Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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

Son of Frankenstein (1939)

In Rowland V. Lee's well-made, atmospheric, eerie monster film - the second sequel to the original Frankenstein (1931) film, and the follow-up film to Bride of Frankenstein (1935):

  • in the ancestral Frankenstein castle, the creepy character of demented blacksmith Ygor (Bela Lugosi), a shepherd with a crooked broken neck (after surviving a hanging for graverobbing)
  • Ygor's encouragement of Baron Wolf von Frankenstein (Basil Rathbone), son of the Monster's creator Dr. Henry Frankenstein 25 years later, to revive the comatose Monster (Boris Karloff for the third and final time)
  • the scene of the Baron examining an X-ray of the chest of the Monster and declaring: ("Left ventricular preponderance. And look here Benson, look at this. Do you know what those are?...Bullets. Crude bullets in his heart, but he still lives!")
  • the laboratory scene of the revival of the Monster
  • the great mirror scene in which the Monster was fascinated by his own reflection - his staring at his face, groaning in despair, and then the touching of his hideous features and attempting to rub them away - comparing himself to the normal facial features of Baron Wolf von Frankenstein
  • the sequence of Ygor vengefully turning the Monster loose to cause havoc in the countryside, to seek justice against the jurors who had ruled in his graverobbing criminal case
  • the ending conclusion when the Baron, to save his young son Peter (Donnie Dunagan), pushed the Monster into a molten sulphur pit under his laboratory

The Song of Bernadette (1943)

In director Henry King's inspirational film based on Franz Werfel's best-selling account:

  • the innocent wonderment of sickly French peasant girl Bernadette Soubirous/Mary Bernard (Oscar-winning Jennifer Jones)
  • the scene of her experiencing a vision of the Virgin Mary (uncredited and pregnant Linda Darnell) ("I saw a lady and she was all in white...and she wore a blue girdle and had a golden rose on each foot. I've never seen anything in my life so beautiful") in mid 19th century France
  • the dramatic ending scene when she showed doubting, vicious and jealous Sister Vauzous (Gladys Cooper) her horribly diseased bone afflicted legs when being reprimanded for not suffering enough to have been chosen to see the Virgin
  • Bernadette's death scene where she had a final visitation from the lady (who held out her arms, smiled, and said: "I love you!")
  • her death scene coupled with the film’s climactic final moment when the cold hearted, atheistic local prosecutor Vital Dutour (Vincent Price), dying of throat cancer, stood before the grotto of the Virgin and suffered a crisis of faith

Song of the South (1946)

In Disney's film that has since been accused of racial stereotypes - making it difficult to obtain and view:

  • the live-action and animated sequences
  • the delightful Oscar-winning song "Zip A Dee Doo Dah"
  • the folklore of Brer Rabbit and Joel Chandler Harris' Uncle Remus stories, and the telling of the tales by Uncle Remus (James Baskett), with three animated sequences featuring Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox and Brer Bear:
    - "Br'er Rabbit Runs Away" (approx. 8 minutes), featuring the Oscar-winning song "'Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah
    - "Br'er Rabbit and the Tar Baby" (approx. 12 minutes), featuring "How Do You Do?"
    - "Br'er Rabbit's Laughing Place" (approx. 5 minutes), featuring "Everybody's Got a Laughing Place"

Sons of the Desert (1933)

In director William Seiter's slapstick comedy featuring one of the best comedy duos in cinematic history in their arguably best film:

  • Laurel (Stan Laurel) and Hardy's (Oliver Hardy) great sight gags and childish innocence
  • the scenes outside their two identical, side-by-side apartments
  • the scene of thin, dim-witted, and shy Stan consuming an ornamental waxed apple in the Hardy living room with gusto - and being scolded by Oliver: "What are you eating?...Where did you get it?...Why that's not real fruit! It's imitation. It's made of wax!"; Mrs. Hardy (Mae Busch) also added when she heard what was happening to her phony fruit: "Oh, so that's where it's been going. That's the third apple I've missed this week"
  • the madcap sequence with a scalding hot water iron tub - when fat and short-tempered Oliver feigned illness so that the doctor (a veterinarian) would prescribe a short ocean cruise to Honolulu (they would thereby fool their wives by faking a trip to Hawaii, and instead attend the annual 'Sons of the Desert' enclave lodge meeting in Chicago)
  • the sequence of their return home (after being in Chicago) from "Hawaii" (wearing leis and carrying pineapples and ukeleles, and singing "Honolulu Baby") - and their reading of newspaper headlines: "HONOLULU LINER SINKING! FLOUNDERING IN TYPHOON"; when they learned about their cruise ship disaster, Stan delivered an hilarious line about being thankful that they didn't go to Honolulu: ("Can you beat that? I'm sure glad we didn't go. If we'd have... ")
  • the scene of the two hiding out in the attic, awaiting the proper time to return home, due to the reported ship disaster, but caught out in the rain and accosted by a police officer who brought them back inside, as Oliver reprimanded Stan: "Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into"
  • the shocking discovery by the grieving wives during a movie newsreel that their two husbands had deceived them - and had gone to Chicago to attend a Sons of the Desert lodge meeting
  • after being confronted by their wives, Oliver told lies to Lottie, and was forced to wear a pot on his head to protect himself from the barrage of dishes thrown by her, while a bawling and wimpering Stan received forgiveness and rewards from his wife Betty (Dorothy Christy) for ultimately confessing the truth about what had really happened
  • in the conclusion, Stan affirmed to Oliver: "Betty said that honesty was the best politics. Look! (he held up a cigarette and took a deep drag, then coughed) (singing) Honolulu baby, won't you close those eyes" - as Oliver hurled a pot at his head

