Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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

True Romance (1993)

In director Tony Scott's action 'lovers-on-the-run' crime film (with a script by Quentin Tarantino - his first):

  • the opening voice-over monologue (under the credits) by call-girl newly-wed wife Alabama Whitman (Patricia Arquette), as she was driving in an open convertible toward the US/Mexican border, with her wounded comic-shop clerk, Elvis-worshipping husband Clarence Worley (Christian Slater): "I had to come all the way from the highways and byways of Tallahassee, Florida to Motor City, Detroit to find my true love. If you gave me a million years to ponder, I would never have guessed that true romance and Detroit would ever go together. And to this day, the events that followed all seem like a distant dream. But the dream was real and was to change our lives forever. I kept asking Clarence why our world seemed to be collapsing and everything seemed so s--tty. And he'd say, 'That's the way it goes, but don't forget, it goes the other way too.' That's the way romance is. Usually, that's the way it goes. But every once in awhile, it goes the other way too."
  • the couple's first movie date and conversation about turn-ons, turn-offs, and Elvis when Clarence admitted: "I always said, if I had to f--k a guy, I mean had to, if my life depended on it, I'd f--k Elvis," and Alabama's admission on a rooftop that she was a call girl hired by Clarence's boss as a birthday present, although she wasn't white-trash and she truly loved him
  • after a quickie marriage, their flight to Los Angeles from Detroit, after killing Alabama's pimp and former boyfriend Drexl Spivey (Gary Oldman), to sell the cocaine that they had stolen from him
  • Alabama's sexiness: "I'm gonna go jump in the tub and get all wet and slippery and soapy and then hop in that waterbed and watch X-rated movies 'till you get your ass back in my lovn' arms"
  • the confrontational face-off 'Sicilian scene' of verbal sparring between alcoholic ex-security cop Clifford Worley (Dennis Hopper), Clarence's estranged father, and debonair mobster Don Vincenzo Coccotti (Christopher Walken); after being punched and having his hand slashed open - Clifford deliberately provoked and insulted the gangster regarding his Sicilian heritage: ("Sicilians were spawned by niggers...your ancestors are're part eggplant")
  • Vincenzo's retort ("You're a cantaloupe") and other non-PC epithets - causing laughter and the unloading of a gun into his head
  • the harrowing scene of Virgil (James Gandolfini), one of Coccotti's henchmen, beating up Alabama at the Safari Inn and her retaliation by killing him with a shotgun
  • the final slow-motion, Mexican stand-off shoot-out scene in the Beverly Ambassador Hotel with flying pillow feathers, white powder and bodies, in which Clarence was wounded

Truly Madly Deeply (1990, UK)

In director Anthony Minghella's romantic ghost fantasy:

  • the scene of cellist Jamie (Alan Rickman) - the ghost of pianist Nina's (Juliet Stevenson) lover after an untimely death, returning to the London apartment of the bereaved - and revealing himself and resuming their relationship: ("I didn't die properly. Maybe that's why I can come back")
  • the scene of their lengthy proclamation of their love for each other: Nina: "I love you." Jamie: "I love you." Nina: "I really love you." Jamie: "I really, truly love you." Nina: "I really, truly, madly love you." Jamie: "I really, truly, madly, deeply love you." Nina: "I really, truly, madly, deeply, passionately love you." Jamie: "I really, truly, madly, deeply, passionately, remarkably love you." Nina: "I really, truly, madly, deeply, passionately, remarkably, uhmm... deliciously love you." Jamie: "I really, truly, madly, passionately, remarkably, deliciously... juicily love you...." Nina: "Deeply! Deeply! You passed on deeply, which was your word, which means that you couldn't have meant it! So you're a fraud, that's it!...(They hugged) You're probably a figment of my imagination. (pause) Juicily?"
  • their song duet (he played on his cello, and then joined her on the piano) of "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore"
  • his recitation to Nina of Pablo Neruda's Spanish poem La Muerta (which she translated line by line from Spanish to English) when she was about ready to move on from him: "Forgive me...If you are not living...If you, beloved, my love, if you have died... All the leaves will fall on my breast... It will rain on my soul all night, all day... My feet will want to march to where you are sleeping... But I shall go on living." Jamie then asked: "Do you want me to go?" She hugged him tightly: "No, never, never, never."
  • the scene in which Jamie's fellow ghosts came to him and asked if Nina was ready to move on to a new relationship - with art therapist-psychologist Mark (Michael Maloney). One asked: "Well?", and Jamie responded: "I think so. Yes." The ghosts watched from her upstairs apartment window as Nina left for good to be with Mark from now on

The Truman Show (1998)

