Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Vampire's Kiss (1988)

In director Robert Bierman's modern comedic, over-the-top vampire film:

  • the psychiatric counseling scene of hotshot Manhattan yuppie literary agent Peter Loew (Nicolas Cage) speaking to his therapist Dr. Glaser (Elizabeth Ashley) about being aroused more by a bat than his date: "I brought this girl up to my place the other night. Really hot, you know. And we're on the bed. And suddenly, this bat comes swooping down out of nowhere...I'm fighting this bat off all alone and I'll be damned if I didn't get really turned on"
  • his fanatical and freaked-out outburst to Dr. Glaser about the stupidity of misfiling by his new office secretary Alva Restrepo (Maria Conchita Alonso): "How could somebody MISFILE something? What could be easier? It's all alphabetical. You just PUT it IN the right file according to ALPHABETICAL ORDER! You know - A, B, C, D, E, F, G...H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P...Q, R, S, T, U, V...W, X, Y, Z! Huh? That's ALL you have to DO!...I never misfiled ANYTHING! Not ONCE, not ONE TIME!...I wanna know really, WHO DID!"
  • the scene of a one-night stand, when Peter was bitten in the neck during love-making by vampirish Rachel (Jennifer Beals) - turning him into an over-the-top creature of the night and assuring him: "It's alright, it's alright. You chose me"
  • his abusive behavior towards Alva when he shouted and berated her for not doing her job productively: "Am I getting through to you, Alva?" - and then later, he again shouted at her when she suggested getting someone else to do her job and make it easier: "Alva, there is no one else in this entire office that I could possibly ask to share such a horrible job. You're the lowest on the totem pole here, Alva. The lowest. Do you realize that? Every other secretary who's been here has been here longer than you, Alva. Every one. And even if there was someone here who was here just one day longer than you, I still wouldn't ask that person to partake in such a miserable job as long as you were around. That's right, Alva. It's a horrible, horrible job. Sifting through old contract after old contract. I couldn't think of a more horrible job if I wanted to. And you have to do it. You have to. Or I'll fire you. Do you understand? Do you?"
  • the scene of Rachel's sexual domination of Peter when she forced him to profess his love for her: "I hate interrupted love affairs, don't you? How much nicer when the outside world doesn't interfere with the pleasure. You were so right to put yourself into my hands, Peter. The only one who can put you out of your misery. Tell me how much you love me, my angel. Whisper it to me. Just once. Please, just once. Oh, just once. I know you do. I can read your mind, my love. I can see it in your actions. You can't get through the day without thinking about me, can you? Tell me you love me. Tell me" - and then he uncovered his neck wound and permitted her to suck his blood
  • the scene of the crazed Peter grabbing and eating a live, squirming cockroach for breakfast
  • his continual harrassment of Alva, now in the backseat of a taxi-cab - when he told her: "It's horrible when there are tensions between employer and employee. Sometimes the pressures, you know, they just build up. Wait till you get into a position of authority....You will, Alva. You're a very bright girl. That's how I know that today, by God, is the day you're gonna find that damned Heatherton contract....The work's not just gonna go away, Alva. It never just 'goes away'. THE GODDAMN CONTRACT IS SOMEWHERE IN THOSE GODDAMN F--KING FILES!"
  • the scene of Peter - wearing fake teeth - phoning his therapist Dr. Glaser to make an appointment to see her - and then his catching and consumption of a live pigeon
  • the blind date scene, arranged by Dr. Glaser, between another patient named Sharon (Jessica Lundy) and Peter: "She complains of exactly the same thing you do and personality-wise, I think you two are made for each other. I should have matched you two up long ago" - Sharon described her interests to Peter: "I like poetry, horseback-riding, Vivaldi and long weekends in the country"
  • but then, Peter confessed to a few of his major issues, in his delusionary mind: "I did rape someone a couple of nights ago. A girl at the office. I just lost control....Well, the fact is I did murder someone last night. I turned into a vampire. It's a long story"; Dr. Glaser assured him: "Would you stop worrying and just get on with your big romance....Get out of here, the both of you. Have a wonderful life together and I will take care of the cops"
  • the conclusion in Peter's destroyed apartment (where he had converted his overturned sofa into a coffin-bed), when the hallucinatory Peter became extremely annoyed and mad at an imaginary Sharon for continually asking about his vampire transformation: "You don't let up, do you, c--t? You just keep harping and harping over the same goddam thing. 'Why did you become a vampire?' 'Why couldn't you be normal?' 'Peter, does this mean we can never have children?' ...'cause there's no way in hell that I would ever, ever marry a loud-mouth pig like you. In the ten minutes I'm with you and the s--t just starts right up. What? What? You hate my guts? You wanna go home? You wanna leave? Good. Fine. Get the hell out of here, you f--king pig! Leave me the f--k alone! I really can't handle these relationships. Maybe I should see a shrink" - he attempted to put a wooden stake through his own heart, and was assisted by Alva's enraged brother, who pushed the stake in further and brought on Peter's death

