I love the twenty plus minute bedroom chat in Breathless, one of the most remarkable conversations I’ve ever seen put to film.
The last minutes of The 400 Blows, I have to agree with. Absolutely fantastic.
The scene in Cries and Whispers where Erland Josephson describes Liv Ullman’s face and how it has aged is one of the greatest scenes ever filmed, and one of the most beautiful.
The opening of 8 1/2.
The vast majority of Lost in Translation.
The ending of Waking Life (something I cannot get over).
The opening to The Royal Tenenbaums.
The first fourteen minutes of There Will Be Blood, as well as the church scene in which Eli throws the spirit out of the building.
The ending of Casablanca.
The opening of Once Upon a Time in Mexico, as well as the great shootout (or one of them).
Winter Light. Period.
There are probably more, but this should be enough for now
Rebekah Del Rio singing “Llorando” a cappella in Club Silencio in “Mulholland Dr.”
Best. Scene. EVER. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it…
Spike Lee’s Malcom X. Spike’s signature double dolley shot with Denzel as he walks(floating) in to his last sppech and death. It happens leading up to the last part of the film. It is cut with someone telling him not to worry!
The climax sequence in Rear Window.
The scene in Seven Samurai where he saves the baby by posing as a monk.
The Madison scene in Band of Outsiders.
The opening of 8 1/2.
The Nepal sequence in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The joy ride sequence in Blue Velvet.
The end of Sanjuro.
The Zarathustra sequence in 2001.
The sequence in Godfather 2 where Vito kills Don Fanucci.
The opening of Once Upon a Time in the West.
The death scene in Throne of Blood.
The duel scene in Barry Lyndon.
The oil strike sequence in There Will Be Blood.
The end of 400 Blows.
The drug deal sequence in Boogie Nights.
John Merrick’s death in The Elephant Man.
I guess that’s enough.
The end scene in “Paths of Glory” when the German girl sings “The Faithful Hussar” in front of all the soldiers.
This could be a little sad, but what the hey… that bit in Blood Simple when Ray’s head hits the pillow and then he’s standing up (or is it vice verse) has really stuck in my memory. A similar thing happens in Cashback too.
The end of The Wind that Shakes the Barley
The opening of Heat, also when DeNiro tells Van Zant that there’s a dead man at the end of this fucking line! And of course the bank heist with goldenthal’s amazing percussion’s and the end of the chase sequence with moby’s beautiful song playing over DeNiro and Pacino holding hands at the climax of the film. Which is also the ending. MASTERPIECE!
The 70 seconds that John Belushi is in the lunch line loading his tray, pockets, and mouth of food to a Sam Cooke soundtrack in Animal House.
Also, the finale of Paths of Glory when Kubrick’s soon-to-be wife sang “The Faithful Hussar”. Spielberg said he put on this scene for his dinner guests upon hearing that Stanley Kubrick had died… they all were in tears by the end of the clip.
8 1/2: the opening dream sequence
In the Mood for Love: the scene with the two leads eating in the restaurant
2001: Dave’s reentry into the ship, and HAL’s death
Ran: the main battle sequence
Blowup: the first scene in the park, and of course the blowup scene (I kind of can’t believe nobody’s mentioned that one yet)
The Passenger: the final scene, and walking around on the roof of the Gaudí building
The Sweet Hereafter: the Pied Piper scenes
Magnolia: the “One is the Loneliest Number” sequence in the beginning
Short Cuts: Jack Lemmon’s monologue
Night of the Living Dead: the stills during the final credits
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie: the strip tease show scenes, and most of the other ones, too
Stalker: almost everything. Seeing this in the theater last year was one of the most powerful movie-watching experiences I’ve ever had.
I feel like a huge nerd since I JUST wrote about Beau Travail in another topic, but the final sequence of this film has to be some of the most arresting cinema ever ever ever. It gives the rest of the film that preceded it so much weight.