In director Peter Weir's existentialist, biting social satire about reality TV:

  • the premise of the prophetic, thought-provoking story that a person - a good-natured insurance adjuster named Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) - was adopted by a TV network to film his entire life 24 hours a day without his knowledge over a period of 30 years ("An entire human life recorded on an intricate network of hidden cameras, and broadcast live and unedited, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to an audience around the globe")
  • the massive town-film set called Seahaven Island ("enclosed in the largest studio ever of only two man-made structures visible from space")
  • the manipulation of the title star Burbank's life by the megalomaniac network owner/producer Christof (Oscar-nominated Ed Harris) - who delivered an opening speech about the world being bored by fake human emotions while expounding the virtues of Truman TV: ("We've become bored with watching actors give us phony emotions. We're tired of pyrotechnics and special effects. While the world he inhabits is, in some respects, counterfeit, there's nothing fake about Truman himself")
  • the fake opening credits for the show itself (Truman Burbank as himself, created by Christof, Hannah Gill as meryl, etc.)
  • Truman's happy catchphrase: "Good morning...Oh, and in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!"
  • the magical moment when Truman began to realize the world revolved around his actions - stopping traffic with a wave of his hand
  • Truman's attempt to escape via sailboat (Santa Maria) and Christof summoning a torrential storm to try to prevent it (nearly drowning Truman)
  • the moment that Truman reached the end of the fabricated, enclosed set of his make-believe world (bounded by canvas), when his schooner-sailboat pierced the 'edge of the world' - he touched and then pounded on the wall, ascended stairs to escape through a door, and asked Christof: "Who are you?"
  • the allegorical scene in which Christof spoke to Truman with a "voice of God" speech, identifying himself: "I am the creator of a television show that gives hope and joy and inspiration to millions"
  • Truman's rejection of Christof's plea to remain in the artificial world (where he had "nothing to fear" - "You belong here with me") rather than venturing into the real world (with "the same lies, the same deceit")
  • in the conclusion, Truman's beatific smile at the camera, sarcastic utterance of his cheerful catchphrase: "In case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!" and a deep farewell bow before exiting from the massive set through the stage door to freedom (to the sounds of Philip Glass' stirring "The Opening from Mishima") and a new existence
  • after TV's Truman Show ceased transmission, two chubby, pizza-eating security guards conversed together about changing the channel (- "What else is on?" - "Yeah, let's see what else is on?" - "Where's the TV Guide?")

12 Angry Men (1957)

In director Sidney Lumet's excellent courtroom drama:

  • the dramatic debate scenes within a swelteringly-hot New York City jury room among twelve jurors
  • the sequence of their preliminary vote on the fate of a Puerto Rican boy charged with first degree murder - when rational Juror # 8 (Henry Fonda) was the only one to vote not guilty and Juror # 10 (Ed Begley) muttered: "Boy oh boy, there's always one"
  • the discussion about the switchblades when Juror # 8 plunged a switchblade knife (identical to the murder weapon) into the juror's long table to destroy the basis of the prosecution's case and cast doubt in the jurors' minds
  • the angry outbursts toward the film's end by Juror # 3 (Lee J. Cobb) and Juror # 8's questioning of his personal attitudes: "Are you his executioner?"

Twelve Monkeys (1995) (aka 12 Monkeys)

In director Terry Gilliam's sci-fi fantasy about time travel and a devastating plague (a remake of Chris Marker's short film La Jetée/The Pier (1962, Fr.)):

  • the key scene in the film - the recurring obsessive nightmarish dream that haunted delusional, time-traveling convict and asylum inmate James 'Jim' Cole (Bruce Willis), of himself as a young boy (Joseph Melito) seeing a man in an airport gunned down by police, and then raising his bloody hand up to the face of a grieving blonde woman - a childhood memory whose meaning was not understood even though it replayed itself endlessly
  • the dystopic 1996-1997 snow-covered, plague-ridden Philadelphia, overrun with wild animals (bears, lions, etc.)
  • the character of insane animal activist Jeffrey Goines (Oscar-nominated Brad Pitt) whose radical group "The Army of the 12 Monkeys" was not the cause of the worldwide plague that killed five billion people and made Earth unlivable
  • the scene in which psychiatrist Dr. Kathryn Railly (Madeleine Stowe) realized Cole was telling the truth, when she saw him in an old World War I photograph (after removing an antique bullet from a leg wound) from her book research - and then fell in love with him
  • the transcendent scene when "the 12 Monkeys" released all the animals out of Philadelphia's Garden Zoological Society
  • the ending in which it was revealed that young Cole's dream-memory was actually him witnessing his own death (with the blonde woman being Kathryn)
  • the film's brilliant use of performer Louis Armstrong's singing "What A Wonderful World" during the end credits