Vampyr (1932, Fr./Germ.) (aka The Vampire, or Castle of Doom)

In Danish director Carol Theodor Dreyer's first sound film - about vampyres (although with sparse dialogue and still employing title cards), a slow-paced, unsettling psychological horror masterpiece with German expressionistic camerawork and soft-focus images, but not viewed in the US until 16 years later:

  • set at a Courtempierre French chateau, various ominous images - such as the sight of a robed and hooded farmer with a giant scythe by the river's edge, a symbol of death
  • the rarely-seen main vampyr character - a mysterious, elderly and blind village female named Marguerite Chopin (Henriette Gérard)
  • the frightening shot of severely-ill, anemic-vampyrized, "damned" adolescent Leone (Sybille Schmitz) with "the mark of damnation" on her neck - suddenly giving an evil, possessed, lascivious, predatory, blood-thirsty, and demonic smile toward her younger sister Giséle (Rena Mandel) - both girls were daughters of the lord of the manor (Maurice Schutz)
  • the feverishly dreamy, disorienting scene of occult researcher Allan Gray (Julian West, aka Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg), a specialist who studied "devil worship and vampire terror" - drained of his blood, becoming ghostlike and spiritually transparent (filmed with double-exposure as he rose up from a bench), and viewing his own death as a disembodied soul, beginning with a view of his own body on a flower-bed in a coffin
  • in a five-minute sequence of being buried alive - the film's most heralded and celebrated set-piece, the hero found himself sealed in the glass-windowed coffin and watching what was enfolding from his body's own claustrophobic, helpless subjective point-of-view:
    -- the screwing and sealing down of the wooden coffin lid (marked with the inscription: FROM DUST THOU ART, UNTO DUST THOU SHALT RETURN)
    -- the sinister-looking old vampyr Marguerite Chopin, lighting a candle on the window, and then looking down at him
    -- and the transport of the coffin during his own funeral through the chateau and to the burial site (with the walls, building, sky, and trees moving above him in his view)
  • the scene of the defeat of the vampyr when Gray went to the cemetery, opened the grave of Marguerite Chopin, pounded a thick iron bar through her body and heart (her face turned skeletal), and lifted the curse - Léone recovered ("I feel strong. My soul is free")
  • the concluding sequence of the suffocation death of the village doctor (Jan Hieronimko), one of the vampyre's minions, hiding in the bottom of a flour mill where the activated machinery buried him alive under mounds of white flour
  • meanwhile, Gray was rowing Gisele by boat across a foggy river - liberating and saving her as they walked into the sunlight

Vanilla Sky (2001)

In director/co-writer Cameron Crowe's psychological thriller:

  • the scene of wealthy millionaire publisher David Aames (Tom Cruise) running along in an empty Times Square
  • the scenes of David's love-affair with sexy Sofia Serrano (Penélope Cruz reprising her role from the original film), causing jealousy for David's ex-lover, Julianna "Julie" Gianni (Cameron Diaz) - who deliberately crashed her car with him as a passenger in a deadly accident and disfigured his face
  • David's consultations with psychiatrist Dr. Curtis McCabe (Jeff Bridges) about his face disfigurement
  • the concluding scene in which David's life passed before his eyes through a sonic-speed, bizarre pop-culture montage of classic album covers (i.e., Bruce Springsteen's "The River" album), landmark news stories and personal snapshots

The Vanishing (1988, Neth/Fr.) (aka Spoorloos)

In director George Sluizer's original and haunting Dutch thriller:

  • college chemistry teacher and genial family man Raymond Lemorne's (Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu) creepy preparations to abduct a woman (i.e., a sling with a fake, removable cast, chloroform, a log of his pulse rate after approaching various prospective female victims, a formula connecting "dosage" with "minutes unconscious" and "miles", etc.)
  • the scene of the mysterious disappearance of Saskia Wagter (Johanna ter Steege) at a French gas station (by chloroforming her into unconsciousness, shown in flashback) while on a trip through France with lover Rex Hofman (Gene Bervoets)
  • the chilling shock-ending finale three years later in which her abductor Lemorne planned a similar hideous fate for Rex by drugging him and burying him alive in a coffin under the earth

Vera Cruz (1954)

In director Robert Aldrich's western (produced by actor Burt Lancaster and one of Hollywood's first major pictures to be produced in Mexico) - a precursor to the 'spaghetti' westerns of Sergio Leone:

  • the line of dialogue during a meal delivered by Danette (Henry Brandon) to n'er-do-well crude, and roguish adventurer Joe Erin (Burt Lancaster): "Be careful, senor. Some of it is getting in your mouth"
  • the final shoot-out between American adventurers Benjamin Trane (Gary Cooper) and grinning amoral Joe Erin