I’m especially glad to see meniton of Fellini’s Otto E Mezzo, but what about Roma? No story really, just scenes so to speak. The Ecclesiastical fashion show and then the motorcycle ride at the end are brilliant. I can go on and on about Roma and the images contained therein. Then we can move on to Satyricon…
The final sword fight in Sword of Doom
The sequence in Fallen Angels where He is introduced as he breaks into other peoples stores and forces people to pay him…hilarious
The karaoke scene in Lost in Translation (your heart has to break when Bill Murray sings More than This)
The spider scene in Through a Glass Darkly
and to prove I am not all about depression
The chase sequence in Raising Arizona…Coen brother zaniness at its most sublime.
Best opening … Barbarella.
The dream sequence of Spellbound. Almost any part of Bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring).
The unicorn sequence of Legend.
i have to vote for the scene in ‘a woman under the influence’ when mabel comes home from the hospital. the single best performance from an actress i have ever seen. all the subtle things you see flashing across gena rowlands’ face – fear, betrayal, love – i can’t even list them all because i’m not sure i have mined everything out of it. it floors me every time.
There are too many so I will name the first one that came off the top of my head. The opening space battle in Revenge of the Sith. You could watch that 100 times and still miss everything that is going on. The detail is incredible.
Rupert Pupkin’s first imaginary dialogue with Jerry Langford in THE KING OF COMEDY.
Kit trying to outrun the cops, his arrest, and the few scenes after his arrest in BADLANDS.
Jesse James’ assassination in THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD.
Max Renn whipping the television on the videodrome set in VIDEODROME (I also enjoy Max making love the the TV, but whipping the TV just was so visually appealing).
Joel Barish reliving the childhood experience of boys pressuring him to smash a pigeon with a hammer in ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND. (Breaks my heart everytime…brought back similar memories)
Guido Orefice marching silly for his son just before his execution in LA VITA E BELLA (Life Is Beautiful).
Buster Keaton playing billiards in SHERLOCK, JR. And the changing room scene in THE CAMERAMAN. Also chasing after his train and firing the cannon in THE GENERAL. (Actually, almost any scene in most Keation silents).
millions more I’m sure, just can’t think at the moment.
So many wonderful, wonderful scenes already mentioned. It’s especially nice to see the love for Buster Keaton and “Paths of Glory.”
Five for your consideration….
1. The final scene in “Night Moves.” One of the best films of the 1970s features one of the most devastating examples of the “things fall apart” principle I have ever witnessed.
2. The fireworks fight scene in “Sonatine.” A sad, funny, lyrical grace note for a bunch of gangsters who are about to die.
3. Spade’s final dressing down of Brighid in “The Maltese Falcon.” Bogart and Astor play that scene beautifully, Huston photographs it just right and, thankfully, had the intelligence to not get in the way of the actors or those amazing words.
4. The Demarest/Bracken prison break in “The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek.” Sublime comedy.
5. Spencer Tracy telling the funeral director how it’s going to go down in “The Last Hurrah.” If you’ve ever had to deal with a funeral home director, it is incredibly cathartic to watch Tracy’s Skeffington affably (with just a touch of the sinister in him) muscle the guy into giving the widow a deal on the price. If you’ve never had the misfortune of dealing with a funeral home director, it’s still a perfectly observed scene that speaks volumes about how things are manipulated behind the scenes.
Werckmeister Harmonies – The 9 minute opening shot, in which the pub patrons enact the movement of the universe
Do the Right Thing – Radio Raheem on love and hate
Underground – Wheelchair on fire
Paris Texas – That whopping final dialogue scene between Harry and N.K.
No Country for Old Men – the first coin toss
Hudsucker Proxy – the hula hoop interlude
Happy Together – returning to Hong Kong, upside down
Spirit of the Beehive – when Ana sees frankenstein
Nostalghia – The final scene: integration of past (russia) and present (italy)
Songs from the Second Floor – The singing sequence in the subway train
Ulysses Gaze – the residents of Sarajevo becoming a real community outside during dense fog
The scene toward the end of “Solaris”, when Kris and Khari are sitting together and the zero G kicks in. Sublime.
