The Other Great Scene in the Movie

A few months back I wrote a post on The Other Great Performance in the Movie, about great performances (usually by supporting actors) in movies with famously great lead performances.  I’d like to further that theme now, only with great scenes.   Last night, my wife, daughter and I took in Black Narcissus at the AFI Silver and enjoyed it as much as we always have (only more so because it was in the gorgeous main theater projected on a huge screen) and afterwards I started thinking about movies with very famous scenes, so famous that most casual film goers might know it (or have a vague sense of familiarity with it) even if they don’t know the movie.  But for every great scene in a great movie, there is often another scene just as powerful but perhaps not as famous, or revered.

Black Narcissus 01

Black Narcissus has as its climax one of the most strikingly shot and edited scenes in the entire Michael Powell-Emeric Pressburger oeuvre, and that’s saying something considering what they’ve done.  That final sequence, as Sister Ruth (Kathleen Bryon) stalks and finally attacks Sister Clodagh (Deborah Kerr) is filmed as expertly as any psycho-horror sequence could be.  But there’s another scene in the movie that I find just as engaging and just as expertly done.  It’s when Sister Ruth reveals herself in secular clothes and makeup to Sister Clodagh who then sits in the dark room with Ruth, ostensibly to keep an eye on her so she won’t leave the convent to go to a man that doesn’t love her (but that she thinks does, and that Clodagh is stealing him away from her).  From the moment Ruth opens the door, foreshadowing her later emergence from the convent at the end, to the candle burning out, the whole scene has a feeling of disquiet and imbalance.  As Clodagh tries to pretend not to notice, Ruth applies deep red lipstick as she stares mercilessly at Clodagh.  It doesn’t have the excitement of the climax (few movies in history ever have) but it’s a great scene (the other great scene) nonetheless.

And that’s always been the case with the movies.  Certain big climactic scenes take the stage from one or two or even several other great scenes in a movie.  Here are some of my favorites.

Psycho – Okay, we all know the great scene in this one.  I won’t bother to break it down for anyone here because we all know it’s the shower sequence and we all know how phenomenally well Hitchcock constructed it.  But the other great scene in the movie, two actually, for me, both involve Detective Arbogast (the great Martin Balsam).  The first comes when he’s casually inquiring to Norman (Anthony Perkins) about the whereabouts of Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) and whether she’s been there or not.  Hitchcock pulls the camera in close on Perkins’ face as we hear Arbogast slowly, and easily, break down Bates’ lies.  It’s a wonderful way to get inside the anxiety of Norman Bates as the interrogation begins to make him look like a fool.

The other other great scene is when Arbogast ascends the stairs.  What’s fascinating about this one is that Crane was in her shower, in a private space, minding her own business.  Arbogast, by contrast, is actively walking towards his own demise.  It’s a brilliant play off of the earlier murder sequence in which the viewer learns something very important about Norman, which is, his mom won’t simply attack, she will defend.  Aggressively pursuing her won’t frighten her into submission.  She’ll improvise and you’ll be dead.

Ben Hur – The chariot race.  It’s amazing.  It’s unbeatable.  But that ship sequence, with the amazing miniature and stunt work is really something to behold too.  In fact, it’s always been my favorite scene in the movie for two reasons.  One, I love sea battle sequences and two, it has perhaps the most important character moment in the film, where Judah (Charlton Heston) and Quintus (Jack Hawkins) come to understand each other as basically morally creatures held prisoner by circumstances beyond their control but also by their individual choices.  It’s a great scene, from the start of the battle to their time on the raft.

Ben Hur sea battle 01

Citizen Kane – The opening sequence, the closing sequence, the breakfast table sequence and probably a few more, are all justifiably famous as great scenes but my other great scene, that I like best of all, comes early in the film when the reporter played by William Alland heads to the Thatcher Library.  The lighting and the echoes of the voices hits me differently than anything else in the movie.  It seems supernatural, with human gargoyles standing guard and watching over Alland’s shoulder.