Sophie's Choice (1982)

In this melodramatic tearjerker by writer/director Alan J. Pakula - based on William Stryon's best-selling novel:

  • the flashback scene of the excruciating, heart-rending 'choice' that Polish-Catholic woman Sophie Zawistowska (Oscar-winning Meryl Streep), now living in Brooklyn, had to make in the Auschwitz concentration camp with a Nazi officer
  • Sophie's choice or decision: "Take my little girl!"

Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)

In director Anatole Litvak's psychological thriller:

  • the final terrifying scene of bed-ridden invalid Leona Stevenson (Barbara Stanwyck) overhearing the murderous plot for her own death by a crossed-signal phone call
  • her frantic, hysterical screams for help as the killer approached
  • the last line of dialogue - the film's title

The Sound of Music (1965)

In director Robert Wise's great Best Picture-winning family musical, one of the most popular films of all-time:

  • the breathtakingly beautiful opening scene in the Austrian Alps when the helicopter-mounted camera swooped down from the clouds to a hilltop covered with wild flowers and grass where young Austrian postulant, dirndl-skirted Maria (Oscar-winning Julie Andrews) was rotating, dancing and singing the title song: "The hills are alive with the sound of music"
  • Maria's superb singing voice
  • her role as governess for the seven von Trapp children, autocratically lined up and introduced by the widowed, mostly aloof Captain (Christopher Plummer) with a whistle
  • their day excursions around various Salzburg locations
  • with the lilting and inspirational Rodgers and Hammerstein songs and numbers: "My Favorite Things" (at bedtime), "Do-Re-Mi" (on bicycles), "So Long, Farewell," and "Edelweiss"
  • the gazebo scene of oldest Von Trapp daughter, 16 year-old Liesl (Charmian Carr) singing "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" to teenaged messenger boyfriend Rolfe (Daniel Truhitte)
  • the Trapp Family's reprised final performance of "So Long, Farewell," and their flight across the mountains to Switzerland to elude capture by the Nazis ("Climb Ev'ry Mountain")

South Pacific (1958)

In Joshua Logan's musical (mostly shot on location on the island of Kauai in Hawaii) based on stories by James A. Michener and on the original Pulitzer Prize-winning stage play by Rodgers and Hammerstein:

  • the singing of "I'm gonna wash that man [Rossano Brazzi as planter Emile De Becque] right out of my hair" by GI nurse Ensign Nellie Forbush (Mitzi Gaynor) on a naval island outpost
  • sly native trader Bloody Mary's (Juanita Hall, dubbed by Muriel Smith) haunting "Bali Ha'i"
  • "There is Nothin' Like a Dame" (performed by Ray Walston as Luther Billis with his sailor buddies)
  • Lt. Joseph Cable's (John Kerr, dubbed by Bill Lee) romantic "Younger Than Springtime" sung to Bloody Mary's exotic young daughter Liat (France Nuyen)

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)

In Trey Parker's and Matt Stone's co-written and directed often-vulgar, non-PC, and anarchistic animated musical that showed satirical irreverence toward small towns, the movie ratings system, various religious icons, and much more:

  • the corruptive after-effects of kids in the sleepy town of South Park seeing the R-rated Canadian feature film by the comedy team of Terrance and Phillip: Asses of Fire
  • the anti-profanity sing-along song "It's Easy, MMMKay" sung by school counselor Mr. Mackey (Trey Parker), who stressed that one had to get "back in touch" and stop cursing
  • the scene of muffled-voiced, parka-clad third-grader Kenny (voice of Matt Stone) lighting his flatulence on fire during a bet with Eric (voice of Trey Parker), dying (as usual) and being sent to Heaven (with nude female angels) and then to Hell where Satan was portrayed as the homosexual lover of Saddam Hussein
  • the declaration of war against Canada by the South Park PTA - to blame it for the ensuing corruption and misbehavior of the children - with the song "Blame Canada"
  • the scene of Terrance and Phillip's appearance on TV - on Conan's (Brent Spiner) talk show, where they were arrested after being set up by "Mothers Against Canada" (M.A.C.)
  • the foul-mouthed, subversive, profanity-laced songs including "What Would Brian Boitano Do?", "Kyle's Mom's a Bitch", and "Uncle F--ka" ("You're an uncle f--ka, I must say / You f--ked your uncle yesterday!")
  • Dr. Vosknocker's (voice of Eric Idle) demonstration of the V-Chip implanted in corpulent foul-mouthed Eric to stop him from uttering profanities by delivering an electric shock: ("Now I want you to say 'big floppy donkey dick'")
  • the scene of a USO show with a Winona Ryder-like woman suggested to be propelling Ping-Pong balls from below her waist

Soylent Green (1973)

In Richard Fleischer's dystopic sci-fi detective thriller set in the year 2022:

  • elderly Sol Roth's (Edward G. Robinson, who was dying during filming) poignant, painless and suicidal death in an euthanasia clinic amidst musical and visual montages of a peaceful green world with a waterfall, with his friend Detective Thorn (Charlton Heston, who shed real tears due to the real-life poignancy of the dying Robinson) in a nearby control room
  • Thorn's horrified discovery of the true composition of the Soylent Corporation's new artificial food product Soylent Green, and his desperate pleas to police chief Hatcher (Brock Peters) as he was dragged away: "It's people. Soylent Green is made out of people. They're making our food out of people. Next thing they'll be breeding us like cattle for food... Soylent Green is people! We've gotta stop them somehow!"

Spartacus (1960)

In Stanley Kubrick's ancient 1st century BC epic:

  • clenched jaw slave-revolt leader Spartacus (producer/actor Kirk Douglas) and his gladiator-training school slave dealer Lentulus Batiatus (Oscar-winning Peter Ustinov)
  • Spartacus' shout from a caged cell: "I am not an animal"
  • the scene of the savage duel/fight to the death with fellow Ethiopian slave Draba (Woody Strode)
  • scenes of Roman decadence and gluttony including the controversial, homo-erotic bath scene in which bisexual Roman patrician Marcus Licinius Crassus (Laurence Olivier) questioned young slave Antoninus (Tony Curtis) about his gender/sexual preferences ("Do you eat oysters?...Do you eat snails?....My taste includes both snails and oysters")
  • the independent-minded, slave girl Varinia's (Jean Simmons) near-nude bathing scene
  • the colossal slave rebellion against Rome and massive final battle sequence (with projected fireballs)
  • Marcus Crassus' deal for betrayal - foiled when each devoted slave - in an inspirational scene - proclaimed: "I'm Spartacus" to save the real Spartacus from execution by standing up and daring to be identified as such
  • Spartacus' short heroic statement to Antoninus after being asked: "Are you afraid to die, Spartacus?" ("No more than I was to be born")
  • Antoninus' and Spartacus' sword-duel to the death, with Antoninus' dying last words: "I love you, Spartacus, as I love my own father"
  • the last scene of Spartacus' crucifixion along the roadside with his wife and child at his feet (she assured him: "This is your son. He's free, Spartacus, free. He's free. He's free. He'll remember you, Spartacus, because I'll tell him. I'll tell him who his father was, and what he dreamed of")
  • her final tearful words of goodbye: ("Oh, my love, my life. Please die, die. Please die, die my love. Oh, God, why can't you die?...(Looking back) Goodbye, my love, my life. Goodbye, good-bye")

Speed (1994)

In director Jan De Bont's superb action film (his debut film), one of the most exciting action thrillers of all time:

  • the set-up: an L.A. city bus rigged with explosives ready to blow if the booby-trapped bus went under fifty miles per hour
  • the character of elusive mad bomber Howard Payne (Dennis Hopper) with his threatening description of the film's actual plot-pitch about an extortionist ransom of $3.7 million: ("Pop quiz, hotshot. There's a bomb on a bus. Once the bus goes 50 miles an hour, the bomb is armed. If it drops below 50, it blows up. What do you do, Jack? What do you do?")
  • the scene of LA SWAT team specialist Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) leaping onto the bus from a moving car next to it
  • Annie Porter (Sandra Bullock) as the terrified passenger driving the fatal bus under the guidance of Jack, after the original bus driver Sam (Hawthorne James) was wounded
  • the amazing sequence of the improbable long jump the bus made over a missing and incomplete section of freeway and other scenes of the bus hurtling through congested LA traffic
  • the exciting sequence of Annie and Jack dropping through an escape hatch in the floor of the bus just before it rammed into an empty cargo airplane and exploded
  • the death of Howard, disguised as a police officer, after a hand-to-hand struggle atop a runaway subway train with Jack, and the criminal was beheaded by an overhead red signal light
  • the ultimate crash of the train after it derailed through a construction site and ended up skidding sideways down Hollywood Boulevard in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre, followed by a very passionate kiss of relief between Annie and Jack, who exchanged the last few lines of dialogue: Jack: "I have to warn you. I've heard relationships based on intense experiences never work." Annie: "OK, we'll have to base it on sex, then." Jack: "Whatever you say, ma'am"

