Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Speed (1994)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

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"


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z