The French Connection – This isn’t so much the other great scene as the other great chase.  The most famous scene from the movie is, of course, Popeye Doyle’s (Gene Hackman) pursuit, by car, of the sniper on the train above.  But that other train scene, with Doyle trying to tail Charnier (Fernando Rey), is my favorite.  Getting on the train, getting off, getting back on, getting back off, and on and off until Charnier finally outwits him and waves goodbye.   Bonus other scene:  The foot chase at the beginning of the film (when Doyle is in the Santa Claus suit).  The stakes aren’t high at all but it has an adrenalin rush to it that I think is even more powerful than the train chase, maybe because it feels so simple and exhausting.

Network – The two most famous scenes (“I’m as mad as hell” and “You have meddled with the primal forces of nature!”) have been played and overplayed so many times I can barely watch them anymore (though I still absolutely love the movie).  Personally, I love the “I just ran out of bulls***” more than either but the scene I’m really talking about is the one in which the UBS lawyers and execs hammer out a deal in the house of the Great Ahmed Kahn (Arthur Burghardt).  It plays as high comedy plus pointed observation about how much radicalism and corporatism come together for mutual benefit and how much they need one another for survival.   And the ending to the scene, with the gunshot in the ceiling and the proclamation, “Man, give her the f***ing overhead clause” blends both together brilliantly.

Forbidden Planet – If there’s one scene in Forbidden Planet that qualifies as the big scene, it’s where the men of Commander J. J. Adams (Leslie Nielsen) fight an invisible monster made up of pure energy.  It’s a pretty amazing sequence and definitely a scene I love but the whole movie boils down to one sequence for me: Where Dr. Morbius (Walter Pidgeon) gives the crew a tour of the forgotten Krell underground city.  With its amazing matte work, giving a true sense of immensity, to its cool fifties laboratory interiors, it’s a scene I can watch over and over again, and wish I was there.

Cat People –  The most famous scene, and justifiably so, is the incredible sequence at the Y pool, where Jane Randolph treads water while under the distinct, and terrifying, impression that she’s being stalked by a large and dangerous cat.  But I also like the pet shop sequence and, frankly, the early scene in the restaurant when Irena (Simone Simon) comes face to face with one of her own.  For me, at least, that just may be the eeriest moment in the movie.

cat people 01

It Happened One Night – Okay, the hitchhiking scene is fantastic and the Walls of Jericho coming down is as famous as any action in any screwball comedy from the thirties.  But the scene I’ll take over both of them is when Peter (Clark Gable) sits down for coffee and doughnuts with Ellie (Claudette Colbert) and instructs how to dunk doughnuts as well as the proper way to undress.

Night of the Hunter – Finally, we come to a movie filled with brilliant shots and setups, from Robert Mitchum’s famous battle of Love and Hate, to the pursuit down the river, to the haunting shot of poor Willa Harper (Shelley Winters) in her car on the lake bottom.  Now, this scene isn’t great by any stretch of the imagination, in fact, it’s fairly unimportant.  But, nevertheless, it’s my favorite.   It’s when Icey Spoon (Evelyn Varden) is lecturing the younger women at the picnic and delivers this chestnut right in front of her husband:  ”When you’ve been married to a man for forty years you know all that [lovemaking] don’t amount to a hill of beans. I’ve been married to Walt that long and I swear in all that time I just lie there thinkin’ about my canning.”  Can’t beat that.

So there’s just a smattering of selections, ten in all, but I could list dozens more.  Most famous, classic movies have one or two big scenes in them, something really famous that stands out.  But if the movie stands the test of time it’s usually because it has so much more than just that one scene and sometimes, that’s the scene that really steals the show.

66 Responses The Other Great Scene in the Movie
Posted By Gene : May 19, 2013 11:47 am

I wholly agree with you about Black Narcissus, Psycho, and Citizen Kane. Secondary scenes, if you will, being something like supporting actors. They don’t always garner the attention they deserve. As to that sequence in Kane, I have always thought of that as fascinating. No presidential library, or resting place of a king has ever been as ostentatious, austere, and imposing. And we’re talking about the archival vaults of an arrogant little lawyer at that! I wonder who Welles was alluding to. Does anyone have any ideas?