Vertigo (1958)

In director Alfred Hitchcock's perplexing, necrophiliac-tinged thriller about obsession:

  • the dazzling credits sequence - a fragmented and shifting image of a woman's blank and expressionless face; first, an enormous close-up of the lower left portion of her face, then her lips, then her frightened eyes darting left and then right, and then a straight-on closeup of her right eye as the entire screen took on a bright reddish hue; the title of the film "Vertigo" zoomed out slowly from the depths of her widening pupil; spiraling, vertiginous, animated designs (of various configurations and shapes) replaced the closeup of the iris, and the remainder of the credits played over a black background after the pupil was entered and the eye faded away
  • the opening rooftop chase scene between plain-clothes SF police detective (later identified as Scottie Ferguson (James Stewart)), a uniformed SF policeman (Fred Graham), and a fugitive - ending with Ferguson hanging from a gutter - frozen by his debilitating fear of heights (acrophobia) - he looked down many stories into the deadly abyss below and experienced a dizzying sensation called vertigo (symbolized by dizzying trick camerawork (a reverse zoom, dolly-out) visualizing the vortex of vertigo and acrophobia (fear of heights)); Ferguson watched in horror as the policeman tried to assist him and fell to his death
  • the sequence of Scottie hired by his old college friend, Gavin Elster (Tom Helmore), to trail his potentially-suicidal wife around San Francisco (Elster asked: "Do you believe that someone out of the past, someone dead, can enter and take possession of a living being?") - and the striking first half-profile view that Scottie had of the face of ethereal, lovely, elegant blonde Madeleine (Kim Novak) in Ernie's Restaurant
Scottie's Stalking of Madeleine
Profile of Madeleine (Kim Novak) in Restaurant
Art Gallery
Golden Gate Bridge Attempted Drowning
  • the continued stalking of Madeleine, when Scottie followed her into the art gallery at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor where he found her hypnotized, motionless and trance-like in front of a portrait painting of a woman named Carlotta Valdes, her ancestor's portrait; Scottie noticed that her single lock of swirling (vertigo-like) hair and hand-corsage bore a striking resemblance to the bouquet and hairstyle in the painting
  • Scottie's rescue of suicidal Madeleine at the Golden Gate Bridge, when she tore and threw flower petals from her Carlotta-like nosegay into the water, and then jumped into the cold waters of the bay
  • the sequence of her recovery at his apartment, when Scottie took care of her, gave her a red robe to wear, and became entranced and bewitched by her
  • the sequence of their car trip together to the evocative, centuries-old redwood sequoias; in a dark, moody, giant redwood forest, in the filtered, impressionistic light of the woods where they wandered, she spoke about the ancient, towering trees over 2,000 years old - and how they reminded her of her own smallness and mortality; he noted: "Their true name is Sequoia sempervirens, 'always green, ever-living'"; while pointing toward the concentric, spiraling rings in a cross-section of the stump of one of the felled trees in a display showing thousands of years of history (historical events, wars and treaties from 909 AD to 1930 when the tree was cut down), she indicated with a black-gloved finger the place where Carlotta's life had spanned a short period of time - she enigmatically traced the times of her birth and her death in one of the film's key speeches: "Somewhere in here I was born. And there I died. It was only a moment for you, you took no notice"
  • in the next sequence, Madeleine begged him to take her to "somewhere in the light" and they appeared on a Monterey Bay ocean cliff next to a classic Monterey pine; after telling him about a disturbing, ambiguous, symbol-filled dream, she became frightened and ran down the rocks to the water's edge where waves crashed in; he chased after her and they embraced - and he pledged to protect her forever: "I'm here. I've got you...All the time!"
Kissing by Ocean
Driving to Spanish Mission
Madeleine: "There's something I must do"
  • the sequence of Scottie and Madeleine driving and visiting San Juan Bautista's Spanish Mission, about 100 miles south of San Francisco - hoping that visiting the real-world California mission would end her nightmares, cure her fears, dispel the dream's power, or prompt her memories; when they arrived, they kissed and he confessed: "I love you, Madeleine"; she glanced across the courtyard toward the mission's church and bell tower, hurriedly confessed her own love for him, became frantic ("There's something I must do...It's too late!"), and ran from him; she climbed up the bell tower's crude, winding and rickety wooden staircase, and as he followed, his acrophobia and vertigo slowed his climb after her up the spiraling stairs
  • at the top of the tower, Scottie heard a shrieking scream as a gray-clothed body resembling Madeleine's was seen through a side tower window falling to her death far below; Scottie looked down through the tower opening and saw a still body lying dead on the adjacent rooftop below - Madeleine had apparently committed suicide
  • the disturbing and distraught Scottie's vivid nightmares following Madeleine's death - real nightmares, flashing lights, vivid, and shattered, exploding images, and a vision of a bottomless pit accompanied by a frightening silhouette of his body falling into the mission roof
  • the scene of Scottie's first view of a Madeleine look-alike on the street outside the flower-shop, in profile - a dark, red-haired woman wearing a tight green sweater dress - a shopgirl named Judy (also Kim Novak), and his growing obsession to reshape and remake her into Madeleine
  • the magnificent dream-like scene in her hotel room when Judy emerged from the bathroom in a sickly neon green light - transformed completely into Madeleine as the camera swirled around them
  • the striking moment when Scottie was attaching a necklace around Judy's neck, and he realized that Judy was Madeleine (imagined in a momentary flashback of the necklace in the portrait and Madeleine gazing at it from a museum bench) -- he suddenly knew there was no Madeleine, and he had been tricked by Elster
  • and later, Scottie's agonizing questions as he dragged Judy up the stairs of the mission tower after visiting a second time: "Did he train you? Did he rehearse you? Did he tell you exactly what to do and what to say? You were a very apt pupil, too, weren't you? You were a very apt pupil. Why did you pick on me? Why me?...I was the set-up. I was the set-up, wasn't I? I was a made-to-order witness" - and a second final terrifying sequence in the bell tower, when she sincerely professed that she still loved him even though he had been her victim
  • the finale - footsteps of a black-clad figure in the shadows startled Judy, and she backed away from Scottie gasping: "Oh, no!"; the dark, shadowy figure (a nun), said: "I hear voices";
  • terrified, thinking and believing she was seeing the ghost of the murdered Madeleine (or the reincarnation of the ghostly doomed mother Carlotta Valdes), Judy recoiled, stepped and fell backwards through an opening in the tower and plummeted to her own death (off-screen) in an emotionally-shattering climax; the figure, actually a nun from the mission, crossed herself and murmured the last words of the film: "God have mercy"
  • the last shot of a stunned Scottie standing on the belfry tower ledge as he stared down at Judy's dead body in the tragic ending - Scottie had tragically loved and lost the same woman twice