- Many scenes in Grizzly Man – the bear fight & Timothy’s rant especially
- Oh, and the jive scenes in Airplane! hilarious
Opening sequence: The credits and first scene of “Written on the Wind.”
Sequence that comes to mind since I saw it yesterday: Ginger Rogers walking through the streets in “Storm Warning” as the lights shut off.
Sequence brought to mind by Zachary Philip Brailsford’s mention of “bedroom chat”: that scene with Burt Lancaster and Yvonne DeCarlo in “Criss Cross” that begins with her noodling at the piano.
The ending of Amarcord always tends to suddenly make me feel sad! A beautiful ending to a great film!
-The rain of frogs in Magnolia
-The scene leading up to the fight between Steve and Ned in “The Life Aquatic”, where they walk through the ship arguing, it’s done so beautifully.
-Eastwood’s gun fight at the end of Unforgiven
-The sequence in Boogie Nights where all the cars drive by each other, the limo with jack and roller girl, the truck speeding away from the beaten dirk, the car with cheadle and wife, so tight.
-In Let The Right One In, when the man is about to discover Ely in the tub, it’s so amazingly done.
Oh, I can’t forget to add the musical sequence in MAGNOLIA! I think it’s the only non-musical where the characters break into song and it’s not to comedic effect. It’s brilliant.
These are what I can remember as of now that blew me off track, I would love to update this post whenever I can,
-81/2 – guido stuck in a dream (imagining reality)
-Sanjuro – first scene itself throws the conflict at you without even introducing the characters.
-American Beauty – i think it goes like this – "My name is lester Burnham, This is my street, this is my home, In a year I will be dead
-2001 A Space Odyssey – “Beginning of the Dawn”
-Baptism scene at the end and Al Pacino and Diane Keaton conversation at the end from The Godfather
-Train sequence, missing chain found scene from Pather Panchali
- the final scenes when Malik is killed from Company
-final scene from “In the mood for love”
the sequence in “it’s a gift” that ends up with w.c. fields sleeping on the porch alternately harassed by his wife, the vegetable man, an insurance salesman, the upstairs neighbors and baby leroy is priceless.
How about Julia Roberts death in Steel Magnolia’s. I love Julia.
Just a few from Robert Bresson:
-the almost ballet-like choreographed sequence in Pickpocket
-the ending of Au Hasard Balthazar
-the bumper car scene in Mouchette
- almost any fluid long take in “Andrei Rublev,”
- The dance sequence in “The Red Shoes”
- All of “8 1/2” really – The end of “La Dolce Vita” where we follow with tracking shot Mastroianni and companions to the beach
- Jean-Pierre Leaud in the Paddy Wagon traveling through Paris at night and obviously the ending in “400 blows”
- Kinski’s monologue at the closing of “Agurrie, Wrath of God”
- The killing near the end of “The Conformist” – From crane to hand-held camerwork – breathtaking; that or the entire film
- Anything in “Contempt” – seriously
- The editing of the final gunfight in “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” Bravura
- “I am Cuba”
- The protracted dance sequence in “The Leopard”
- The swimming sequences with Juliette Binoche in “Blue”
- Kim Novak glowing green as she steps into the room and Jimmy Stewart’s reaction in “Vertigo”
- The sister’s sacrificial walk into water and the closing sceen of mother and son reunited in “Sansho the Bailiff”
- Gene Kelly when he is “Singin’ In The Rain”
- The brillint rhythmic editing in the “It’s showtime” montages in “All That Jazz”
- The Duke’s “as sure as the turning of the earth” speech in a snowy forest in “The Searchers”
- Montgomery Clift’s walk to execution – the extended majestic dissolves: Monty and his final thoughts in “A Place In The Sun”
- Joel McCrea watching his film with prisoners at the end of “Sullivan’s Travels” revelatory
- The ending of L’Eclisse
- “Match me Sidney” – anything in “The Sweet Smell of Success”
- The subway chase in “Le Samourai”
- De Niro at the phone as the camera tracks right to view an empty hallway with a view to the street in “Taxi Driver”
- The Madison in “Band of Outsiders”
- The duel in “Barry Lyndon”
and many many many more.