Some film scenes are so good or so much fun that they can be enjoyed with or without context. Great films can still have some lousy scenes, and even lousy films can have great scenes. What are some of your favourite scenes in films?
I maintain that the sandwich scene in Birds of Prey is one of the most enjoyable and relatable things I’ve seen in a film, but I guess that says a lot about me. How about you?
Network has some great scenes. The “I’m mad as hell” scene, of course, the scene where Ned Beatty is lecturing Beale, the scene where they introduce the new, glitzy news set, the scene Beatrice Straight won the Oscar for, the sex scene where Faye Dunaway has an orgasm while discussing the network schedule, and I’m sure I’m leaving some out.
Now THIS is going to be something of a thread! It’s like I have to contain myself here so I don’t keep blabbing out scene after scene after scene after scene [continues on and on]…
It’s a lengthy scene, clocking in at 32 minutes, but there’s this heist scene in the French crime film Rififi that’s second-to-none. This heist is carried out in silence and without dialogue, and the tension is off the charts. Just fantastic.
The whole dream sequence from Sherlock Jr. is phenomenal even a century later.
My favourite scene in cinema is the blood test scene in The Thing. The paranoia amongst the characters is palpable and the tension is almost unbearable as it slowly builds to a terrifying crescendo. When The Thing does transform it’s absolutely horrifying; not only because of the effectiveness of the incredible special effects but because of the poor people tied to the couch!
I show that scene to people when I want to explain to them that silent cinema is just as amazing as anything to come after it.
This scene immediately comes to mind-
I completely agree, the tension in this scene is incredible! But it’s one of the few movie scenes I’ve never been able to revisit – to draw blood they cut their thumbs like they’re peeling an orange, which is just the most horrific overkill to draw blood and it makes my spine shiver just remembering it.
There’s so much that silent cinema has to offer, it’s ridiculous.
I love how @TheOtherKevinMurphy brought up Sherlock Jr., and I gotta throw down some love for one of my personal favorites, Steamboat Bill Jr.
The house scene. Man. It’s nothing short of a miracle that they didn’t kill Buster Keaton there.
Keaton broke his neck in Sherlock, Jr. when a torrent of water from a water tower was dropped on him. He kept on going anyway. What an amazing guy.
That, I didn’t know. Holy hell. Keaton was the genuine article.
Harold Lloyd was a trooper too. A fake bomb was supposed to go off in his hands for a scene, but they used the only real bomb amongst the fakes which was supposed to go off at another point and it blew off three of his fingers. He just got some prosthetic ones and kept on doing stunts.
I know I would have quit.
Oh, no doubt, no doubt.
AND THEN you had Lillian Gish and Richard Barthelmess performing their own stunts on the ice floes for Way Down East, and that was all a bit of crazy. Gish’s use of her right hand would end up being compromised for the rest of her life.
Harold Lloyd, though… damn. That’d require some real determination to want to keep making that movie after what happened.
So look, I’m already three pints of foaming nut brown ale into my Friday night which means I’ll have to come back another time with a more considered choice. But for now I’ll just leave this here and bid you all a good evening
Absolutely! The Thing is a Jaws-level jewel of popular cinema!
I just saw Emmerich’s remake of Midway. Despite the schlocky director it is an awesome movie. The scene where Torpedo 8 meets it horrible end, which is clearly paralleled by Gold Squadron in A New Hope, and pretty the whole third act of Rogue One. And as long as we are talking about the latter, the scene where Chirrut Îmwe dies is breathtakingly beautiful.
I’m still amazed that they had a Star Wars movie with a concluding act like that. Spectacularly compelling and potent stuff.
I hope you weren’t surprised by the ending. I figured out early that we would have met them all if they had survived.
Surprised by what happened? No.
Surprised that the ending had the gravity and emotional resonance that it did? Yes.
One of most gut wrenching but powerful scenes for me is in the 1992 The Last of the Mohicans near the end on the cliff. (I guess spoiler alert?)
When Alice witnesses Uncas’s death at the hand of Magua and has made her way to the edge of the cliff thinking there is no hope. The look on Magua’s face like “Uh…come here!” and she’s like, “no”. The way that the soundtrack carries that whole scene with no dialogue gets me every time.