Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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

7th Heaven (1927) (aka Seventh Heaven)

In Frank Borzage's pure and sentimental melodrama:

  • the love scenes in the 7th floor bohemian loft ("Seventh Heaven") between street angel-waif Diane (Best Actress winning Janet Gaynor) and Parisian sewer worker Chico (Charles Farrell) after her attempted suicide by stabbing
  • the spiritual nature of their relationship while he was called to fight in the war (and was blinded) and she was a munitions worker - when they telepathically communicated with each other through their hearts and minds at 11
  • their jubilant reconciliation in an ethereal shaft of light

The Seventh Seal (1957, Swe.) (aka Det Sjunde Inseglet)

In director Ingmar Bergman's visually-imaginative fantasy drama (considered a masterpiece) set in medieval times during the time of the Black Plague and the Crusades:

  • the two main characters who were returning from the Crusades to their native land besieged by the black plague: a disillusioned Medieval Swedish Knight named Antonius Block (Max von Sydow), and his Squire Jöns (Gunnar Björnstrand)
  • the stark scene on a desolate beach of the chess game between the Medieval Knight and black-hooded, white-faced Death (Bengt Ekerot) - or the Grim Reaper
  • the side visit of the Knight and Squire to a rural church, where painter Albertus Pictor (Gunnar Olsson) was drawing a series of frescos
  • the sequence of the Knight's lengthy confessional in the church's chapel to a shrouded monk - when he delivered his deepest thoughts about wanting a sign from God of his presence, in order to help his belief: "I want to confess as best I can, but my heart is void. The void is a mirror turned towards my own face. I see myself in it and I am filled with fear and disgust. Through my indifference to my fellow men, I have isolated myself from their company. Now I live in a world of phantoms. I am imprisoned in my dreams and fantasies....(before dying) I want knowledge... Call it whatever you like. Is it so cruelly inconceivable to grasp God with the senses? Why should He hide Himself in a mist of half-spoken promises and unseen miracles? How can we have faith in those who believe when we can't have faith in ourselves? What is going to happen to those of us who want to believe, but aren't able to? And what is to become of those who neither want to nor are capable of believing? Why can't I kill God within me? Why does He live on in this painful and humiliating way even though I curse Him and want to tear Him out of my heart? Why, in spite of everything, is He a baffling reality that I can't shake off? Do you hear me?...I want knowledge, not faith, not surmises, but knowledge. I want God to stretch out His hand towards me, reveal Himself and speak to me....I call out to Him in the dark, but it's as if no one was there....time on Earth is a preposterous horror. No one can live in the face of Death, knowing that all is nothingness...But one day, they will have to stand at that last moment of life and look towards the darkness...We must make an idol of our fear, and that idol we shall call God"
  • during the confessional, the Knight divulged his chess strategy to outwit Death during the game: "Death visited me this morning. We are playing chess together....My life has been a futile pursuit, a wandering, a great deal of talk. All this was meaningless, indeed. I say it without bitterness or self-reproach, because the lives of most people are very much like this. But I will use my reprieve for one meaningful deed....(Death) is a skillful tactician, but I yet haven't lost one piece. I am playing a combination of the bishop and the knight which he hasn't yet discovered. In the next move, I'll shatter one of his flanks" - and then in a startling revelation, it was shown that the monk was Death himself - who responded: "I'll remember that!"; the Knight replied: "You are a snake in the grass!"
    [Note: the scene was the subject of parody in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991), when Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) challenged the Grim Reaper (William Sadler) in a series of board and party games, including Battleship, Clue, electric football and Twister.]
  • the final sequence of Juggler Jof's (Nils Poppe) vision of the Knight and his followers being led away over the hills in a solemn and macabre "Danse of Death"

The Seventh Veil (1945, UK)

In Compton Bennett's compelling musical melodrama about uncovering the 'seven veils' of the human mind of a romantically-thwarted concert pianist:

  • the opening sequence set in a mental hospital - and the attempted suicide of hospitalized concert pianist Francesca Cunningham (Ann Todd), who jumped from a bridge to try and kill herself
  • the description of the psychological treatment of hypnosis to find the underlying reason for Francesca's suicidal tendencies and blocked psyche (regarding an obsession about her hands); her doctor, Dr. Larsen (Herbert Lom) explained the film's title: "At least it'll tell us the nature of the injury to her mind.... The surgeon doesn't operate without first taking off the patient's clothes. Nor do we with the mind. You know what, uh, Staple says: the human mind is like Salome at the beginning of her dance, hidden from the outside world by seven veils, veils of reserve, shyness, fear. Now with friends, the average person will drop first one veil, then another, maybe three or four altogether. With a lover, she will make it five, or even six, but never the seventh. Never, you see. The human mind likes to cover its nakedness too and keep its privacy itself. Salome drops her seventh veil of her own free will, but you will never get the human mind to do that, and that is why I use narcosis. Five minutes under narcosis and down comes the seventh veil. Then we can see what is actually going on behind. Then we can really help"
  • the many flashbacks, under hypnosis, when Francesca recalled her life - her tutelage when she was a minor by her second cousin - a controlling, Svengali-like, imperious musical teacher and guardian, an "Uncle" Nicholas (James Mason), who was crippled and walked with a cane; his jealousy and obsession with bolstering her musical career completely stifled her efforts to find romance with two other men: band musician-leader Peter Gay (Hugh McDermott) (who eventually married and was divorced), and painter-artist Maxwell Leyden (Albert Lieven)
  • the scene of Nicholas, who was angry at Francesca for announcing her intention to leave him and live with Maxwell; Nicholas lectured her as she played the second movement of Beethoven’s Pathetique (Sonata No. 8 for piano, Op 13 in C minor): "You are the one beautiful thing that's been in my life. I can't live without you. You must know that. I can't give you up. I won't give you up. You're a great artist! Great artists don't just happen. They have to be made, and I have made you. I spent ten years training you, mold you. You'll be my life's work. And now you want to throw it all away with a man who doesn't even want to marry you. Franchesca, listen to me! You can't stand up against me. You don't have the strength. You'll do as I say. I demand that you give up this man. I demand that you send him away...You belong to me. We must always be together. You know that, don't you? Promise you'll stay with me always! Promise! Very well, if that's the way you want it. Very well, if you won't play for me, you shan't play for anyone else ever again" - to spite her, he struck Francesca's hands with his cane as she played
  • the terrible fiery car crash after she fled with Max - Francesca's hands were horribly burned and bandaged, and she feared that she could never play again (the reason for her suicide attempt)
  • Dr. Larsen's discovery that a key piece of music in Francesca's life might conquer her fixation regarding her hands - Beethoven's Pathetique (recorded on a 78 rpm phonograph record) - it might unlock Francesca's problems and stimulate her to play and live again; under hypnosis, when she heard the recording and Dr. Larsen placed her hands on the piano keyboard, she began to play, but then was reminded of Nicholas' stern cruelty and stopped believing that she could play
  • the concluding scene of her cure (she was again heard playing the Beethoven piece in the upstairs) and Dr. Larsen's announcement to the three suitors in her life - assembled in the downstairs parlor: "Yes, I think I can promise you a complete cure. But, uh, you have to prepare yourself for a new Francesca. A new and a very different person....You see the past is over for her now, quite over. Her mind is clear and the clouds have been swept away. She's no longer afraid. Whether you will be entirely satisfied with the change in her, I don't know, but it might be wise not to expect too much...I'm trying to tell you she will want to be with the one she loves, or the one she's been happiest with, or the one she cannot do without, or the one she trusts"; Dr. Larsen said it would "hardly be fair" of him to tell them who she would choose
  • Francesca descended the stairs, and chose between the three men - she rushed through a double set of doors that opened into Nicholas' study and embraced him, as the film ended with a musical crescendo

The Seventh Victim (1943) (aka The 7th Victim)

In director Mark Robson's (his directorial debut film) low-budget, noirish, creepy, doom-laden, psychological horror film and Gothic thriller (with the tagline: "SLAVE to SATAN") - also produced by RKO's Val Lewton, known for atmospheric suspense; the enigmatic Satanic-tinged story was a precursor to Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby (1968), and even had a Psycho-like shower sequence:

  • the character of naive, innocent, orphaned young private school student Mary Gibson (Kim Hunter in her film debut), who learned from convent nuns in her upstate NY Catholic school, Miss Highcliff's, that her older sister Jacqueline Gibson (Jean Brooks), the owner of La Sagesse - a successful cosmetics factory, had been missing for a number of months (and was not paying Mary's tuition)
  • the continual search for the missing Jacqueline in New York's Greenwich Village, where Mary located errant Jacqueline's NYC apartment (a bare room with a chair and hangman's noose) above Dante's, an Italian restaurant, and learned that wealthy NYC lawyer Gregory Ward (Hugh Beaumont) who was paying the rent - was her brother-in-law after a secret marriage to Jacqueline (although it had failed) [The film took a strange turn when Mary and Gregory also fell in love with each other.]
  • Gregory's explanation to Mary of Jacqueline's suicidal tendencies, with a hangman's noose waiting for her in her room: "Your sister had a feeling about life, that it wasn't worth living unless one could end it. I helped her get that room....that room made her happy in some strange way I couldn't understand. She lived in a world of her own fancy. She didn't always tell the truth. In fact, I'm afraid she didn't know what the truth was"
  • the discovery that mysterious NY physician and psychiatrist, Dr. Louis Judd (Tom Conway), had treated Jacqueline for depression; according to him, his pale and fragile patient had become obsessed with death and despair (in truth, Dr. Judd knew her location and was romancing Jacqueline on the side)
  • the film's sub-plot: a conspiratorial, underground coven of witches - a deadly cult of diabolic Satanic worshippers called The Palladists; shockingly, Jackie had given up her business and her soul to the possessed devil cultists; she found herself kidnapped and in their imprisoning grip, and condemned to die if she left the group; they wished to keep her from revealing her association with them by encouraging her to commit suicide (as the 7th departing victim!) by drinking poison, or by assassinating her; fearing for her life, Jacqueline went into hiding
  • about a half-hour into the film - the startling first appearance of the missing Jacqueline (with distinctive black bangs); she knocked on a door, and when opened stood quietly, and looked straight at her astonished sister Mary; she placed a shussing finger to her lips, but then after becoming fearful about something off-screen, she shut the door and seemingly evaporated
  • the Psycho-like shower scene, when Mary was confronted by Jacqueline's partner Mrs. Esther Redi (Mary Newton), seen only as a shadow through the shower curtain (the shadow hinted she was wearing a hat, looking like devil horns); she warned Mary to leave town and accused Jacqueline of being a murderess: ("If I were you, Mary, I'd go back to school. I'd make no further attempt to find Jacqueline....Your sister, Mary, is a murderess. She killed Irving August, stabbed him out of fright when he discovered where she was hiding...I had to help get rid of the body...And I warn you Mary, go back. You don't know what you're doing, or what dreadful things you might bring about by looking for your sister. You go back to school")
  • poet Jason Hoag (Orford Gage) who was helping Mary find her sister, confronted the group of Satanists, with his own view of their evil convictions: "The devil worshippers. The lovers of evil. It's a joke. Pathetic little joke....You're a poor, wretched group of people who have taken the wrong turning"; Mr. Brun (Ben Bard), the leader of the Palladists, defended his Satanist beliefs: "Wrong? Who knows what is wrong or right? If I prefer to believe in satanic majesty and power, who can deny me? What proof could you bring that good is superior to evil? It's hard to put into words, but you're wrong"; Dr. Judd reminded Brun of the words of the Lord's Prayer: "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil"
  • in the surprise ending-conclusion, Jacqueline (who escaped a suspenseful, lethal stalking by an assassin from the cult wielding a switchblade) briefly spoke to her neighbor after returning to her bleak rooming house - a consumptive and terminally-ill prostitute Mimi (Elizabeth Russell); Mimi told Jacqueline that she was tired of being afraid and waiting for death and proposed to have one last night of laughing and dancing ("I'm going out, and I'm going to laugh and dance, and do all the things I used to do; then, I don't know"); Jacqueline admitted that she would happily greet death: "I've always wanted to die, always" before entering her own empty apartment (# 7) where a noose was prominently hanging from the ceiling
  • as Mimi (in a glittering black dress) stepped out of her apartment for her final night, she heard a chair tip over as she passed by Jacqueline's closed apartment door (an indication of her off-screen death), but she reacted non-chalantly; while descending the stairs, a voice-over delivered a quote from a well-known sonnet written by 17th century English poet John Donne: "I run to death, and death meets me as fast. And all my pleasures are like yesterday" - the film's final line of dialogue

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)

In director Nathan Juran's classic fantasy:

  • the tremendous special effects and stop-motion animation of Ray Harryhausen (the first in color!)
  • a giant Cyclops, a fire-breathing dragon, a sorcerer-shrunken Princess Parisa and bride-to-be (Kathryn Grant)
  • the thrilling sword fight between Captain Sinbad (Kerwin Mathews) and a living skeleton

sex, lies, and videotape (1989)

In director Steven Soderbergh's low-budget independent film winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes - without nudity although with considerable discussion of sexual topics:

  • the many videotaped explicit discussions and revelatory intimate confessions filmed by Graham Dalton (James Spader) as a substitute for his own emotion-less, impotent and dispassionate life: ("I'm impotent...I can't get an erection in the presence of another person")
  • his visit to his college buddy-turned-lawyer John Mullany (Peter Gallagher) with a neglected, sexually-repressed and frustrated wife Ann (Andie MacDowell)
  • the revealed infidelity between the womanizing and philandering John and Ann's sexually-adventurous bartender sister Cynthia (Laura San Giacomo)
  • also typical of the film -- the candid reflections of Ann, including her admission: "Anyway, being happy isn't all that great. I mean, the last time I was really happy... I got so fat. I must have put on 25 pounds"

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

In Alfred Hitchcock's suspense thriller:

  • the opening sequence that identified the chilling, homicidal character of Uncle Charlie Oakley (Joseph Cotten) - the "Merry Widow Murderer" - evil personified from the very first scenes, as he fled from Philadelphia
  • the scene of Charles' train arrival in the clean and bright city of Santa Rosa, California, to visit his unsuspecting, spinsterish older sister Mrs. Joseph (Emma) Newton (Patricia Collinge), when black funereal smoke belched into the sky and a dark, tarnishing shadow was cast over everything to symbolize the arrival of evil
  • the telepathic twin-ness similarities between Charlie and his namesake - his young favorite niece "Charlie" (Charlotte) Newton (Teresa Wright): ("I can't explain it but you came here and Mother's so happy and I'm glad that she named me after you and that she thinks we're both alike. I think we are too. I know it... we're sorta like twins, don't you see?"), and the developing cat-and-mouse game between the two
  • the sequence of Charlie rushing to the town's library just before it closed at nine pm, to see the contents of an article that Uncle Charlie had suspiciously cut out of her father's newspaper; and her reaction in the reading room -- her eyes widened as she found damning evidence that her Uncle was the "Merry Widow Murderer -- Strangler of Three Rich Women" - and that he was the object of a nationwide search; she also put two-and-two together - the initials engraved on the back of an emerald ring given as a gift to her by Uncle Charlie matched the initials of one of the murderer's victims - it was the film's major turning point - emphasized by the camera's overhead shot isolating her at a distance from behind - among the dark shadows
  • the key dinner table speech (staged as practice for a speech he was promised to give to the town's womens' club), a contemptuous, misogynistic monologue delivered by Uncle Charlie - about his hatred for rich, lazily fat, detestable, middle-aged widow; he was viewed in profile for most of the speech, as the camera moved even closer: "...Women keep busy in towns like this. In the cities it's different. The cities are full of women, middle-aged widows, husbands dead, husbands who've spent their lives making fortunes, working and working. Then they die and leave their money to their wives. Their silly wives. And what do the wives do, these useless women? You see them in the hotels, the best hotels, every day by the thousands, drinking the money, eating the money, losing the money at bridge, playing all day and all night, smelling of money. Proud of their jewelry but of nothing else. Horrible, faded, fat, greedy women"; young Charlie objected to the degrading characterization: "They're alive! They're human beings!"; Uncle Charlie turned toward the camera, in gigantic close-up and coldly asked: "Are they? Are they, Charlie? Are they human or are they fat wheezing animals, hmm? And what happens to animals when they get too fat and too old?"
  • the subsequent ominous discussion between the two Charlies in the nearby 'Til-Two cocktail lounge - a smoke-filled, noisy and dark bar populated by war-time sailors and less-than-respectable, downtrodden ladies both inside and out; at one of the booths, they faced each other as Uncle Charlie began to act aggressively toward his niece: "...Now look, Charlie, Something's come between us. I don't want that to happen. Why, we're old friends. More than that. We're like twins. You said so yourself...." - and then he began lecturing her, accused her of knowing nothing about the real world, and confronted her about what she knew about him: "You think you know something, don't you? You think you're the clever little girl that knows something. There's so much you don't know. So much. What do you know, really? You're just an ordinary little girl living in an ordinary little town. You wake up every morning of your life and you know perfectly well that there's nothing in the world to trouble you. You go through your ordinary little day and at night you sleep your untroubled, ordinary little sleep filled with peaceful, stupid dreams. And I brought you nightmares! Or did I, or was it a silly inexpert little lie? You live in a dream. You're a sleepwalker, blind. How do you know what the world is like? Do you know the world is a foul sty? Do you know if you rip the fronts off houses you'd find swine? The world's a hell. What does it matter what happens in it? Wake up, Charlie! Use your wits. Learn something"; she reluctantly agreed to not say anything if he promised to leave town soon
  • the two failed attempts to kill young Charlie - a tampered-with broken step on the back stairs, and a malfunctioning garage door paired with carbon monoxide poisoning
  • the intense tracking shot, from Uncle Charlie's POV, as young Charlie glided down the stair railing, with the incriminating, offensive, condemning object (the emerald ring) framed in a gigantic closeup on her right hand
  • in the exciting conclusion as Uncle Charlie was departing on the train for San Francisco (on the same train as widowed Mrs. Potter (Frances Carson), his next victim), he struggled between train-cars with young Charlie, restraining her and announcing his homicidal intentions: "I've got to do this, Charlie, so long as you know what you do about me"; when he tightly grabbed her and awaited the train to pick up speed: ("Not yet, Charlie, let it get a little faster! Just a little faster! Faster! Now!"), she reversed positions with him, upset his balance and pushed him away - he fell headlong into the path of an oncoming, speeding train on an adjacent track; the image dissolved to the recurrent one of dancing couples twirling to the Merry Widow Waltz
Murder Attempt on Train