12 Years a Slave (2013)

In Steve McQueen's Best Picture-winning historical dramatization based upon the account of a freed black who was returned to slavery in the 1840s-50s:

  • the devastating, torturous scene of the beating of the bare back of black slave Patsey (Oscar-winning Lupita Nyong'o), when cruel slave owner Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender) forced another slave, Platt/Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) to whip her; at first, Epps told Patsey: ("You done this to yourself, Pats"), and then Mistress Epps (Sarah Paulson) spurred him on: ("Do it. Strike the life from her"); not able to whip her himself, Epps ordered Platt to take his place: ("Beat her. Give her the whip! Give it all to her! Platt, you come here and you beat her now. Platt! Come here!...You strike her. Strike her!"); but then, Mistress Epps complained that Platt wasn't striking her hard enough: ("He pantomimes. There's barely a welt on her. That's what your all niggers make of you... a fool for the takin'); Epps became angered and held a gun to Platt's head: ("Strike her, Platt. Strike her! You will strike her. You will strike her until her flesh is rent and meat and blood flow equal... or I will kill every nigger in my sight. You understand me? Strike her! Strike her! Until I say no more. I ain't said nothin'"); then, Epps grabbed the whip and whipped Patsey himself, until she ceased struggling and responding, and her back was terribly lacerated, literally flayed, and the lash was wet with blood. Platt yelled out to Epps: ("Thou devil! Sooner or later, somewhere in the course of eternal justice thou shalt answer for this sin!"). Epps replied: ("No sin! There is no sin! A man does how he pleases with his property. At the moment, Platt, I am of great pleasure. You be goddamn careful I don't come to wantin' to lightenin' my mood no further")

Twentieth Century (1934)

In Howard Hawks' first screwball comedy:

  • the blustery, self-parodying performance of John Barrymore as theatre director Oscar Jaffe ("OJ") and his Pygmalion-like transformation of showgirl Mildred Plotka (Carole Lombard) into an accomplished serious actress and stage leading lady newly named Lily Garland by alternating humiliation (at one point, pointedly chalking lines on the set to stress where her marks were) and relentlessly engaging in long rehearsals with encouragement and devotion
  • their stormy relationship that led to their breakup and her moving to Hollywood to become a star
  • Jaffe's repeated line: "I close the iron door on you!"
  • the many attempts by Jaffe to get Lily to sign a theatre contract with him while both were riding the Twentieth Century cross-country passenger train, finally succeeding by pretending to be dying of a heart attack

25th Hour (2002)

In director Spike Lee's emotional drama:

  • Brooklyn drug dealer Monty Brogan's (Edward Norton) profanity-rich restroom bathroom mirror monologue - a rant against everybody and everything in his environment: ("F--k me? F--k you! F--k you and this whole city and everyone in it. F--k the panhandlers, grubbing for money, and smiling at me behind my back. F--k squeegee men dirtying up the clean windshield of my car. Get a f--king job. F--k the Sikhs and the Pakistanis bombing down the avenues in decrepit cabs, curry steaming out their pores and stinking up my day...")

28 Days Later... (2002, UK)

In director Danny Boyle's zombie film:

  • the opening scene in which bicycle courier Jim (Cillian Murphy) awoke from a coma and wandered out to find London completely deserted and evacuated, with haunting views of a virus-ravaged landscape
  • the many attack scenes: in a church by an infected zombie priest (when a cross didn't repel the living dead), in a tunnel after getting a flat tire, and by a soldier zombie in the house

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

In Disney's and director Richard Fleischer's live-action interpretation of the 1868 Jules Verne fantasy-adventure and sci-fi novel, with Academy Award-winning production design:

  • the character of Captain Nemo (James Mason) - the war-hating commander of the atomic submarine Nautilus (with its large windows looking out underwater)
  • the memorable battle with the giant squid

Twilight (2008)

In director Catherine Hardwicke's erotic vampire blockbuster (the adaptation of the first volume of Stephenie Meyer's vampire-romance saga, a four-book series about burgeoning teenage sexuality):