Opening Credits

Scottie's Fear of Heights - Acrophobia with Vertigo

Madeleine Recovering in Scottie's Apartment

Madeleine Tracing Rings in Giant Sequoia Tree

Vertigo Effect

Madeleine's 'Suicidal' Death

Scottie's Nightmares

Shopgirl Judy
(also Kim Novak)

Judy Transformed into Madeleine

"God have mercy."

The Second Bell-Tower Sequence and Second Fatal Fall

Victor/Victoria (1982)

In Blake Edwards' screwball sex farce:

  • in 1930s Paris, the audition scene of frail, impoverished soprano, Victoria Grant (Julie Andrews) whose high-pitched, sustained note shattered a wine glass
  • the restaurant scene when Victoria dined with flamboyant, gay, middle-aged cabaret singer Carroll "Toddy" Todd (Robert Preston), and to avoid paying for the meal, released a cockroach and then told the waiter ("I'm sure it wasn't your fauIt that your saIad had a cockroach in it") - and caused complete havoc
  • the plan of opera singer Victoria Grant and "Toddy" to pass Victoria off as "Count Victor Grezhinski" - a Polish drag queen and Toddy's new boyfriend: (Victoria: "A woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman?")
  • the over-the-top character of ditzy, wild, uncontrollable, coarse, sex-starved blonde moll Norma Cassady (Lesley Ann Warren) with her irksome voice ("Kiiiiiiiiing! Pooooooooookie!") - and with her Chicago mob associate boyfriend and nightclub owner King Marchand (James Garner); in bed, she tried to warm up to King, but he was unable to have sex with her anymore - she tried to assuage his feelings of inadequacy, with a long malaprop about his impotence: ("Pookie. It's no big deaI. It happens to everyone. Men, I mean. We're lucky. Women, I mean. We can fake it if we have to. Oh, oh, don't get me wrong. I never have with you. Faked it, I mean. With you, it's like - pow, pow, pow, like the Fourth of July! Every time. Just tonight, because you couldn't get it. Up till now it's been grand, Pookie, really, really grand. And if there's one thing I know for sure, you can't let it get you, you should excuse the expression, down. You can't think about it. You just gotta put it out of your mind. I mean, the more you think about it, the more you worry. The more you worry, the more you think. Think, worry. Good stuff. Worry, think. It just gets Iike a vicious circIe. And then, before you know it, you are impudent"); and then she asked as he returned to the bedroom from the bathroom - completely vexed by her and ready to wash her mouth out: "What's with the soap?"
  • Norma's defiant reaction when cut loose by King and sent back to America - forced onto a train by King's bodyguard Mr. Bernstein (Alex Karras) aka Squash, when she opened her robe to reveal her skimpy bra, underpants, and stockings, and was yelling: "Thinks he can just push me around! Thinks I'm just gonna hop on the next boat for the States and that'll be that! Well, you've got another thing coming Mr. Big-shot Fairy Marchand! 'Cause Mrs. Cassidy's little goil Norma ain't gonna take this one lyin' down! And don't kid yourself! You ain't seen the last of me yet!" - causing a distracted boarding passenger to stumble off the platform
  • also Norma's saucy, sexy song-and-dance "Chicago, Illinois" number with other showgirls in baby-doll underwear
  • Victoria's show-stopping production number "Le Jazz Hot" in a black gown with stringy bat-wing sleeves and a rhinestone headdress when she revealed herself as alter-ego male Victor by ripping off her headdress
  • and Norma's hilarious one-liner when she thought she was to be assaulted by clothes-stripping Victor/Victoria Grant: "Wait a minute...lock the door first" - and her reaction to Victoria's true sex that she screeched at King: "You two-timing son-of-a-bitch! HE'S A WOMAN!"
  • the scene of hilariously miscast and in drag Toddy performing "Shady Dame From Seville" in place of Victoria, and his jokingly bitter riposte to his chorus line when finished and claiming it was his last performance: "You were marvelous - and I never want to see any of you again!"