Posted By Gene : May 19, 2013 11:47 am

I wholly agree with you about Black Narcissus, Psycho, and Citizen Kane. Secondary scenes, if you will, being something like supporting actors. They don’t always garner the attention they deserve. As to that sequence in Kane, I have always thought of that as fascinating. No presidential library, or resting place of a king has ever been as ostentatious, austere, and imposing. And we’re talking about the archival vaults of an arrogant little lawyer at that! I wonder who Welles was alluding to. Does anyone have any ideas?

Posted By WolfmansRazor : May 19, 2013 12:21 pm

I just got to take in Black Narcissus at the AFI, as well. A really gorgeous print, and it’s always a thrill to see the Archers on the big screen. The “other great scene” Greg mentioned is indeed fantastic, though I tend to think of the whole sequence at the end (from Sister Ruth revealing herself in civilian clothes to her fall off the cliff) as one big sequence, almost a mini-horror-film-within-the-film.

Posted By WolfmansRazor : May 19, 2013 12:21 pm

I just got to take in Black Narcissus at the AFI, as well. A really gorgeous print, and it’s always a thrill to see the Archers on the big screen. The “other great scene” Greg mentioned is indeed fantastic, though I tend to think of the whole sequence at the end (from Sister Ruth revealing herself in civilian clothes to her fall off the cliff) as one big sequence, almost a mini-horror-film-within-the-film.

Posted By DevlinCarnate : May 19, 2013 1:30 pm

as far as great movie scenes go,Alice (Joyce Randolph)walking down an abandoned street in and out of shadow until a bus suddenly screeches into the frame in Cat People…a “gimmick” repeated a bazillion times since,but so effective that Richard Matheson wrote a fan letter to Val Lewton because of it

Posted By DevlinCarnate : May 19, 2013 1:30 pm

as far as great movie scenes go,Alice (Joyce Randolph)walking down an abandoned street in and out of shadow until a bus suddenly screeches into the frame in Cat People…a “gimmick” repeated a bazillion times since,but so effective that Richard Matheson wrote a fan letter to Val Lewton because of it

Posted By Doug : May 19, 2013 2:45 pm

For me, one of the best ‘other great scenes’ is found in “The Exorcist”-aside from the battles in the bedroom, the scene which worked me over pretty good was the actual surgical procedure performed on Linda Blair’s Regan.

Posted By Doug : May 19, 2013 2:45 pm

For me, one of the best ‘other great scenes’ is found in “The Exorcist”-aside from the battles in the bedroom, the scene which worked me over pretty good was the actual surgical procedure performed on Linda Blair’s Regan.

Posted By MDR : May 19, 2013 8:03 pm

Lawrence of Arabia, where do I start? O’Toole at the well, w Sharif approaching on camel-back is arguably the shot. The other great scene? We could probably fill up the page (as w other Lean films), but I will choose the train blown up over Lawrence’s shadowed dance in his new white clothes & knife.

Posted By MDR : May 19, 2013 8:03 pm

Lawrence of Arabia, where do I start? O’Toole at the well, w Sharif approaching on camel-back is arguably the shot. The other great scene? We could probably fill up the page (as w other Lean films), but I will choose the train blown up over Lawrence’s shadowed dance in his new white clothes & knife.

Posted By craigfischer : May 19, 2013 9:19 pm

Like everyone else in the world, I love the opening shot to TOUCH OF EVIL (1958), but just as impressive is a sequence later in the film where Vargas, Quinlan and Quinlan’s detectives interrogate Sanchez at his apartment. It’s the scene where dynamite is planted in Sanchez’s shoebox, and it’s a long take that very quietly runs about six minutes or so, twice as long as that opening. The acting and choreography in that interrogation scene is incredible.

Posted By craigfischer : May 19, 2013 9:19 pm

Like everyone else in the world, I love the opening shot to TOUCH OF EVIL (1958), but just as impressive is a sequence later in the film where Vargas, Quinlan and Quinlan’s detectives interrogate Sanchez at his apartment. It’s the scene where dynamite is planted in Sanchez’s shoebox, and it’s a long take that very quietly runs about six minutes or so, twice as long as that opening. The acting and choreography in that interrogation scene is incredible.