  • the strained, teenaged love relationship - one of dangerous attraction - between pale, intrigued and mesmerized 17 year-old new-girl-in-school Isabella ("Bella") Swan (Kristen Stewart) and handsome, icy-to-touch, mysterious immortal vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson)
  • Bella's first view of Edward in the Forks, Washington High School cafeteria
  • Edward's rescue of Bella from being crushed by a runaway van in the school parking lot
  • their many smoldering, staring encounters and intense conversations together without consummating their love (in school, in the woods, in a restaurant, in her bedroom) highlighted by a few quotes: Edward: "I can read every mind in this room. Apart from yours," "Your scent, it's like a drug to me. You're like my own personal brand of heroin," Bella: "I'm not afraid of you, I'm only afraid of losing you"
  • her holding onto his back when he whisked up the mountain to view his sparkling diamond-like skin in the sunlight, and later took her to the tree tops above his home: "You better hold on tight, spider monkey"
  • Bella's voice-over statement about him after Edward had revealed himself as a vampire in the woods: "About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him - and I didn't know how dominant that part might be - that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him" - after which she saw him standing outside her bedroom window
  • the scene at the home of the incestuous Cullen vampire family: ("Here comes the human...")
  • Edward's saving of Bella from dying and becoming a vampire by sucking venom from a wrist bite caused by a bloodsucking vampire thug (Cam Gigandet) - he was cautioned by his father Carlisle to stop before killing her: ("Edward, stop. Her blood is clean. You're killing her. Edward, stop. Find the will")
  • the final scene of the couple dancing at the high school prom under an outdoor gazebo, where Bella professed her dying love for him, surrendered her neck to him, and they kissed: (Bella: "I dream about being with you forever..." Edward: "Is it not enough just to have a long and happy life with me?" Bella: "Yeah. For now. (voice-over) No one will surrender tonight, but I won't give in. I know what I want")

Twister (1996)

In director Jan de Bont's blockbuster action disaster film about thrill-seeking storm chasers:

  • the sight of a cow being hurled through the air in the spectacular computer-generated special-effects within the film

The Two Jakes (1990)

In the mystery film - a sequel to the original film Chinatown (1974):

  • the scene in which post-war LA private detective J.J. "Jake" Gittes (Jack Nicholson) (specializing in infidelity cases) was startled (he was awakened from sleep when a power blackout ended) when he heard the name of Katherine Mulwray (from a case in his past from the original film Chinatown (1974)) on a tape recording made during a motel tryst in Redondo Beach between unfaithful Kitty Berman (Meg Tilly) and Mark Bodine (John Hackett)
  • "Jake" heard her name in a conversation between the two cheaters just before Bodine was killed by Jake's client
  • the killer - identified as Kitty's jealous husband and as the second "Jake" Berman (Harvey Keitel) from the film's title - the victim's real estate development business partner at B&B Homes!
  • Jake's encounter with emotional, crude and widowed femme fatale Lillian Bodine (Madeleine Stowe) in a pink angora sweater, who frantically protested at first: "Don't make me do it, don't make me do it..." then allowed herself to be seduced in order to hear the tape recording: "Oh, you're gonna make me do it, aren't ya? You're gonna make me!"
  • Jake's tired, bitter response before having sex with Lillian: "Honestly, I'm tryin' to be a gentleman about this. Now just, get down on your knees, stick your ass up in the air, and don't move 'til I tell ya"
  • Jake's violent responses to taunting Detective Lt. Loach (Brian Keith) (the son of the man that had tragically killed Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway), the mother of Katherine Mulwray and Jake's former lover in the original film) - when Jake forced him to perform fellatio on his cocked gun ("Suck it!"), causing Loach to urinate in his pants
  • the two revelations: (1) Bodine was blackmailing Kitty about her real identity (she was Katherine Mulwray) by forcing her to sign over mineral rights to the land where B&B Homes was building tract homes in a San Fernando Valley subdivision, and (2) Jake was suffering from a terminal illness (of syphilis and cancer) - causing him to blow himself up by lighting a cigarette in the volatile, natural gas-filled environment of the subdivision after a shaky earthquake
  • the closing dialogue between Kitty and Gittes as she left his office: "Katherine!... It [the past] never goes away." (Jake's belated answer to her earlier question: "Does it ever go away, the past?")

Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)

In maverick director Monte Hellman's 'bare-bones' existential road movie, a cult film with minimal dialogue, about a group of self-destructive, counter-cultural drag racers in the SW USA in a cross-country competition to the East Coast:

  • the scene in a small Flagstaff, Arizona cafe along Route 66 when two rootless, emotionally-inert road and car-obsessed freaks: the inexpressive Driver and the distant Mechanic (James Taylor, the folk-rock singer, and Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys, both in their only film roles), sat in the foreground and an unidentified teenaged hitchhiker Girl (Laurie Bird in her film debut) left her psychedelically-decorated hippie van and got into the back of their parked '55 Chevy outside in the background (to the tune of Hit the Road Jack on the jukebox) - to tag-along with them; the two males wordlessly accepted her presence when they returned to their car; her first words to them were: "It's really bumpy back here. What kind of car is this anyway? (no response) You guys aren't the Zodiac killers or anything like that, are you?"
  • the discussion while sitting on a white picket fence between the Girl and the Driver about the noisy cicadas: "Hear those cicadas?...You talk about survival, man, those are some freaky bugs. They spend, uh - they come out of the ground every seven years, and they live underground the rest of the time, and the only time they come out of the ground is to crawl out of their skins and grow some rings - grow some wings so they can f--k. And then they die. But before they die, they manage to lay some more eggs so that these bugs..."; the Girl interrupted: "We've got a better life, haven't we? We make them look sick"
  • during the playing of Kris Kristofferson's Me and Bobby McGee, the meeting up at a Needles, California gas station with talkative, story-telling, middle-aged G.T.O. (Warren Oates), the owner of a souped-up yellow '70 Pontiac; the Driver predicted to the Girl that he would be a good candidate to race against: ("I think we got us a squirrel to run"); GTO was challenged to a cross-country race from New Mexico to Washington DC, where the winner would receive the other's car as the prize: "pink slips...for cars... all the rolling stock" - The Mechanic: "We put the pinks in an envelope, send 'em to D.C., general delivery. First one there waits for his car"; there were ground rules as they began the race, suggested by the Mechanic as he drew the route along Rte. 66 on a map: "We stay on the country roads. Less heat that way. Never say you're racing, or they'll bust you for it"
  • during the competitive race, GTO's succession of picked-up hitchhikers, notably (during the radio's playing of Chuck Berry's Maybelline) a desperately-gay cowboy (Harry Dean Stanton) in Oklahoma - rebuffed by GTO after touching his leg ("I'm not into that!")
  • the Girl's role as the cosmic (and sexually-willing) bond between the three racers; later in the film in a roadside motel restaurant in Tennessee, she was forced to make a choice about sexual exclusivity with one of the men, and responded simply: "No good" (she was unsatisfied with all of her fleeting relationships with them) - there was no visible reaction from any of them, only stares and stark silence; impulsively, she left the diner, followed after a young, long-haired motorcyclist (Kreag Caffey), dropped her duffel bag of belongings on the ground in the parking lot, and hopped onto the back of his bike as he sped off
  • the film's final lines of dialogue were between the garrulous GTO and two hitchhiking soldiers on a 10-day leave bound for NYC, when he wildly bragged about the race he was engaged in, and lied about his car: "I won it flat out. I was drivin' a '55 stock Chevy across country and I got in a race with this GTO for pink slips. I beat the GTO by three hours. Of course, the guys in the GTO couldn't drive worth a damn. But I'll tell you one thing. There's nothin' like buildin' up an old automobile from scratch and wipin' out one of these Detroit machines. That'll give you a set of emotions that'll stay with ya. Know what I mean? Those satisfactions are permanent"
  • the abrupt non-ending on another two-lane blacktop at the local race-track with the Driver looking out at the gray pavement - as the soundtrack went silent, the celluloid reel of film froze and then disintegrated and burned (with fiery bubbling) within the stalled projector - the image turned to complete blackness (followed by the credits - white letters on the black background)

2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (1967, Fr.) (aka 2 ou 3 Choses que Je Sais D'elle)

In Jean Luc-Godard's self-narrated Nouvelle Vague (New Wave) film, a Cinemascopic comedy and drama about the daily life of a Parisian housewife/part-time prostitute, including thought-provoking philosophical and metaphysical discourses on the social injustice of the Vietnam War and people's indifference to it, the rapid rise of materialism and consumerism and the evils of capitalism, the increase in depersonalized. faceless high-rise apartments (as a sign of progress), dependence on television ("If you can't afford LSD, try color TV"), and the loveless, commodity-driven nature of prostitution-sex:

  • the whispered (voice-over) musings of director/writer Godard included a description of the daily routine of Juliette Jeanson (actress Marina Vlady), a married, bored suburban housewife, living in a newly-built high-rise apartment on the outskirts of Paris with her distracted, shortwave-radio listening, bespectacled husband Robert Jeanson (Roger Montsoret), a mechanic, and two children: precocious Christophe (Christophe Boursellier) and Solange (Marie Boursellier); she often dropped her children at an apartment-daycare center (that doubled as a 'brothel' decorated with travel posters and managed by Monsieur Gérard (Joseph Gehrard))
  • with a pontificating discourse about the commercialization of culture, Juliette would travel to downtown Paris to engage in shopping for clothes, to visit a salon and spend time in a cafe, with occasional daytime appointments with clients as a part-time prostitute (to pay for her lifestyle)
  • the hotel room scene of Juliette and Marianne (Anny Duperey) with a male client, visiting American John Bogus (Raoul Levy), a US war correspondent wearing a T-shirt of the stars and stripes, who urged the two women not just to have sex - but to engage in his preferred fetish - getting naked and wearing airline travel bags (with corporate logos of TWA and Pan AM - both defunct companies!) on their heads before parading around
  • the brief shots of news-footage images and Life Magazine photos of the horrors of the Vietnam War, including its effects on innocent children, a point-blank execution, and napalm bombings of the jungles of North Vietnam - juxtaposed with 'pornography' in the bedroom (off-screen)
  • the humorous scene of a young woman (Helena Bielicic) bathing in her apartment bathtub when suddenly, an electric meter reader (Robert Chevasue) barged in after knocking: ("Power company, where's the meter?"); he paid no attention to her hiding her nakedness behind a towel, and warned her about her exorbitant bill: "This will hurt: 50,000 francs"
  • Godard's voice-over criticisms of consumption and capitalistic materialism, with frequent pop-art images, and dominant tri-colors (red, white and blue): "The mere fact of suddenly enjoying a new appliance spurs power consumption without regard for the bill. It's the same old story: either no money for rent or no TV, or else a TV but no car, or else a washer but no vacation. In other words, in any case, no normal life"
  • the sequence in the cafe of two women viewing (from different angles) images in the pages of a fashion magazine of cartoonish, degrading pop-art female faces and bodies; one female's lips were branded with the Union Jack flag design
  • the film's most celebrated image or camera shot: a lengthy close-up of a cup of coffee in a Parisian cafe - viewed with ever increasing close-ups as a swirling black representation of the universe or solar system: "But first of all, what is an object? Maybe an object is what serves as a link between subjects, allowing us to live in society, to be together. But since social relations are always ambiguous, since my thoughts divide as much as unite, and my words unite by what they express and isolate by what they omit, since a wide gulf separates my subjective certainty of myself from the objective truth others have of me, since I constantly end up guilty, even though I feel innocent, since every event changes my daily life, since I always fail to communicate, to understand, to love and be loved, and every failure deepens my solitude, since - Since. Since I cannot escape the objectivity crushing me, nor the subjectivity expelling me, since I cannot rise to a state of being nor collapse into nothingness... I have to listen, more than ever I have to look around me, at the world, my fellow creature, my brother (mon semblable, mon frere)"
Voice-Over Metaphysical Musings During a Close-Up of a Coffee Cup
  • the voice-over continued after a slight pause of intercutting shots in the cafe (Juliette kept glancing over at a prospective john): "The world alone. Today, where revolutions are impossible, and bloody wars loom, when capitalism is unsure of its rights and the working class is in retreat, when the lightning progress of science makes future centuries hauntingly present, when the future is more present than the present, when distant galaxies are on my doorstep -- My fellow creature, my brother (mon semblable, mon frere)"
  • again, a pause (a cube of sugar appeared to have been dropped in and began to dissolve) before a continuation of the voice-over about the spiraling pattern on the surface of the black liquid: "Where do we start? But start what? God created heaven and earth, sure, but that's too easy. We should put it better: Say that the limits of language are the world's limits, that the limits of my language are my world's limits, and that when I speak, I limit the world, I finish it. And one inevitable and mysterious day, death will come and abolish these limits, and there will be no questions nor answers. It will all be a blur. But if by chance things come into focus again, it may only be with the advent of conscience. Everything will follow from there"
  • one of the closing shots - volcanic-like pulsations and fiery explosions seen in a glowing cigarette tip (Juliette was lighting her cigarette in bed next to her husband): another symbol of the universe
  • the famous final image or tableau - a zoom out from a box of Hollywood chewing gum (standing in front of a color photo of a loving couple), to view a bright collection of packaged, household consumer cleaning products arranged on a dying grassy field - as if they were seen from an aerial view as a model of an apartment building complex, or more morbidly, as cemetery markers

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, UK)

In Stanley Kubrick's influential and awesome, genre-defying sci-fi masterpiece:

  • the introductory imagery of a heavenly alignment (of the sun and moon) to the thrilling bold chords of Richard Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra
  • the opening "Dawn of Man" episode with the man-apes' tableaux scenes and their first confrontation with a mysterious black monolith
  • the marvelously audacious, seamless transition/edit of a deflected, flying skeleton bone-weapon from an ape-man - in slow-motion - turning into a futuristic, earth-orbiting space satellite - one of the most famous jump-cuts in cinematic history
  • the black, immense quiet and visual, weightless spendor of outer space and the slow docking scene of the Pan-Am space shuttle with the circular space station to the accompaniment of Johann Strauss' waltz Blue Danube (while the passenger on the shuttle sleeps)
  • the sequence of the viewing (and touching) of the brightly-lit, humming monolith in an excavation pit on the Moon
  • the presence of the omniscient but faulty HAL 9000 computer (voice of Douglas Rain)
  • the set of the circular habitat of the crew in the spaceship
  • the great scene of the HAL 9000 computer (with a big red eye) malevolently eavesdropping by reading the lips of the astronauts as they privately spoke to each other in a space pod
  • astronaut David Bowman's (Keir Dullea) frantic attempts to re-enter the spaceship ("Open the pod bay doors, HAL")
  • HAL's methodical murder of the hibernating crew members
  • the slow de-braining and disconnecting of the computer as Bowman removed memory modules while HAL calmly responded: ("I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it")
  • HAL's child-like singing of "Daisy" as his 'mind' deteriorated
  • the ultimate light-show trip through space ("the Stargate") toward Jupiter and into another dimension
  • the final enigmatic scene of Bowman aging in a Victorian bedroom somewhere beyond Jupiter
  • and the image of the birth of the ambiguous Star Child

2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984)

In Peter Hyam's sequel to Kubrick's classic:

  • Dave Bowman's (Keir Dullea) last words: "My God, it's full of stars!"
  • the rough slingshot around Jupiter
  • HAL 9000's (voice of Douglas Rain) reactivation
  • Dr. Heywood Floyd (Roy Scheider) and Dr. Walter Kurnow's (John Lithgow) discussion of ball park hot dogs: ("...Yankee Stadium. September. The hot dogs have been broiling since opening day in April. Now that's a hot dog")
  • the scene on Earth, in which the ghost (an incorporeal being) of astronaut David Bowman visited his former wife Betty Fernandez (Mary Jo Deschanel) - now remarried; he appeared on her television screen to check on her and say good-bye for one last time: ("I remember Dave Bowman and everything about him...All Dave Bowman really was is still a part of me...Something's gonna happen and I wanted to say goodbye...something wonderful")
  • Bowman's ethereal appearances, and his conversation with Floyd about "Something wonderful"
  • Dr. Chandra (Bob Balaban) telling HAL 9000 that it must be sacrificed to save the crew (and HAL's quiet, dignified acceptance of his fate and thanks: "I understand now, Dr. Chandra...Thank you for telling me the truth" - and Chandra's response and farewell: "You deserve it...Thank you, HAL")
  • HAL 9000's final conversation with Bowman before Jupiter imploded and the Discovery was destroyed (HAL: "I'm afraid" - Dave: "Don't be. We'll be together")
  • Floyd's final speech about the second star in the sky and his dreams of interplanetary friendship ("Someday, the children of the new sun will meet the children of the old. I think they will be our friends")
  • the final evocative shot of the Monolith in a primordial jungle on Europa as Richard Strauss' Thus Spake Zarasthustra played

Two Rode Together (1961)

In John Ford's minor western about racism and Indian-white relations, slightly similar to The Searchers (1956), and set in the 1880s in Texas, in Comanche country:

  • the opening sequence - an introduction to one of the characters - cynical, opportunistic mercenary Texas Marshal Guthrie McCabe (James Stewart), lounging comfortably on the front porch of a saloon with his feet up on the railing, as he was served a beer
  • the two characters who "rode together" - Marshal Guthrie McCabe accepted orders to join cavalry officer First Lt. Jim Gary (Richard Widmark) in relieving the grief of despondent relatives by rescuing, bringing home, and repatriating a long-lost group of white settlers who had been abducted and held captive by the Comanches; McCabe agreed for two reasons: Army pressure and the promise of a lucrative $500 payment per captive by Army Major Fraser (John McIntire), and secondarily so that he could escape marriage-minded, co-saloon-brothel owner and attractive yet coarse-talking fiancee Madam Belle Aragon (Annelle Hayes)
  • the nostalgic scene of a grieving, tomboyish settler Marty Purcell (Shirley Jones) opening a tragic keepsake - a music box - and listening to String Quintet in E Major - a possession or reminder of her abducted brother Steve who was a young 8 year-old boy when he was snatched by a Comanche raiding party; her father Judge Edward Purcell (Paul Birch) told her: "Now, Martha, stop torturing yourself. Why don't you let me have that? Let me give it away. Or better yet, destroy it"
  • the memorable 4-minute river bank sequence - a long uninterrupted, mostly-improvised take between Marshal McCabe and Lt. Gary, when the two sat down on a log, rinsed off their faces, smoked cigars, and bantered realistically about McCabe's fiancee (who carried a stiletto in her garter belt); she was hinting at matrimony by suggesting increasing his take of saloon profits: ("...she didn't see why I was satisfied with just 10 percent of her take when she was willing to go for fifty-fifty...I get 10 percent of everything in Tascosa"); McCabe argued that he was justified with the extra money since the Marshal's salary was only $100 dollars a month -- "Look at you. Jim, Jim. You're a man of simple wants. I just require a little more, that's all"
  • McCabe and Gary traded two rifles for two of the Indian captives in a deal made with Chief Quanah Parker (Henry Brandon):
    (1) 17 year-old Running Wolf (David Kent), a white boy raised as an Indian after being kidnapped 9 years earlier - later revealed to be Steve Purcell, the abducted brother of Marty - Lt. Gary's love interest and fiancee
    (2) Elena de la Madriaga (Linda Cristal), a beautiful young Mexican woman - the forced squaw named Wah-kay-nah of warring Comanche Stone Calf (Woody Strode) for five years
  • after they departed from the Indian camp, the scene of McCabe's killing of Stone Calf (in full headdress garb) who appeared at McCabe's campsite with a knife and tried to reclaim Elena
  • the ugly issue of racism exhibited by fort-dwellers, faced by the group when they returned to Fort Grant and civilization with the two released captives
  • Elena's shunning by the hypocritical white society, especially the wives who regarded her as damaged goods: ("These people, they smile at me and show their teeth, but it's the eyes that bite. I have not seen the back of anyone's head since I came here. Their eyes are all on my body like dirty fingers. As if they would turn their backs, I would leap upon them, and my touch would have to be washed off like filth. You should not have brought me here. I do not belong with these people... how could I know I would come back to this? For five years with the Comanches, my eyes never saw a tear. Now, they see the silent questions. How many braves has she known? How many mestizo children carry her blood in their veins? Now, why didn't I kill myself? I took a Comanche!")
  • a mentally-deranged, hysterical Mrs. McCandless (Jeanette Nolan) wrongly claimed that Running Wolf was her son - and after she released him from his bonds and tried to cut his braided hair ("Braid. Mama's gonna cut that off so you'll be my darling little white boy"), he stabbed her to death through the heart (off-screen)
  • in retaliation, the settlers proceeded to lynch the youth - and as the execution was about to be committed, his true heritage was revealed (he recognized his toy music box, and spoke an English word: "Mine!" - but was restrained and taken away to his death)
  • in the conclusion, McCabe was leaving to return to his Texas marshal's job, but changed his mind (he learned his position in Tascosa had been filled in his absence by his deputy); he bid farewell to Lt. Gary and Belle in the saloon and joined Elena to go to California, riding shot-gun on her stagecoach (Lt. Gary spoke to Bell about McCabe's decision in the film's final lines: Belle: "You'd think a woman with my experience would know more about men" Lt. Gary: "Yeah. Well, I guess old Guth finally found somethin' he wanted more than ten percent of")

Two Times (1968, Fr.) (aka Deux Fois, or Twice Upon a Time)

In pioneering feminist director Jackie Raynal's challenging and enigmatic experimental film with a series of unrelated episodes or vignettes:

  • the opening in which Raynal served as the announcer and stated: "Tonight will be the end of meaning”
  • the incredible urination sequence in which director Raynal entered a bare studio room topless and wearing only black panties and pantyhose, with a man named Oscar below her to her left crouched and seated on the floor; after some expressions of nervous pain and looking distraught, she touched her groin (as Oscar obsured the lens while moving away and making grimacing faces); when the view of Raynal reappeared, she was squatting on the floor on her knees - and urinated through her tights to relieve herself
  • in a repetitive sequence, Raynal sat behind a table covered with cameras - she picked up one item, went offscreen, returned with it, then picked up another item and again moved away; after returning the second time, she picked up a mirror and reflected light by flashing it toward the lens of the filming camera

Two Women (1960, It.) (aka La Ciociara)

In writer/director Vittorio De Sica's sub-titled Italian film:

  • the central character of Cesira (Oscar-winning Sophia Loren) - the widowed and tormented shopkeeper mother of 13-year-old teenaged daughter Rosetta (Eleanora Brown) who she vainly tried to protect in war-torn Italy during World War II in the dark war year of 1943
  • in the Italian countryside during the taking of Rome, their long trek back on foot when they were almost run over by a column of allied Moroccans in jeeps amid ogling and catcalls
  • the film's most horrifying, traumatic and memorable scene - the two were forced to survive during an overnight beating and brutal gang rape by a platoon of retreating Moroccans in a bombed-out church

(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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