Videodrome (1983)

In director David Cronenberg's terrorizing tale of erotic sci-fi and "body horror":

  • the character of seedy cable TV director/producer Max Renn (James Woods) and his discovery of a pirated, ultra-violent underground snuff TV show called Videodrome
  • his development of the ability to insert videocassette tapes into a body opening slot in his abdomen
  • the stupendous, surrealistic scene of Max kissing a hallucinogenic TV screen displaying a pair of giant seductive red lips that began to suck him into the glass monitor
  • the scene of his assassination of political leader Harlan (Peter Dvorsky), his own colleague, by transforming his hand into a slimy gun-grenade
  • the killing of the head of Spectacular Optical Corporation (and Videodrome's producer), Chief of Special Programs Barry Convex (Leslie Carlson) - Renn shot him with his organic gun that caused tumors to erupt from his torso and skull
  • also the bizarre scene of masochistic lover and self-help radio guru Nicki Brand (Deborah Harry or rock star Blondie) snuffing a burning cigarette out on her own breast: ("Let's try a few things")
  • Renn's own imitative suicide with his own hand-gun, after watching a broadcast with Nicki prompting him to kill himself. He watched as he blew his own head open - and the TV set exploded. As he pulled the trigger for real, he proclaimed: "Long live the new flesh"

Village of the Damned (1960, UK)

In director Wolf Rilla's scary B-movie horror film (about an alien takeover) - loosely adapted from John Wyndham's 1957 sci-fi novel The Midwich Cuckoos, the tagline asked: "What Demonic Force Lurks Behind Those Eyes?" It also warned: "Beware the Stare That Will Paralyze the Will of the World." At the time of its release during the Cold War, the film functioned as an allegory for the Communist Scare of the 1950s. It was later remade as John Carpenter's Village of the Damned (1995).

  • in the film's opening during what was dubbed a "time out," a mysterious force-field caused everyone to collapse or fall asleep (or go unconscious) in the British village of Midwich during a mist; an impenetrable bubble was established around the town; later, it was discovered that the same phenomena of spawned mutant children occurred in other places around the world
  • upon awakening, every women of child-bearing age was pregnant, including unwed teenage girls and married women whose husbands were absent; there were many accusations of infidelity and premarital sex, although the children were virginally conceived
  • a group of twelve hyper-intelligent, telepathic, blonde-haired, unemotional, glowing-eyed kids (an alien race) with raised foreheads were born - (all at the same time) - bonded to each other, group-minded, and highly precocious
  • there were odd instances in which residents of the town died under mysterious circumstances (a man pulled a shotgun trigger and blew his head off).
  • in the film's conclusion in the classroom of the brick schoolhouse, resident scientist Professor Gordon Zellaby (George Sanders) faced-off against the deadly-staring, mind-controlling and mind-reading robotic children and their leader - his own son David (Martin Stephens); the children approached the desk where he had set his briefcase (with a bomb, triggered and timed to detonate and kill all of them; David was puzzled and asked: "You're not thinking of atomic energy - you're thinking of a brick wall!"
  • with a sweaty brow, the Professor struggled to concentrate and maintain his single-minded thought - the image of the brick wall in his mind, to prevent the children from learning that he was planning to block his thoughts about destroying them: (voice-over) "A brick wall... a brick wall... I must think of a brick wall... a brick wall... I must think of a brick wall... a brick wall... brick wall... I must think of a brick wall... It's almost half past eight... brick wall... only a few seconds more... brick wall... brick wall... brick wall... nearly over... a brick wall..."
  • a view of the brick wall was superimposed over the Professor's face as his will was perceptably weakened, the childrens' eyes glowed, and the brick wall began to slowly crumble, but the alien children were unable to prevent destruction - the bomb exploded at exactly eight-thirty

Viridiana (1961, Sp./Mex.)

