score (by Saul Chaplin and Adolph Deutsch) - a tale about six unmarried brothers would eventually be married to six women in the town:

  • the barn-raising balletic scene with sensational gymnastic acrobatics (each of the brothers showed off on a single or double narrow plank), followed by their choreographed fistfight-brawl against local males in town

7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964)

In director George Pal's fantasy:

  • Dr. Lao's (Tony Randall) arrival in a western Arizona town with a traveling circus
  • the scene of the snake-headed fabled monster, the Medusa (also Randall) turning the disbelieving and shrewish housewife Kate Lindquist (Minerva Urecal) into stone
  • the fantastic sequence in which Dr. Lao's pet fish became a large sea serpent (the legendary Loch Ness monster) after a drunken cowboy shot at Lao's fish bowl, until it again became wet and shrunk back to its normal size

Seven Men From Now (1956)

In director Budd Boetticher's traditional vendetta-revenge western - the first of seven excellent westerns (between 1956 and 1960) known as the "Ranown cycle" bringing together Randolph Scott and Boetticher (most of them were released through Columbia Pictures):

  • the character of vengeful, guilt-ridden former Silver Springs Sheriff Ben Stride (Randolph Scott) on a vigilante hunt - obsessively tracking and searching for seven men who had committed a freight office robbery, led by Payte Bodeen (John Larch); in the film's opening set in Arizona in the 1800s, Stride killed two of the suspected miscreant outlaws during a heavy rainstorm [Note: Stride was once the sheriff of Silver Springs, who felt indirectly responsible for the killing of his wife during the robbery of the Wells Fargo freight office in Silver Springs, where she worked as a clerk]
  • afterwards, he befriended a married couple - two naive Eastern travelers on their way to California: salesman John Greer (Walter Reed) and his wife Annie (Gail Russell) - he accompanied them on their journey south to the border town of Flora Vista to help them (an 'avenging' angel who was also a 'guardian' angel); on the side, he began to take a growing romantic interest in Annie
  • the group's encounter with villainous, flamboyant, over-confident ex-con Bill Masters (Lee Marvin), an ex-nemesis of Stride's (he had been jailed twice by Stride in the past), known for his dark green scarf, whose opportunistic objective was to follow along and eventually get his hands on the $20,000 in gold that the seven men had robbed, once Stride had taken care of them
  • the brilliant sequence of Masters' impertinent story-telling inside the close-quarters of the wagon during a night of rain and ominous thunder, told to Stride and the Greers as they drank coffee together - he described how a wife was once lured away from her soft and gentle husband ("half a man") by a more rugged, tall and tougher stranger - alluding to the fact that Annie was drawn to Stride: "That's the trouble with the likes of you and me, Sheriff. We never take time out for the fancy things in life. We leave that to the fellas that run sort of gentle, soft...Been that way ever since ever, l guess. Of course, that ain't sayin' that women don't warm up to the likes of us....Why, l knew me a little old gal one time, looked a whole lot like you, Mrs. Greer. She'd been married maybe five, six years. Husband, he kind of short on spine. And one day, along come this big, good-looking gent started warmin' up to her. First thing you know, why, this little old gal, she just up and (Stride interrupted: "Drink your coffee, Masters!") Ain't you interested in what she up and did, Sheriff?...Yeah, she looked a lot like you, ma'am. But not near as pretty....Well, don't you want to hear the rest of the story, Mr. Greer? You might could learn somethin' from it...You know what, Sheriff? l just happened to think of somethin'. Danged if you don't remind me of that big, good-looking gent l was talkin' about. You know, the one that run off with the other fella's woman?...Sure you don't wanna hear the rest of the story? Suit yourself"
  • the later revelation that gullible John Greer had been promised to be paid $500 to deliver the stolen Wells Fargo gold in his wagon to men awaiting him in Flora Vista (he didn't know they were murderous bandits); during a confrontation with two more of the robbers, Stride killed them, but was wounded in the leg (and needed to use a cane); when Greer reached Flora Vista (without the gold), he was gunned down when he told Bodeen that Stride had persuaded him to leave the strong-box of gold behind
  • after a pair of eventual showdowns and shootouts, Bodeen was killed by Masters, and in a classic confrontation between the two main leads over the strong-box of gold lying on the ground between them - Masters was shot and killed by Stride, and fell onto the Wells Fargo strong-box
  • in the finale, Stride returned the box of gold to Wells Fargo, and expressed his intentions to return to his job as deputy lawman in Silver Springs - with Annie tailing along with him