Posted By Richard Brandt : May 19, 2013 9:36 pm

That bottomless shaft in “Forbidden Planet” with its vertical trolleys and lightning-like discharges embedded itself in my memory from an early age. But my favorite line of dialogue, now, is when Morbius has to explain with the “Id” is to the captain: “It’s an OBSOLETE term,” he snarls. I love how the screenwriter found a way to explain the term to the clueless in the audience without making the presumably well-educated military men of the future look like idiots.

I was just a kid, really, when saw “The Exorcist” in its first release. When I went to see the re-release version, the scene where Regan’s mom looks at the priest and just asks him, straight out, if her daughter is going to die: that’s the one that hit me right in the gut.

Posted By Richard Brandt : May 19, 2013 9:36 pm

That bottomless shaft in “Forbidden Planet” with its vertical trolleys and lightning-like discharges embedded itself in my memory from an early age. But my favorite line of dialogue, now, is when Morbius has to explain with the “Id” is to the captain: “It’s an OBSOLETE term,” he snarls. I love how the screenwriter found a way to explain the term to the clueless in the audience without making the presumably well-educated military men of the future look like idiots.

I was just a kid, really, when saw “The Exorcist” in its first release. When I went to see the re-release version, the scene where Regan’s mom looks at the priest and just asks him, straight out, if her daughter is going to die: that’s the one that hit me right in the gut.

Posted By tdraicer : May 19, 2013 11:24 pm

In Casablanca the farwell at the airport is clearly THE great scene. The other great scene: every other one in the movie.

Posted By tdraicer : May 19, 2013 11:24 pm

In Casablanca the farwell at the airport is clearly THE great scene. The other great scene: every other one in the movie.

Posted By Nim Kovak : May 19, 2013 11:27 pm

I’m really loving all of these choices, which are serving to recall to mind a lot of the things I admire in these wonderful films …

Thinking about “The Big Heat”, I guess there are many scenes which people tend to remember the most — such as Lee Marvin slinging the hot coffee — & I suppose the catalyst scene when Glenn Ford’s whole world comes to an end before he can get through reading to his kids about the kittens losing their mittens

But my very favorite scene in what is one of my favorite films is at the very end — when Gloria Grahame lays dying & keeps asking Glenn Ford to tell him about his marriage and his wife … And it’s clear that what she’s really saying is that she had always wanted a good-girl marriage for her own self … But had just fallen in with a bad crowd …

Posted By Nim Kovak : May 19, 2013 11:27 pm

I’m really loving all of these choices, which are serving to recall to mind a lot of the things I admire in these wonderful films …

Thinking about “The Big Heat”, I guess there are many scenes which people tend to remember the most — such as Lee Marvin slinging the hot coffee — & I suppose the catalyst scene when Glenn Ford’s whole world comes to an end before he can get through reading to his kids about the kittens losing their mittens

But my very favorite scene in what is one of my favorite films is at the very end — when Gloria Grahame lays dying & keeps asking Glenn Ford to tell him about his marriage and his wife … And it’s clear that what she’s really saying is that she had always wanted a good-girl marriage for her own self … But had just fallen in with a bad crowd …

Posted By Emgee : May 20, 2013 4:13 am

I love the standoff scene in The Big Heat between Gloria Grahame and Jeanette Nolan about “sisters under the mink”. So cool, so decisive, wow!

Posted By Emgee : May 20, 2013 4:13 am

I love the standoff scene in The Big Heat between Gloria Grahame and Jeanette Nolan about “sisters under the mink”. So cool, so decisive, wow!

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 20, 2013 8:32 am

In Casablanca the farwell at the airport is clearly THE great scene. The other great scene: every other one in the movie.

It’s funny, I was going to include Casablanca on this list until I couldn’t decide on what the other great scene would be. If I had to take my pick, I’d go with the battle of the bands, when the patrons outsing the Nazis.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 20, 2013 8:32 am

In Casablanca the farwell at the airport is clearly THE great scene. The other great scene: every other one in the movie.