In Luis Bunuel's widely-condemned, subversive and banned surreal masterpiece and ironic drama for suggestions of incest, rape and necrophilia, and for its perceived indictment of Catholic self-righteousness, blasphemy, and obscenity - the winner of the Golden Palm (Palme d'Or) at the 1961 Cannes Film Festival in the year of its release:

  • in the plot, devout Spanish convent novice Viridiana (Silvia Pinal) was compelled to visit her rich, land-owning, reclusive widower uncle Don Jaime's (Fernando Rey) who was still mourning the death of his wife due to a heart attack on their wedding night in his arms - without consummation
  • the first view of the uncle's estate - actually the legs and feet of jump-roping young Rita (Teresa Rabal), the daughter of Don Jaime's maid Ramona (Margarita Lozano) - the lonely, admiring Don Jaime was watching her innocent activity, and offered her a new jump rope
  • the initial meeting between Viridiana and her uncle - somewhat chilly
  • as Don Jaime played the organ, in Viridiana's bedroom, she partially disrobed and revealed her shapely legs when she removed her dark stockings; she also unpacked her suitcase, carrying a small wooden cross and a crown of thorns
  • in the secretive privacy of Don Jaime's bedroom (with a veil draped over his dressing chest), he was seen admiring his wife's wedding clothes - he slipped her white, high-heeled satin shoe over the top half of his right foot; he also modeled her corset in front of a mirror; when Viridiana appeared, he was entranced by the sight of her bare legs in front of the fireplace
  • Don Jaime's one last favor of the reluctant Viridiana - to satisfy his obsession with her similar looks to his deceased wife ("You look just like her"), he clothed his niece Viridiana in his wife's wedding gown. He admitted: "I can't keep my eyes off you" and reluctantly confessed ("You must think I'm mad") that he would like to marry her ("I never want you to leave this house"); her reaction was repulsion: "You can't be in your right mind. I've been so happy here, and now you've spoiled it all"
  • although Don Jaime promised to drop the subject, afterwards his servant Ramona secretly drugged her tea drink; Don Jaime carried Viridiana into the bedroom, reclined her on the bed, kissed her, loosened the top of her dress, buried his head in her breasts, and was tempted to rape her
  • the next day, he falsely confessed to her that he had taken her virginity to keep her from returning to the convent for her final vows; when she was still determined to leave, he admitted that he lied ("I only possessed you in my thoughts") -- but the ultimate result was his own guilty self-humiliation and a suicidal hanging with a jump rope; in his will, he left his estate property to her, shared with his illegitimate, cynical son Jorge (Francisco Rabal)
  • the black comedy sequence of Jorge purchasing a dog from a peasant ("The cart's only for people") - the animal was tied to the undercarriage of a horse-drawn cart (a common Spanish practice); Jorge wished to prevent it from hanging itself - but after the transaction with the peasant, failed to notice - ironically - that another cart moving in the opposite direction had an equally-exhausted dog also tied under it
  • the virtuous and idealistic Viridiana, partly out of guilt, charitably gathered together a destitute group of thieves, beggars, drunks, lepers, cripples, and whores; they took over the house after she had invited them to live at her uncle's crumbling estate, and she had briefly left to formalize inheritance of the property; while absent, they invaded the house and nearly destroyed everything - they killed goats for a feast, dirtied the tablecloth, and broke expensive china and furniture
  • the final most controversial sequence was the drunken parody and re-enactment of Da Vinci's 'The Last Supper' by the group - they 'freeze-framed' in a tableau for a mock group portrait at the table, pictured to the sounds of the "Hallelujah Chorus" in Handel's Messiah; at that moment, one of the filthy female beggars, Lola Gaos (Enedina), pretended to be the 'photographer' and metaphorically suggested snapping the picture by lifting her skirt
The "Last Supper"
  • the celebration reverted into an orgiastic riot, with dancing, ribaldry, violence, food-fighting and cross-dressing - anachronistically, a syphilitic beggar clothed himself in the dead wife’s corset and veil and performed an obscene dance, while a couple had sex in the living room behind the sofa; one of the celebrants even attempted to molest and rape Viridiana when she returned to the house
  • totally disillusioned or maybe more sexually aware of herself (after two attempted rapes), Viridiana submitted to playing a game of cards, to the sounds of the early 60s pop tune Shimmy Doll ("Shake Your Cares Away") - as the camera retreated backwards through a closeted doorway
  • the film's ending: a suggested possible menage a trois scene between ex-nun Viridiana, servant Ramona, and her lothario, rakish cousin Jorge

Viva Las Vegas (1964)

In director George Sidney's lightweight and banal musical, but the best of the Elvis musicals (it was the 15th film of his 31 theatrical feature films):