The Seven Samurai (1954, Jp.) (aka Shichinin no samurai)

In Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece - later used as a template for The Magnificent Seven:

  • the 16th century epic plot of a town's protection from ferocious bandits by wise veteran leader ronin (samurai) Kambei Shimada (Takashi Shimura) and six other warriors, including a burly, wild and arrogant Kikuchiyo (Toshiro Mifune), the black sheep of the group
  • the powerful sequence in which warrior Kambei disguised himself as a monk (with head shaved and dressed in priest's robe) to rescue a 7 year-old child hostage held in a village hut by a kidnapper-thief; he calmed the kidnapper: ("I'm just a monk, I mean you no harm") and offered food (rice-balls), but then killed the man with a bloodied sword, who ran out of the hut and fell face-forward dead (in slow-motion) - in an intercut edited sequence with various crowd reaction shots
  • Kikuchiyo's discovery of traditional Samurai armor from dead warriors that was secretly hidden by the villagers - most likely when the villagers killed injured, fleeing or dying samurai from other nearby battles - and the surprising revelation that he wasn't a samurai at all, but the son of a village peasant ("You were born a farmer, weren't you?"); while wearing some of the armor, Kikuchiyo ranted at the other samurai, calling them, in general, rapists, thieves, and overall mean, stupid murderers - clearly identifying with the plight of the villagers and revealing his own upbringing: ("What did you think these farmers were anyway? Buddhas or something? Don't make me laugh! There's no creature on earth as wily as a farmer! Ask 'em for rice, barley, anything, and all they ever say is, 'We're all out.' But they've got it. They've got everything. Dig under the floorboards. If it's not there, try the barn. You'll find plenty. Jars of rice, salt, beans, sake! Go up in the mountains. They have hidden fields. They kowtow and lie, playing innocent the whole time. You name it, they'll cheat you on it! After a battle, they hunt down the losers with their spears. Listen to me! Farmers are misers, weasels, and cry-babies! They're mean, stupid murderers! Damn! I could laugh till I cry! But tell me this: Who turned them into such monsters? You did! You samurai did! Damn you to hell! In war, you burn their villages, trample their fields, steal their food, work them like slaves, rape their women, and kill 'em if they resist. What do you expect 'em to do? What the hell are farmers supposed to do?)
  • the final rain-soaked battle (the third day of fighting) in the mud during a torrential downpour
  • the ending shot - Kambei's view of the graves or funeral mounds of four dead comrades (each with a samurai sword sticking out), with his words: "We've lost yet again. With their land, the farmers are the victors, not us"; and beneath the samurai mounds, the graves of the fallen villagers

7 Women (1966) (aka Seven Women)

In director John Ford's female-centric MGM drama - his last feature film (obscure and mis-appreciated) and a box-office failure, with the taglines: "Love-Lust Courage and Cowardice Faith-Fury and Sacrifice!", and "Seven Who Defied What No Man Dared, Each for a Reason that Was Hers - Alone!":