It’s funny, I was going to include Casablanca on this list until I couldn’t decide on what the other great scene would be. If I had to take my pick, I’d go with the battle of the bands, when the patrons outsing the Nazis.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 20, 2013 8:35 am

Five Easy Pieces most famous scene is the diner/chicken sandwich/toast scene but my favorite moment in the movie comes early, when Nicholson jumps out of the car in traffic and starts playing the piano on the back of the truck in front of them.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 20, 2013 8:35 am

Five Easy Pieces most famous scene is the diner/chicken sandwich/toast scene but my favorite moment in the movie comes early, when Nicholson jumps out of the car in traffic and starts playing the piano on the back of the truck in front of them.

Posted By robbushblog : May 20, 2013 11:35 am

Greg- You named my favorite scenes from Network, Forbidden Planet, Cat People and It Happened One Night.

In my favorite movie of all-time, It’s a Wonderful Life, the most famous scenes may be the dance where George and Mary fall into the pool after the floor opens up and the end scene, where everyone in Bedford Falls shows up at the Bailey house with money and song on Christmas Eve. To me, the greatest scene, and my favorite scene in any movie ever, is the scene just following the dance. George is walking Mary home in an over-sized football uniform while Mary innocently and seductively wears a bathrobe. This scene goes from musical to comedic to romantic to suspenseful to tragic, all within 5 minutes or less.

Posted By robbushblog : May 20, 2013 11:35 am

Greg- You named my favorite scenes from Network, Forbidden Planet, Cat People and It Happened One Night.

In my favorite movie of all-time, It’s a Wonderful Life, the most famous scenes may be the dance where George and Mary fall into the pool after the floor opens up and the end scene, where everyone in Bedford Falls shows up at the Bailey house with money and song on Christmas Eve. To me, the greatest scene, and my favorite scene in any movie ever, is the scene just following the dance. George is walking Mary home in an over-sized football uniform while Mary innocently and seductively wears a bathrobe. This scene goes from musical to comedic to romantic to suspenseful to tragic, all within 5 minutes or less.

Posted By jennifromrollamo : May 20, 2013 11:58 am

Casablanca: the Marseillaise scene-love that one, how the patrons in Rick’s stand up and patriotically belt that song out at the Nazis.

The Thing: when the professor approaches the creature and tries to offer friendship and gets the back of the creature’s hand-great moment!

Lawrence of Arabia: My 15 year old son just watched this a couple weekends ago, so I rewatched some of it with him. That scene, much of it long shots, of Lawrence coming back to the camp with the poor guy who lost his camel out on the desert, and one of the guys at the camp who had been watching for and hoping for Lawrence’s return, when he sees him returning, joyfully jumps on his camel and races to meet Lawrence.

Posted By jennifromrollamo : May 20, 2013 11:58 am

Casablanca: the Marseillaise scene-love that one, how the patrons in Rick’s stand up and patriotically belt that song out at the Nazis.

The Thing: when the professor approaches the creature and tries to offer friendship and gets the back of the creature’s hand-great moment!

Lawrence of Arabia: My 15 year old son just watched this a couple weekends ago, so I rewatched some of it with him. That scene, much of it long shots, of Lawrence coming back to the camp with the poor guy who lost his camel out on the desert, and one of the guys at the camp who had been watching for and hoping for Lawrence’s return, when he sees him returning, joyfully jumps on his camel and races to meet Lawrence.

Posted By Miz-tree : May 20, 2013 4:42 pm

“The Night of the Hunter” — what about the silhouette Lillian Gish in the rocking chair (with shotgun and man, she knew how to handle that shotgun!)singing back at Robert Mitchum. “Leaning on Jesus / leaning on Jesus…”

Posted By Miz-tree : May 20, 2013 4:42 pm

“The Night of the Hunter” — what about the silhouette Lillian Gish in the rocking chair (with shotgun and man, she knew how to handle that shotgun!)singing back at Robert Mitchum. “Leaning on Jesus / leaning on Jesus…”

Posted By Richard Brandt : May 21, 2013 12:09 am

Nim: What I love about that last scene in “The Big Sleep” is that by asking Glenn Ford to talk about his wife, Gloria Grahame helps him find his way back; instead of focusing on revenge, he’s able to start remembering all the things about his wife that he loved and that made their life together worthwhile. She saves him. It’s a remarkably selfless last act.