Shadowlands (1993, UK)

In director Richard Attenborough's lavish romantic biopic and tearjerker:

  • the unlikely romance between C. S. "Jack" Lewis (Anthony Hopkins) and Jewish-American poet Joy Gresham (Debra Winger) - including Joy's gauche first appearance in a British tea room: ("Which one of you is Lewis?")
  • the scene of Jack realizing that he was truly in love with Joy during their first marriage of convenience after learning of her terminal bone cancer: ("It's impossible. It's unthinkable. How could Joy be my wife? I'd have to love her, wouldn't I? I'd have to care more for her...than anyone else in this world. I'd have to be suffering the torments of the damned. The prospect of losing her...")
  • the scene in which Jack remarried Joy, this time for love
  • Joy's instructing Lewis on preparations for sex
  • the scene of Lewis ordering room service
  • their "honeymoon" time together during her cancer's remission
  • the scene of Joy's quiet death in bed with Jack offering assurance: ("Don't talk, my love. Just rest...just rest" - and after a kiss just before she died: "I love you, Joy. I love you so much. You made me so happy. I didn't know I could be so happy. You're the truest person I have ever known...")
  • the scene of her young Narnia-loving son Douglas (Joseph Mazzello) suddenly waking up in bed, gasping with eyes wide as if knowing the very moment of her death
  • Jack's scene of sharing tortured grief and uncontrollable weeping with Douglas in an attic following her death: (Douglas: "I sure would like to see her again" Jack: "Me too")

Shaft (1971)

In Gordon Parks' definitive blaxploitation film:

  • the opening credits sequence beginning with an aerial shot of NYC skyscrapers, when the camera sharply dipped down into the metropolitan streets below, and in a tracking shot located four tawdry 42nd Street theatre marquees (displaying the double-billed features of The Scalphunters (1968) and Rough Night in Jericho (1967), Little Fauss and Big Halsy (1970) and Barbarella (1968, Fr./It.), the offbeat Italian film He and She (1969, It.) and the thriller The Animal (1968), and two sexploitation films: School for Sex (1969, UK) and the independent film The Wild Females (1968)); suddenly, the title "SHAFT" zoomed out from the center of the frame, the theme song began to pound, and the camera focused on the appearance of sexy and cool black private detective John Shaft (Richard Roundtree) in a dark brown midi-coat, who was emerging from an underground subway onto the street; he was first seen from an overhead view, then from an impressive lower angled close-up of his face, before he crossed the street and proceeded down a sidewalk
  • the stirring Isaac Hayes Oscar-winning introductory theme song, with provocative lyrics: "Who's the black private dick That's a sex machine with all the chicks? (Shaft) You're damn right Who is the man That would risk his neck for his brother man? (Shaft) Can you dig it? Who's the cat that won't cop out When there's danger all about? (Shaft) Right on..."
  • Shaft's "sex machine" womanizing one-night stand with Linda (Margaret Warncke), including a shared shower
  • the final daring rescue scene of Marcy Jonas (Sherri Brewer) in a hotel room where she was held captive

Shakespeare in Love (1998)

In John Madden's Best Picture-winning comedy-drama about the Bard while writing his future play Romeo & Juliet:

  • the scene of writing-cramped Will Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) unraveling the tight bound clothes of male-disguised Viola De Lesseps as Master Tom Kent (Gwyneth Paltrow)
  • the quip-spewing character of Queen Elizabeth (Oscar-winning Judi Dench)

Shampoo (1975)

In Hal Ashby's sex comedy farce set during a 24-hour time period on November 4th, 1968 when Richard Nixon won the presidency:

  • the numerous sex scenes between studly, liberated, seductive playboyish Beverly Hills hair-dresser George Roundy (Warren Beatty) and three women - all in one day, and his quintessential question: "Want me to do your hair?" - and George's inarticulate repeated expression: "You're great!" to all of his female conquests; and the sensual way that George 'did' his clients' hair in the salon
  • the love triangle between conservative, wealthy businessman Lester's (Jack Warden) mistress Jackie Shawn (Julie Christie) - George's old girlfriend, Lester's wife Felicia (Oscar-winning Lee Grant), and George's current pert girlfriend Jill (Goldie Hawn), an aspiring actress
  • Lester's seductive teenaged daughter Lorna (Carrie Fisher) - who wanted to avenge her cheating mother through sex with her hairdresser, with her forward request to George: "You're my mother's hairdresser...Do you wanna f--k?"
  • the scene of George having sex with Jackie in a steamy bathroom when interrupted by Lester (and they pretended to be doing her hair and telling him to close the door and not let the steam out)
  • the 1968 Nixon election-night victory dinner where Jackie groped between George's legs under the table - and her famous bold response to executive Sid Roth (William Castle): "Most of all, I'd like to suck his c--k!", causing George to do a spit-take and almost choke on a piece of chicken
  • the scene of Lester and Jill's stumbling upon George in a boathouse during a party - where he was having sex with Jackie, and Lester's amused first reaction (without knowing their identities) when a refrigerator door slowly opened, illuminated and caught Jackie and George in the act: "That's what I call f--king! Am I right, or am I right?" - then followed by George's innocent statement to an enraged Jill: "Honey, where have you been? We've been looking everywhere for you"
  • George's excuse told to Lester about his sexual proclivities with so many women: "How am I gonna tell you what they got against you. I mean, Christ, they're women aren't they? You ever listen to women talk, man? Do ya? 'Cause I do till it's runnin' outta my ears! I mean, I'm on my feet all day long listening to women talk, and they only talk about one thing: how some guy f--ked 'em over. That's all that's on their minds. That's all I ever hear about! Don't you know that?...We're always trying to nail 'em and they know it. They don't like it. They like it and they don't like it, it's got nothin' to do with you, Lester. It just happened"
  • the final long shot of morally-shallow, bleak miserable and hedonistic George looking down while atop a Hollywood/Beverly Hills bluff after losing Jackie to Lester

Shane (1953)

In George Stevens' mythic western:

  • the lavish background settings of Wyoming
  • the legendary buck-skinned gunfighter Shane (Alan Ladd)
  • the scene of Shane and Joe Starrett (Van Heflin) chopping up a huge tree stump
  • young Joey's (Brandon de Wilde) idolization of his hero
  • two large-scale fistfights
  • the saloon brawl
  • Wilson's (Jack Palance) entrance and role as a black-clothed evil gunman
  • Torrey's (Elisha Cook, Jr.) brutal death in a showdown as he was hurtled backwards onto a muddy street
  • Torrey's funeral scene in which his dog mourned at his master's coffin
  • Marion's (Jean Arthur) long farewell handshake
  • the final shootout between the evil and dark Wilson and Shane
  • Joey's poignant cry after his hero ("...Come back...") as Shane rode away toward the mountains

Shanghai Express (1932)

In director Josef von Sternberg's melodramatic romantic adventure film filmed with exquisite chiaroscuro cinematography - Marlene Dietrich's fourth of seven films with the director:

  • set in 1931 in China during an internal civil war, the entrance of the bewitching Shanghai Lily (Marlene Dietrich), a "notorious coaster...a woman who lives by her wits along the China coast" - at the Peking train station before boarding the Shanghai Express en route to Shanghai - dressed in black with a veil
  • further close-ups (with keylighting on her face or backlighting) showing her stunning persona and mystique, filmed with expressionistic shadows
  • on the train, the introduction of the ominous character of sadistic rebel commander Mr. Henry Chang (Warner Oland) and his early warning that anything could happen in war-torn China: "You are in China now, sir, where time and life have no value"
  • also in the film's opening, framed by two windows, and side-by-side on the train, the flirtatious and seemingly-dangerous 'Shanghai Lily' (aka Magdalen) was reunited with former lover and uniformed medical surgeon Captain Donald 'Doc' Harvey (Clive Brook) after five years and four weeks apart; he complimented her beauty: "You've changed a lot...You're more beautiful than ever"; she then went on to say that she had changed her name: "Well, Doc, I've changed my name" - when he asked if she was married, she continued with her most memorable line: "It took more than one man to change my name to Shanghai Lily"; he was astonished: "So you're Shanghai Lily!" - she added a sub-title: "the notorious white flower of China"; it was rumored that she had "wrecked a dozen men up and down the China coast"
  • during a rendezvous in a train compartment, 'Doc' and Lily talked about their past relationship when she had acted to make him jealous - and lost him: "You left me without a word purely because I indulged in a woman's trick to make you - jealous. I wanted to be certain that you loved me. Instead, I lost you. I suffered quite a bit and I probably deserved it."
  • during their conversation, he was concerned about her loose reputation since they had broken up years earlier: "I was a fool to let you go out of my life. (He kissed her) I wish you could tell me there'd been no other men" - she responded: "I wish I could 'Doc', but five years in China is a long time"; he wished they could have their five lost years back, and imagined what would have happened if they had not parted ways: "We'd have gone back to England, married and been very happy. There are a lot of things I wouldn't have done if I had those five years to live all over again"; he was still very distrusting and ambivalent towards her, however, and she was confused by his new-found attentiveness to her: "Will you never learn to believe without proof?...When I needed your faith, you withheld it. And now when I don't need it and don't deserve it, you give it to me"
  • in the conclusion after arriving in Shanghai, 'Doc' Harvey and Lily were reconciled to each other when he followed her and learned that she had bought him a replacement watch - and they decided to rekindle their relationship from the past when he re-affirmed his faith in her:

    'Doc': "What good is a watch without you?" (She attached the watch to his left wrist)
    Shanghai Lily: "I wish I could replace everything else, too. Goodbye, Donald."
    'Doc': "I'm not going to let you out of my life again, Magdalen, when everything else has become so unimportant. I don't care if you were going to leave with him or not. I don't care in the least. All I want is another chance for a new start. I'll be different. You'll never have any cause for regret. Please forgive me for my lack of faith. Please do. I know I've no right to ask you even to listen to me."
    Shanghai Lily: "It's very easy to listen to you, Donald. You know I love you. I always have and I always will."
    'Doc': "I don't deserve that. I know I behaved badly."
    Shanghai Lily: "Perhaps it was my fault. I should have told you everything."
    'Doc': "There's only one thing I want you to tell me, Magdalen."
    Shanghai Lily: "What's that?"
    'Doc': "How in the name of Confucius can I kiss you with all these people around?"
    Shanghai Lily: "But, Donald, there's no one here but you and I. Besides, many lovers come to railroad stations to kiss without attracting attention." (He looked around, then assisted her in putting her arms around him for a curtain-closing embrace and kiss)

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

In Frank Darabont's (his directorial debut film) popular melodramatic adaptation of a Stephen King novella:

  • the incredible Shawshank Prison arrival scene of wrongly-convicted, mild-mannered banker Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) - an overhead helicopter shot that left the arriving drab-gray prison bus, ascended the main tower of the prison, and peered down into the prison courtyard where ant-like prisoners scurried toward the fenced-in arrival area to gawk and jeer while the new arrivals disembarked
  • the religiously-fanatical Warden Norton's (Bob Gunton) speech to the inmates about what he believed in: Discipline and the Bible
  • Andy's first request of lifer friend Red (Morgan Freeman) - a rock hammer!
  • Red's narration about how sadistic cons cornered Andy: "I wish I could tell you Andy fought the good fight and the Sisters let him be...but prison is no fairytale world"
  • the liberating, uplifting scene of the inmates drinking cold beers on the sunny rooftop and feeling like 'free men' while the heroic Andy smiled off to the side in the shade
  • the similar scene when Andy broadcast Mozart's opera 'The Marriage of Figaro' over the prison P.A. system so that the prisoners in the yard could hear it
  • Andy's and Red's discussion - while slumped against the yard wall - about their yearnings from freedom with Andy's decision: "Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'"
  • Red's wise statement about what "institutionalized" meant during his third parole hearing -- followed by the emphatic rubber-stamped "APPROVED" on his file
  • the sad scene of Brooks Hatlen's (James Whitmore) suicide by hanging after carving "BROOKS WAS HERE" on the wooden arch above him
  • the discovery by the Warden of the escape hole in Andy's cell - covered over by a poster of Raquel Welch
  • the re-play of Andy's escape through the wall tunnel and sewage conduit and his exultant pose with his arms raised up from his half-naked body to the sky during a cleansing rainstorm - twirling, victorious and liberated after the prison break
Escape Tunnel
Andy's Liberation
Reunion on a Mexican Beach - Andy and Red
  • the sequence of Red's discovery of Andy's letter in a field and his walk back through the field with grasshoppers springing into the air all around
  • the final reunion scene on a beach in Mexico next to the Pacific Ocean

Triumphant Andy on Sunny Rooftop

Broadcast of Mozart's Opera

"Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'"

Watching Gilda in Prison

Brooks' Suicide by Hanging

Red's "Approved" Parole Papers for Release

She (1965, UK)

In director Robert Day's adaptation (the 4th one) of the 1887 H. Rider Haggard adventure novel of the same name by Hammer Films, this fantasy adventure was a box-office hit, and inspired a mostly-unrelated sequel, The Vengeance of She (1968, UK):

  • the film's tagline: "SHE who must be obeyed! ...SHE who must be loved! ...SHE who must be possessed!"
  • at the end of World War I, the portrayal of the immortal Egyptian queen and cruel high priestess Ayesha ("She-Who-Waits") by sexy Swedish actress Ursula Andress (dubbed by actress Monica (Nikki) Van Der Syl), living in the mountain city of Kuma in E. Africa
  • the double entrances of Ayesha - first (dressed in a slinky white sheath) to young and handsome Leo Vincey (John Richardson) in a Jerusalem house where she offered him a map and ring and tempted him to come to her after journeying across the desert and through the mountains of the moon to her fortress city, and then on her kingdom's throne wearing an elaborate gold and feather headdress
  • the scenes of love-sick Ayesha's deadly seduction of Vincey, believing him to resemble and be the reincarnated priest Kallikrates, her long-dead former lover whom she jealously stabbed and killed when she found him cheating on her
  • in the final scene, Ayesha had convinced Leo to enter a rare blue, magical bonfire Flame of Eternal Youth (which she claimed wouldn't cause harm); when he entered, he became immortal, but her second entrance into the fire caused her to shrivel up, disintegrate and die - it would be another 2,000 years before the blue flame would reappear and release him from immortality