Spellbound (1945)

In director Alfred Hitchcock's psychological mystery-thriller:

  • psychiatrist Dr. Constance Petersen's (Ingrid Bergman) love affair with her handsome yet delusional Green Manors mental hospital patient Dr. Anthony Edwardes/John Ballantine (Gregory Peck), selected to replace the outgoing asylum director Dr. Murchison (Leo G. Carroll)
  • the image of the parallel fork lines on the tablecloth, sled tracks and patterns on the bedspread (all lines on a white background that caused anxiety attacks for paranoid, amnesia-suffering Ballantine due to a partial recollection and witnessing of the murder of his analyst - the real Dr. Edwardes - on a ski slope at Gabriel Valley)
  • the scene in which the camera focused on the straight razor carried in the hand of disturbed Ballantine as he approached the old doctor
  • the pivotal, brilliant nightmarish dream-remembrance sequence conceived by surrealist artist Salvador Dali involving eyes on a wall, a gambling room, a blackjack (21) card game with blank cards, an angry proprietor, a sloping roof, a wheel, and a pair of pursuing wings
  • the blood-chilling sequence of Ballantine's vivid memory of his young brother's accidental and tragic death by impalement on a spiked fence when he fell from a roof
  • the subjective image of the jealous murderer Dr. Murchison aiming his gun at Dr. Petersen's back after she revealed his treachery - and then after she left slowly turning it toward the camera and firing suicidally at himself - with a burst of red color gunflash (in the black and white film)

Spider-Man (2002)

In director Sam Raimi's great comic superhero blockbuster:

  • the believable character of high-school geek Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) who was bitten by a mutant, genetically-altered spider and then able to skip, jump, and leap across NY rooftops
  • the set-piece of his combat in Times Square against his villainous arch-enemy the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe)
  • the widely-marketed image of teen sweetheart Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) pulling down Spidey's tight face mask for an upside-down kiss in the rain

Spies (1928, Germany) (aka Spione)

In writer-director Fritz Lang's suspenseful and expressionistic espionage thriller:

  • the suspenseful and quick-moving opening prologue sequence of a safe robbery of secret documents (by a set of gloved hands), the canted angle of a fleeing motorcycle rider, a radio broadcast tower's transmissions of newspaper headlines (flying at the screen as text), and the assassination of the Minister of Trade in an open-topped vehicle (and the stealing of his bag on the seat)
  • the plot: a romance that developed between defecting Russian spy Sonja Barranikowa (Gerda Maurus) - a femme fatale - and a handsome young government SS agent known only as Number 326 (Willy Fritsch), who was disguised as a dirty, bearded, scruffy vagrant named Hans Pockzerwinski; Sonja was employed by wheelchair-bound criminal espionage mastermind Haghi (Rudolf Klein-Rogge), a prestigious bank director-president
  • the interlude bath preparation scene for the agent-hero (Fritsch), beginning with a close-up of two hands of his servant-valet Chauffeur Franz (Paul Horbiger); he turned on a bathtub spigot, and then placed a new soap bar on a soap dish; in addition, a fresh towel was draped over a towel rack, and a thermometer reading was taken of the bath water's temperature; bath salts were also sprinkled into the water - this scene occurred during an action sequence when Sonja ran into the agent's hotel suite and pretended (in a seductive ruse) to be fleeing from a man that she claimed she shot in the next room for making sexual advances toward her; after the room was searched, and while the hero was bathing (his actual bathing scene was never on-screen), she stole documents from his desk
  • the many set-pieces, including a ritualistic Japanese sepuku suicide, a train collision, and the simultaneous poison-gassing of a multi-storied building while a fight occurred in a hidden room
  • the brilliant, climactic ending scene - the clown music-hall stage performance of criminal mastermind Haghi as Nemo (his disguise as double-agent 719), who realized he was about to be caught with government counter-agents in the stage's wings; he suicidally shot himself in the head and collapsed dead, as the audience applauded - believing the clown's death was part of his act

(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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