  • the setting: rural northern China in 1935, at a remote Christian missionary outpost and clinic staffed almost entirely by women (four at first):
    - Miss Agatha Andrews (Margaret Leighton), the strict, rigidly-pious, repressed, self-righteous, close-minded, and puritanical head principal of the mission; also lesbian-leaning
    - Miss Jane Argent (Mildred Dunnock), Miss Andrews' obedient, spinsterish assistant
    - Emma Clark (Sue Lyon), a young, blonde, demure, pretty, and impressionable mission worker, inexperienced about life
    - Florrie Pether (Betty Field), the middle-aged, nervous, pregnant wife of mousy mission teacher husband Charles Pether (Eddie Albert), a momma's boy
  • the entrance scene of Dr. D.R. Cartwright (Anne Bancroft) through the mission's gates - the newly-arrived American doctor from NY, on horseback, who turned to reveal that she was an emancipated, secular female - short-haired and slightly manly (and androgynous), wearing pants and brown leather jacket and hat; also she was a chain-smoker, drinker, profanity-spewer, possibly atheist (definitely anti-religious), independent minded, and not used to saying grace at meals
  • the scene of Dr. Cartwright's free-thinking dining room lecture, when she entered late carrying a bottle of alcohol, and pounded it onto the table: "What you all need is a good - stiff - drink!...Oh, come on, Agatha. It's good Scotch whiskey. It would do us all a world of good"; furthermore, she described her poor career and heartbreaking personal choices (in a world of injustice) to everyone seated at the table: "Normal? What the hell is so normal about my life? It took me eight years to become a doctor; I gave everything up to study. And for what? Anything I could get. There are no tough jobs for women doctors. I couldn't even open a decent office; I had to sweat it out in the worst hospitals. And when I finally gave myself a little time, for a little love, I wound up pickin' the wrong guy. What do ya think of that, Binnsy? Oh well. It was nice while it lasted. But for keeps, he preferred his wife. So what's normal about that? As a matter of fact, what the hell is so normal about any one of us nuts sittin' at this table?"; she also offered advice to young Emma: "You know, Emma, you're the only one that still has a chance. There's a real world outside. Get out of this rat-race; go and find it"
  • the build-up of conflict between the very unwelcomed Dr. Cartwright and the authoritarian and unyielding Andrews, and their competition to influence Emma and gain her support; Agatha cautioned Emma about Cartwright's different, spiritually-dead and 'evil' nature: "Smoking? Sitting before grace? Using profane words? You call that interesting? I can see you're a young, inexperienced girl. There's something exciting about her. But morally, spiritually, she's dead....The difference is the evil in her"
  • the emergency arrival of three additional women: British survivors of a Mongolian warlord attack: Miss Binns (Flora Robson), Mrs. Russell (Anna Lee), and Chinese-born Miss Ling (Jane Chang), a mission teacher and translator
  • the difficult conditions surrounding Cartwright's supervision of a cholera epidemic, necessitating a quarantine, burning infected clothing, long hours of treating the afflicted, and burying the dead
  • the ominous approach of lawless, warlord chieftain Tunga Khan (Mike Mazurki) and his gun-wielding militia of marauding barbaric bandits, who symbolically announced their imminent arrival by the glow on the horizon of a burned-down town
  • the deadly entry of Khan's group, signaled by a honking car horn, through the mission gates, to take over the mission, and the dramatic lethal shooting of Kim (Hans William Lee), the head of the mission's male labor force, in front of everyone; Kim had just described the murder of heroic-acting and tragically brave Charles who had tried to prevent a rape; the outlaws then executed all of the Chinese in the mission (including women and children)
  • the self-sacrificial choice of the stoic and fearless Dr. Cartwright (called "the whore of Babylon" by Andrews during a temper tantrum) to offer herself up as sexual "ransom", in order to negotiate for and receive better treatment and provisions for all, including Florrie's newly-arriving baby
  • the internal power struggle over Dr. Cartwright between Khan and his "lean" lieutenant Warrior (Woody Strode), culminating in a wrestling duel-match between the two bare-chested fighters - and the brutal breaking of the Warrior's neck by Khan during the hand-to-hand combat as the nighttime's entertainment
  • the final grim sequence of Dr. Cartwright agreeing to sell herself permanently to Khan as his subservient concubine, in order to free the other 'seven women' - she dressed in the exotic costume of a Chinese geisha/courtesan, and then glided through the mission's central dark corridor into the presence of her captive master Khan's bedroom, with a bottle of powdered poison tucked in her waist sash; she secretly poisoned two water cups, then bowed in mock submission and defiant subservience as she presented him with one of the tainted cups - she toasted him as they clinked cups: "So long, ya bastard!"; he soon fell forward, dead, next to her; then, she also drank from her cup, angrily threw it to the ground where it smashed into pieces, and leaned back to approach death herself - as the film slowly faded to black and ended