  • "Viva Las Vegas," the opening title credits song (the city's anthem), sung by pop-star Elvis Presley under the glittering neon lights of the famed Las Vegas night-time strip and its numerous casinos (seen in aerial views and from the street level)
  • the first appearance of red-headed Rusty Martin (Ann-Margret, Elvis' co-star, known as "the female Elvis"), seen from under a hot-rod as she walked forward in tight, white short-shorts, and had a memorable first conversation with race-car driver Lucky Jackson (Elvis Presley): (Rusty: "Can you help me please?" Lucky: "Can we help you? Yes ma'am." Rusty: "Well, I'd like you to check my motor, it whistles." Lucky: "I don't blame it!"); afterwards, she strutted directly into the camera, and then the camera reversed itself as she walked away; they followed her sexy, swaying bottom (seen in close-up) as she sashayed out to her white sports car; Lucky quipped: "That's what I call a really sporty model"
  • the sequence of the duet "The Lady Loves Me," after Lucky had located Rusty working as a swimming instructor/singer/dancer at his own hotel, the Flamingo; to woo her, he strummed his guitar as they took a brief tour of the hotel pool, while they sang, flirted and traded barbs with each other (Lucky: "Tonight, she'll hold me in her arms" Rusty: "I'd rather be holding hydrogen bombs" Lucky: "She wants me" Rusty: "Like poison ivy" Lucky: "Needs me" Rusty: "Like a hole in the head" Lucky: "Anyone can see she's got it bad" Rusty: "He's mad"); after the song concluded, she pushed him into the swimming pool from the pink high-diving platform, when he accidentally lost his money roll that was sucked up into the pool's drain - and she sang the final line: "The gentleman's all wet!"; Lucky was forced to work as a Flamingo Hotel waiter to finance his racing
  • the many verbal duels, solos, and musical numbers during a Las Vegas talent show competition
  • the rockin' face-off song "C'mon, Everybody" between hip-swinging Lucky (on-stage) and shimmying bombshell Rusty (on the gym floor below)
  • their joyous travelogue tour of the Las Vegas area with all its sights and attractions, including shooting skeets together, riding motorscooters (with no hands), engaging in an old-fashioned western shoot-out, riding in a helicopter over Hoover Dam, water-skiing on Lake Mead, and visiting a nightclub
  • Ray Charles' "What'd I Say", energetically danced and sung by Lucky (with a guitar) and Rusty - both wearing matching yellow outfits
  • at the end of the talent competition decided by the toss of a coin, Lucky won first prize - (a silver trophy and an all-expenses paid two-week honeymoon in Las Vegas), and Rusty won second place (a genuine, regulation-sized pool table!)
  • the exciting but short sequence of the climactic Grand Prix race, throughout the desert environs of the Las Vegas area, and ending at the finish line on the strip in front of the Golden Nugget casino, with Lucky the winner!
  • in the brief blink-and-you'll-miss-it ending, Lucky's marriage to Rusty (and although the Count crashed during the race, he appeared uninjured to congratulate the couple)

Viva Zapata! (1952)

In Elia Kazan's idealized biopic about the legendary Mexican revolutionary leader in the early 1900s, with John Steinbeck's script 'based on a true story':