Posted By Richard Brandt : May 21, 2013 12:09 am

Nim: What I love about that last scene in “The Big Sleep” is that by asking Glenn Ford to talk about his wife, Gloria Grahame helps him find his way back; instead of focusing on revenge, he’s able to start remembering all the things about his wife that he loved and that made their life together worthwhile. She saves him. It’s a remarkably selfless last act.

Posted By Gene : May 21, 2013 5:55 am

craigfischer mentions Touch of Evil and the interrogation scene. The scene I find most memorable is when Quinlan murders Uncle Joe and Janet Leigh awakes to his nightmarish face in the flashing of a neon light. A film full of unforgettable scenes.

Posted By Gene : May 21, 2013 5:55 am

craigfischer mentions Touch of Evil and the interrogation scene. The scene I find most memorable is when Quinlan murders Uncle Joe and Janet Leigh awakes to his nightmarish face in the flashing of a neon light. A film full of unforgettable scenes.

Posted By Andrew : May 21, 2013 8:35 am

Little late to the party but was watching Network the other night and the breakup scene between William Holden and Beatrice Straight was just great. Especially her speech. I actually spent the movie noticing how great the movie is. All anyone remembers is Peter Finch but the whole movie is full of great characters being brought to life in great performances.

Posted By Andrew : May 21, 2013 8:35 am

Little late to the party but was watching Network the other night and the breakup scene between William Holden and Beatrice Straight was just great. Especially her speech. I actually spent the movie noticing how great the movie is. All anyone remembers is Peter Finch but the whole movie is full of great characters being brought to life in great performances.

Posted By Juana Maria : May 21, 2013 11:46 am

Wow! I thought I was the only one obsessed with films! Guess not! My favorite scenes in famous movies include these: “High Noon”, the speech Lon Chaney, Jr. gives about people not caring; also any scene with Lee Van Cleef,and the scene where Ben Miller says,”That wasn’t here 10 yrs. ago”{meaning Grace Kelly),then Sam Pierce says,”So?” Miller replies,”Nothing,yet.” I just love that movie! In “Shane” when there all that fuss over soda pop! I just find that funny! I know I’m probably the only one who laughed when Dobbs got killed by the Mexican bandits,but I did! I found it funnier than the “stinking badges” scene it’s so famous for! Oh! That and I love any scene with the old prospector(W. Huston).
The scenes I love in “Liberty Valance” are where Ransom Stoddard is told by Hallie:”What good did reading & writing do you? Look at ya, in an apron!” Then there’s where Strother Martin gets dropped kicked by the Duke! Priceless. The scariest scene for me isn’t the showdown,oh no. It’s the scene were Liberty Valance and his “myrmidons” are waiting in the dark office of Mr. Peabody. So scary! I felt they looked like the Devil, an imp and a deranged Leprechaun!The other great scene I what to mention is the final scene in “For a Few Dollars More” because Lee Van Cleef smiles!(sigh) I love him!!

Posted By Juana Maria : May 21, 2013 11:46 am

Wow! I thought I was the only one obsessed with films! Guess not! My favorite scenes in famous movies include these: “High Noon”, the speech Lon Chaney, Jr. gives about people not caring; also any scene with Lee Van Cleef,and the scene where Ben Miller says,”That wasn’t here 10 yrs. ago”{meaning Grace Kelly),then Sam Pierce says,”So?” Miller replies,”Nothing,yet.” I just love that movie! In “Shane” when there all that fuss over soda pop! I just find that funny! I know I’m probably the only one who laughed when Dobbs got killed by the Mexican bandits,but I did! I found it funnier than the “stinking badges” scene it’s so famous for! Oh! That and I love any scene with the old prospector(W. Huston).
The scenes I love in “Liberty Valance” are where Ransom Stoddard is told by Hallie:”What good did reading & writing do you? Look at ya, in an apron!” Then there’s where Strother Martin gets dropped kicked by the Duke! Priceless. The scariest scene for me isn’t the showdown,oh no. It’s the scene were Liberty Valance and his “myrmidons” are waiting in the dark office of Mr. Peabody. So scary! I felt they looked like the Devil, an imp and a deranged Leprechaun!The other great scene I what to mention is the final scene in “For a Few Dollars More” because Lee Van Cleef smiles!(sigh) I love him!!