The Seven Year Itch (1955)

In director Billy Wilder's romantic sex comedy:

  • about the dilemma of a married Manhattanite Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) after seven years of marriage to Helen (Evelyn Keyes) - in a fantasy scene with his wife, he bragged: "Seven years we've been married and not once have I done anything like that. Not once. Don't think l couldn't have either. Because l could have, plenty. Plenty. Don't laugh, Helen. l happen to be very attractive to women. This isn't a thing one likes to tell his wife but women have been throwing themselves at me for years. That's right, Helen. Beautiful ones, plenty of them. Acres and acres of them" - and then fantasized in three scenarios about attempted seductions that he had refused, including a spoof of the From Here to Eternity beach kissing scene
  • the scene of plain, nudism-loving and middle-aged health-food waitress (Doro Merande) in a vegetarian restaurant on 3rd Avenue who espoused the virtues of nudity and naturism to customer Richard - she explained that although she didn't accept tips, she did solicit contributions for a fund established for a nudist camp: "Nudism is such a worthy cause. We must bring the message to the people. We must teach them to unmask their poor suffocating bodies and let them breathe again. Clothes are the enemy. Without clothes, there'd be no sickness, there'd be no war. I ask you, sir, can you imagine two great armies on the battlefield, no uniforms, completely nude? No way of telling friend from foe. All brothers, together"
  • the introduction of light-headed, gorgeous and voluptuous upstairs neighbor - The Girl (Marilyn Monroe as a quintessential blonde) to her married New Yorker neighbor Richard Sherman, a paper-back publisher; she had . forgotten her outer building key so she hit his buzzer to get in, allowing her entrance to the upstairs apartment that she had rented for the summer
  • the "balcony scene" when the Girl told Richard: Let me just go put something on. I'll go into the kitchen and get dressed...Yes, when it's hot like this - you know what I do? I keep my undies in the icebox."
  • Richard's fantasy of seducing the Girl by playing Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano Concerto, while wearing an elegant red dressing gown, as she begged him: "Rachmaninoff...It isn't fair...Every time I hear it, I go to pieces...It shakes me, it quakes me. It makes me feel goose-pimply all over. I don't know where I am or who I am or what I'm doing. Don't stop. Don't stop. Don't ever stop!"
  • the 'party' scene of him helping to fasten the straps of her seductive white dress, while she was holding a bottle of champagne and a bag of potato chips: "I figured it just isn't right to drink champagne in matador pants. Would you mind fastening my straps in the back?...Potato chips, champagne, do you really think you can get it open?" - there was a long struggle to open the bottle, then the Girl's reassurances: "Hey, did you ever try dunking a potato chip in champagne? It's real crazy. Here...Isn't that crazy?...Everything's fine. A married man, air-conditioning, champagne and potato chips. This is a wonderful party"
  • the memorable sequence of the two playing Chopsticks on the piano - she joined him on the piano bench, banging and singing out the tune with him in a child-like manner; after she told him: "I don't know about Rachmaninoff and this shakes you and quakes you stuff, but this really gets me...and how...I can feel the goose pimples...Don't stop. Don't stop," he attempted to kiss her, they fell backwards off the piano bench
The Famous Subway Scene
  • the Girl's famous pose in a white dress flying and billowing up around her knees when a train whooshed by as she stood spread-legged astride a New York subway grating to cool herself during a hot summer: ("Isn't it delicious?"); Richard standing nearby observed: "Sort of cools the ankles, doesn't it?"

(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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