  • the early scene of a non-humble peasant farmer Emiliano Zapata (Marlon Brando) (in a larger delegation in Mexico City representing the peasants of the state of Morelos) daring to speak up and complain directly to corrupt, tyrannical and autocratic Mexican President Porfirio Díaz (Fay Roope) that the farmers' land was being taken, and that they could not verify their lands through legal channels because of armed men in the area: (Zapata: "We can't verify the boundaries, my president. The land is fenced and guarded by armed men. They're planting sugarcane in our corn fields right now...With your permission, my president, we make our tortillas out of corn, not patience. And patience will not cross an armed and guarded fence. To do as you suggest, to verify those boundaries, we need your authority to cross that fence"); Diaz denied the request ("I cannot possibly exercise such authority...I can only advise"), and Zapata calmly replied: "Then naturally, my president, we will do as you advise"; Diaz took note of Zapata's defiant fervor and circled his name on the list [Note: This scene would be revisited later, with Zapata in a reversed role listening to farmers)
  • the personal life of Zapata, who romanced a fiesty Josefa (Jean Peters), although both she and her father Senor Espejo (Florenz Ameo) objected and rebuffed him; she complained to him about his impoverished state and that it had to improve before she would consider marriage: ("I have no intention of ending up washing clothes in a ditch and patting tortillas like an Indian....You're not chieftains now. You have no land, no money. Without luck, you'll probably be in jail by tomorrow...A respectable girl wants to live a safe life, protected, uneventful, without surprises, and preferably with a rich man....Come back when you can offer me that")
  • the establishment of grass-roots support for Zapata, after he was apprehended and walked through the countryside with a rope around his neck; a massive group of farmers expressed their non-violent support for him until he was released
Romance with Josefa (Jean Peters)
Josefa Complaining to Zapata About
Not Wanting to Be Impoverished
Husband and Wife
"I can't read"
  • shortly after the fall of Diaz, and peace was a possibility in the land with reformer Francisco Madero (Harold Gordon) in power, Zapata married Josefa; during their honeymoon night, Zapata hesitantly admitted to her that he was illiterate: ("I'll see Madero and all the men around him.... Men from schools. Lawyers, educated men....My horse and my rifle won't help me there. I can't read"); Josefa promised to start tutoring him, using the words from the Bible (Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning...")
  • the scene of naive reformer Madero's meeting with Zapata, but he still refused to reverse conditions for the farmers and return land to them immediately (Madero: "They will get their land, but under the law. This is a delicate matter. It must be studied....Well, the land must be given back under the law so there will be no injustice"); Zapata refused a reward of a ranch and land for himself ("I did not fight for a ranch...Forgive me, Sir, but the land that I fought for was not for myself")
  • the military, led by treacherous General Victoriano Huerta (Frank Silvera), advised Madero to eliminate Zapata ("I advise you to shoot Zapata now...Zapata's a tiger. You have to kill a tiger"); he had Madero held captive, and then had him taken away - and as Madero was released in the middle of the night, he shockingly realized he was doomed and was about to be assassinated by Huerta: (Madero's Last Words: "What you do is wrong. Wrong, I say. No. You can't do this. I tell you because... Because...")
  • the scene of Zapata's ascendancy to being a revolutionary leader, with a repeat of the earlier scene (when farmers from Morelos came to beg for their land); Zapata listened to the demands of a group of farmers, and was tempted to circle the name 'Hernandez' on a list of names - but then realized what he was doing
Zapata - Circling Hernandez' Name - And Then Pausing
  • the scene of Zapata's drunken brother, now General Eufemio Zapata (Anthony Quinn) who had taken up residence in a luxurious ranch (the Hacienda de Ayala) and taken the land that was to be redistributed to the farmers; when confronted, Eufemio complained that he was due the land and everything else: ("I took what I wanted...I took their wives too...I'm a General. Look. Look. Here's my pay, a little dust. I can't even buy a bottle of tequila. We beat Diaz. He's living in a palace in Paris. We beat Huerta. He's a rich man in the United States. I have to beg pennies in my own village from people who never fired a gun! I'm a General, I'm gonna act like a General. I'm gonna take what I want. And don't you or anybody else try to stop me"); he was shot to death by an angry farmer whose wife Chula (Fernanda Eliscu) had been stolen away
  • the fears expressed by Josefa that Zapata should not trust the generals (who were plotting to kill him) - she warned: "Soon you'll be gone and one day a stranger will come to the door and tell me that you're dead. That is what is left for me....Don't go! I have a feeling. Don't go!...Do you want to die?...Emiliano, don't go. Don't go, I beg you. Emiliano, don't. Don't"), but Zapata left anyway
  • in the final sequence, Zapata was lured into a large hacienda compound to be ambushed; while meeting with Colonel Guajardo (Frank De Kova), he was given back his cherished white horse (given away earlier), who sensed danger, snorted and reared up, and ran off; Zapata was left in the open where he was brutally massacred by snipers surrounding him from all sides; behind the conspiracy was Zapata's ex-advisor and government agitator Fernando Aguirre (Joseph Wiseman) who had now ascended to power
  • in the conclusion, Zapata's body was deposited in the center of the town square, although villagers retained the legendary belief that he had not died, but was still present in the mountains, as the film ended visualizing Zapata's white horse on a mountain-top: ("Who do they think they're fooling? Shot up that way, he could be anybody. He fooled them again...I rode with him. I fought with him all these years. They think they can fool me? They can't kill him. They'll never get him. Can you capture a river? Can you kill the wind? No, he's not a river and he's not the wind, he's a man! And still they can't kill him....He's in the mountains. You couldn't find him now, but if we ever need him again, he'll be back. Yes. He's in the mountains")
Zapata's Body Laid in Town Square - But The Legend Remained

President Diaz
(Fay Roope)

Zapata (Marlon Brando) Petitioning Diaz: "We will do as you advise"

Diaz Circling Troublemaker Zapata's Name

Zapata (with Rope Around His Neck) Supported by Farmers

Gen. Huerta: "Zapata's a tiger. You have to kill a tiger"

Madero's Moment of Execution

Zapata Reprimanding His Drunken Brother Gen. Eufemio Zapata (Anthony Quinn) at His Ranch

The Death of Eufemio

Josefa Worried About Husband Zapata And Warning About His Fate

Zapata's Last Few Moments Before a Brutal Death in Ambush

Le Voyage Dans La Lune (1902, Fr.) (aka A Trip to the Moon)

In French filmmaker Georges Melies' early silent film:

  • the remarkable landing of the rocket ship projectile launched into the right eye of the pasty-faced Man in the Moon

(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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