Posted By swac44 : May 21, 2013 4:42 pm

My favourite scenes in Casablanca are any of those which involve Peter Lorre. Oddly enough, the scene of Arbogast on the stairs is my favourite Psycho scene as well.

And in my favourite film, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, most people think of Bogart bumming for change at the start, or the “steenkin’ badges” showdown with the bandits, but my mind always goes back to Walter Huston’s jig while telling his cohorts how stupid they are.

Posted By swac44 : May 21, 2013 4:42 pm

My favourite scenes in Casablanca are any of those which involve Peter Lorre. Oddly enough, the scene of Arbogast on the stairs is my favourite Psycho scene as well.

And in my favourite film, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, most people think of Bogart bumming for change at the start, or the “steenkin’ badges” showdown with the bandits, but my mind always goes back to Walter Huston’s jig while telling his cohorts how stupid they are.

Posted By swac44 : May 21, 2013 4:43 pm

Yikes, get out of my head, Juana Maria!

Posted By swac44 : May 21, 2013 4:43 pm

Yikes, get out of my head, Juana Maria!

Posted By Gene : May 21, 2013 8:42 pm

My favorite scene from Ben Hur: When Judah Ben Hur is on the “chain gang”, and falls to the ground in thirst and cries out to God and Jesus appears and gives him water. He looks up into his eyes and is both thankful and astonished. As is the Roman Guard who rebukes Jesus until he looks him in the face and is rendered speechless. The greatest religious moment in Hollywood cinema. Its simplicity overpowers most other “Bibical” epics of its time. The same simplicity can be found in Pasolini’s Gospel According to Matthew, when Jesus heals the leper. An astonishing and beautiful moment in cinema of any sort. Whatever one’s belief it is a great film that should be seen at least once.

Posted By Gene : May 21, 2013 8:42 pm

My favorite scene from Ben Hur: When Judah Ben Hur is on the “chain gang”, and falls to the ground in thirst and cries out to God and Jesus appears and gives him water. He looks up into his eyes and is both thankful and astonished. As is the Roman Guard who rebukes Jesus until he looks him in the face and is rendered speechless. The greatest religious moment in Hollywood cinema. Its simplicity overpowers most other “Bibical” epics of its time. The same simplicity can be found in Pasolini’s Gospel According to Matthew, when Jesus heals the leper. An astonishing and beautiful moment in cinema of any sort. Whatever one’s belief it is a great film that should be seen at least once.

Posted By robbushblog : May 21, 2013 10:03 pm

I vaguely remember the SCTV version of that scene. Judah Ben-Hur falls down and Jesus shows up, wearing plaid, polyester slacks and white bucks and pours Ben-Hur a martini.

Posted By robbushblog : May 21, 2013 10:03 pm

I vaguely remember the SCTV version of that scene. Judah Ben-Hur falls down and Jesus shows up, wearing plaid, polyester slacks and white bucks and pours Ben-Hur a martini.

Posted By Emgee : May 22, 2013 4:29 am

My favourite scene in Casablanca is when Rick tells Ilse;”If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not with him, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but…..what do you mean, The plane just left?!!!”

Posted By Emgee : May 22, 2013 4:29 am

My favourite scene in Casablanca is when Rick tells Ilse;”If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not with him, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but…..what do you mean, The plane just left?!!!”

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 22, 2013 9:12 am

Andrew, I couldn’t agree more. Personally, William Holden’s Max is the character I love the most and even wrote a piece here one time about how I’d basically like to be him. And Straight’s Oscar winning scene is incredible.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 22, 2013 9:12 am

Andrew, I couldn’t agree more. Personally, William Holden’s Max is the character I love the most and even wrote a piece here one time about how I’d basically like to be him. And Straight’s Oscar winning scene is incredible.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 22, 2013 9:13 am

My favorite part of the SCTV version is Ben-Hur thinking he’s misheard “leper” as “leopard” until he finds out they did, indeed, turn into leopards.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : May 22, 2013 9:13 am

My favorite part of the SCTV version is Ben-Hur thinking he’s misheard “leper” as “leopard” until he finds out they did, indeed, turn into leopards.