She Done Him Wrong (1933)

In director Lowell Sherman's classic comedy:

  • a melodramatic/comic story that involved white slavery and an unlikely romance between Gay Nineties saloon singer Lady 'Diamond' Lou (Mae West) and Salvation Army officer Captain Cummings (Cary Grant)
  • another of voluptuous Mae West's funny vehicles as an excuse to throw off unabashed one liners: ("You know, it takes two to get one in trouble"), brazen and naughty innuendoes and double-entendres (the famed "Why don't you come up sometime 'n see me? I'm home every evening"), and other liberated quips ("Listen, when women go wrong, men go right after them" and "You know it was a toss-up whether I go in for diamonds or sing in the choir. The choir lost")

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)

In the second of director John Ford's "cavalry trilogy":

  • the sunset scene of soon-to-be retired Capt. Nathan Brittles (John Wayne) sitting at the gravestone of his wife Mary Cutting Brittles and speaking to her while he watered the flowers
  • the cinematographically-beautiful dark line of clouds and lightning in a thunderstorm as the cavalry patrol passed through director Ford's favorite scenic locale - Monument Valley
  • the scene of his last day when Brittles' C troops gave him a silver pocketwatch with the inscription "Lest we forget" that he tearfully read with his glasses

Sherlock Jr. (1924)

In actor/director Buster Keaton's silent-era comedy classic:

  • the scene of lovelorn projectionist Sherlock, Jr. (Buster Keaton) trying unsuccessfully to court his sweetheart (Kathryn McGuire) with a box of candy
  • his pacing after and shadowing his suspect/rival suitor the Sheik (Ward Krane) when they took drags upon the same cigarette
  • the series of quick, jump-cutting film edits and abruptly-changing montage of scenes behind Sherlock Jr. after he fell asleep in the projection booth and his dream figure walked around the theatre (unnoticed) and then stepped into the 'silver screen' and magically became part of the projected shifting scenes
  • the 'movie in a movie' - Sherlock Jr. walked down stairs and fell over a garden bench or pedestal, found himself on a busy street, a mountainous precipice, a lion's den, a desert in the middle of tracks with an approaching train, and a rock surrounded by the ocean where he dove headfirst into a snowbank, and then a return to the opening garden
  • the tense scene when Sherlock was set up to be murdered during a pool game with one ball that was supposedly a bomb
  • Sherlock's dive out of a window into a hoop dress
  • the amazing stunt of his near-fatal collision with a train (he covered his ears and ducked his head) as he rode on the handlebars of a driverless motorcycle
  • the final boy-gets-girl sequence in the projection booth when the flustered 'detective' followed the cues of the leading-man actor on screen and kissed his girlfriend

The Shining (1980)

In Stanley Kubrick's horror classic:

  • the opening scene with aerial camera work following a car to a mountainous Colorado resort - the sprawling and soon-to-be snowbound Overlook Hotel
  • Danny's (Danny Lloyd) Steadicam-filmed ride on a Big Wheel bike tracked through the corridors of the hotel (with accompanying sounds as the wheels hit the floor and the rug)
  • Danny's frightening ghostly visions (the murdered twin girls, the bloody elevator, etc.)
  • Jack Torrance's (Jack Nicholson) bar-side exchanges with ghostly bartender Lloyd (Joseph Turkel) where he was told: "Your credit's fine, Mr. Torrance"
  • the grisly bathtub hallucination experienced by Jack in off-limits Room 237 when he discovered that the illusory, beautiful bather he was kissing was a corpse
  • wife Wendy's (Shelley Duvall) discovery that her struggling husband's manuscript/writing on the typewriter was truly insane (there were endless reams of pages all with the phrase: "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy")
  • Danny's repetition of the words "Redrum " - later reflected in a mirror to reveal the word "Murder"
  • the scene in which Wendy clobbered Jack with a baseball bat on the stairs
  • the image of a decadent sexual act of fellatio being performed in a bedroom
  • the memorable scene of diabolical Jack's climactic stalking and homicidal chase after his cowering and fearful wife and son with an axe with his demented bellowings ("Wendy, I'm home" and "Then I'll huff and I'll puff...")
  • Jack's delivery of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show catch-phrase greeting: "Heeeeeeeere's Johnny!", spoken through a splintered door to Wendy after he had bashed through it
  • Jack's demise in the frozen Maze
  • the final revealing zoom-in shot toward a photograph

(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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