Posted By Juana Maria : May 22, 2013 3:53 pm

Swac44: I’m not in your head! Great minds think alike, that’s all.
We’ve obviously a lot in common when it comes to films and our opinions on them. I too can’t get enough of Walter Huston in that film! I love the old prospector jig! It’s the kind of jig I imagine the old 49er’s did when they hit pay dirt.

Posted By Juana Maria : May 22, 2013 3:53 pm

Swac44: I’m not in your head! Great minds think alike, that’s all.
We’ve obviously a lot in common when it comes to films and our opinions on them. I too can’t get enough of Walter Huston in that film! I love the old prospector jig! It’s the kind of jig I imagine the old 49er’s did when they hit pay dirt.

Posted By Gene : May 22, 2013 10:19 pm

robbushblog – I have a really vague memory of that, but I loved SCTV. Haven’t seen it for years.

Posted By Gene : May 22, 2013 10:19 pm

robbushblog – I have a really vague memory of that, but I loved SCTV. Haven’t seen it for years.

Posted By Gene : May 22, 2013 10:24 pm

Actually, thinking of SCTV – my favorite piece from that show was a takeoff of Ingmar Bergman. I think it was a cross between The Silence and Hour of The Wolf. They satirized Bergman’s famous facial closeups and the dread and angst between two female characters. It was classic.

Posted By Gene : May 22, 2013 10:24 pm

Actually, thinking of SCTV – my favorite piece from that show was a takeoff of Ingmar Bergman. I think it was a cross between The Silence and Hour of The Wolf. They satirized Bergman’s famous facial closeups and the dread and angst between two female characters. It was classic.

Posted By swac44 : May 23, 2013 9:11 am

I remember a couple of Bergman spoofs from SCTV. The other one that comes to mind is with Martin Short doing Jerry Lewis in a Bergman film. Amazing.

And lo and behold, here it is: Scenes From an Idiot’s Marriage

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/b6d04d2506/scenes-from-an-idiots-marriage-from-sctv-from-greatest-comedy-sketches

Posted By swac44 : May 23, 2013 9:11 am

I remember a couple of Bergman spoofs from SCTV. The other one that comes to mind is with Martin Short doing Jerry Lewis in a Bergman film. Amazing.

And lo and behold, here it is: Scenes From an Idiot’s Marriage

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/b6d04d2506/scenes-from-an-idiots-marriage-from-sctv-from-greatest-comedy-sketches

Posted By jennifromrollamo : May 23, 2013 12:11 pm

I remember laughing so hard as a teen at SCTV’s spoof of The Andy Griffith Show. That was such a smart move on NBC’s part when they aired the show late on Saturday nights after SNL, much funnier show, imho.

Posted By jennifromrollamo : May 23, 2013 12:11 pm

I remember laughing so hard as a teen at SCTV’s spoof of The Andy Griffith Show. That was such a smart move on NBC’s part when they aired the show late on Saturday nights after SNL, much funnier show, imho.

Posted By Gene : May 24, 2013 6:35 am

swac44 – thanks for the link. I will definitely check it out.

Posted By Gene : May 24, 2013 6:35 am

swac44 – thanks for the link. I will definitely check it out.

Posted By swac44 : May 24, 2013 10:10 am

Jenni, a friend of mine and I still occasionally lapse into our impressions of Eugene Levy’s version of Floyd the Barber, 30 years after we first saw SCTV take on Mayberry. Now that’s comedy that lasts (clearly they had a lot of affection for the things that they spoofed, which only made the comedy resonate more deeply).

Posted By swac44 : May 24, 2013 10:10 am

Jenni, a friend of mine and I still occasionally lapse into our impressions of Eugene Levy’s version of Floyd the Barber, 30 years after we first saw SCTV take on Mayberry. Now that’s comedy that lasts (clearly they had a lot of affection for the things that they spoofed, which only made the comedy resonate more deeply).

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