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27 May 2005 @ 02:48 pm
some favorite movie scenes  
I was thinking of movie scenes this morning--basically whatever moments that have lingered with me and rose to my thoughts in random association. I'm deliberately vague about details in some of these, which is probably a cheat on description, but I hate to spoil people for great things they haven't seen.

A list:

@ The scene in The Untouchables with the baby carriage in the train station. The first time I saw that scene play out it stunned my heart into immobility for half a minute, at least, before it started again. It was amazing. I also love the baseball bat scene and the culminating rooftop scene--you probably know what I mean if you've seen it.

@ In L.A. Confidential, Kevin Spacey saying "Rollo Tomasi" and then going still, eyes open. And the scene where they dangle the guy out the window. And the one where White and Exley fight in the file room. God. It's all good.

@ The bit in Aliens where Ripley grabs control of the ATV and drives it into the complex to rescue the Marines and then back out again, crushing the alien on the way and then smashing the vehicle straight out the closed doors before grinding to a stop. Why aren't there more women action heroes? Jesus fuck, what a rip.

@ The Usual Suspects--weirdly, the airplane coming in for a landing with jump cuts. I can't even say exactly why. But also the bit when we're seeing Verbal walking along the street, limping, and then his limp bit by bit disappears. Fucking A.

@ The scene, which I'm pretty sure is in the first and not the second Kill Bill movie, where O-Ren and her entourage arrive at the restaurant, grandly sweeping through with the owners obsequiously skipping alongside--we realize that she's a different kind of mob boss, one who cultivates a very traditional persona to weirdly charismatic and powerful effect. Then of course there's the sword fight in the snow, which is gorgeous.

@ The hallway scenes in The Shining, where the kid is riding his Big Wheels down the carpets and the tension ratchets up until suddenly those creepy twin girls appear. Gah.

@ Sarah Connor in Terminator 2, when she frees herself from the mental asylum in one brutal, cunning rush of glory and then sees the Terminator coming toward her and you can just *see* her mind blowing inside out with terror as she skids to a stop and runs the other way.

@ The end of Back to the Future, when Marty finds out that his whole life has been reinvented because of what he did in the past.

@ The scene in Miller's Crossing where Tom takes Bernie out into the woods and the mirroring scene at the end of the movie. "Look into your heart!" Tom: "What heart?" Gah. That movie is wonderfully bleak and I love the soundtrack so much.

@ The very last scene in Hannah and Her Sisters when Holly and Mickey are alone in the dim dining room and Holly tells him she's pregnant. God, I love that. So. Much.

@ In License to Kill where Timothy Dalton's Bond wakes up in Sanchez's mansion. In a big bed. In, if I recall correctly, silk pajama bottoms. And looks around in confusion, scrambling as if to say, "What or *who* did I *do* last night?" And then Sanchez comes in, and it turns out that Bond--while undercover--has earned his gratitude and trust and Sanchez has rescued him from torture and certain death and brought him home. Heee.

@ The final scene in An Officer and a Gentleman. Shut up. Sniff.

@ Chasing Amy: Holden sits Banky and Alyssa down on the couch and analyzes at length why their relationships are dysfunctional, with the antagonism and homoerotic tension--and Banky's like, what do you mean, homoerotic tension, you are so full of shit, so Holden shuts him up by kissing him, and while Banky is sitting there stunned, Holden decisively tells them that he knows how they should resolve their issues: "We've all got to have sex together." And after another long speech by Holden, and a lot of silence, Banky finally says. "...sure." And then Alyssa tells him no and Banky is like, "Thank *Christ*." Hee.

@ Four Weddings and a Funeral: Matthew giving the funeral speech for his lover Gareth, when he quotes from Auden:
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

There are more, but that seems like a good one to end on.

ETA: Oh god, I forgot to mention the car crash scene in Fearless! See me cry hysterically. Seriously. And then the actual flight that they show nearly at the end of the movie, when we see it all happen. I swear to god, whenever I see that movie, I nearly have a breakdown. Even worse than the way I used to get at the end of Hair.
drcdrc1 on May 27th, 2005 09:55 pm (UTC)
Great list!

The scene in The Untouchables with the baby carriage in the train station.

I believe this scene was a copy/remake of one of the most famous scenes in the history of cinema, in the movie Battleship Potemkin. But I agree with you, of course.:-)
Anna S.eliade on May 27th, 2005 09:56 pm (UTC)
Ahhhh--I've never seen that movie. But I love homages! ;)
drcdrc1 on May 27th, 2005 10:03 pm (UTC)
It's a classic, very moving, very revolutionary (both regarding the story and the making) and quite unforgettable. And yeah, homage was the term I was looking for.:-)
Plinsuperplin on May 27th, 2005 10:07 pm (UTC)
Regardless of where it came from, that is an awesome scene indeed. I know what you mean about the heart stoppage.

And I'm right there with you on Officer and a Gentleman (because lo, I am a closet sap), and The Shining (although the very creepiest part of the book wasn't in the movie, with the topiary), Back to the Future, and The Usual Suspects (when the limp oh-so-gradually morphs into a saunter, I get chills). The others I either haven't seen or can't remember.

Other favorites: the cocaine sneeze in Annie Hall, the stadium scene in When Harry Met Sally where Harry is telling Jess about how his wife left him and they do the wave along with everyone else without interrupting their conversation... gah, this is one of these things that the more you think about it, the more scenes come to you.

And now I have an urgent need to watch a movie. Heh.
Plin: firebad_treepretty_by_dtissagirlsuperplin on May 27th, 2005 10:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, and I can't believe I left out Four Weddings and a Funeral. The poem is lovely, but it's the delivery that makes it so perfect there.
Sandysp23 on May 28th, 2005 01:55 am (UTC)
(although the very creepiest part of the book wasn't in the movie, with the topiary)

Yes! I was so looking forward to that scene in the movie...and it wasn't! Big disappointment, and it completely ruined the movie for me.
Mintwitchmintwitch on May 28th, 2005 04:50 am (UTC)
Which, I think, was actually an interpretation of Metropolis? I could be wrong, of course.
Mintwitchmintwitch on May 28th, 2005 04:53 am (UTC)
Yup. I'm wrong. Never mind.
drcdrc1 on May 28th, 2005 09:06 pm (UTC)
Ooops, sorry. I'm going through my emails now and found the first before the second one.:-)
do you want orcs? because this is how you get orcs: Fanged Four Foreverkita0610 on May 27th, 2005 09:59 pm (UTC)
That poem always has given me the chills.
Anna S.eliade on May 27th, 2005 10:00 pm (UTC)
And John Hannah has such an awesome voice. It almost always makes me cry.
"Smokin' hot.": boys mickeymwithout_me on May 27th, 2005 10:01 pm (UTC)
The Auden is, as ever, stunning. One (this one, anyway) sits and boggles at the way he makes the simple rhyme scheme and the what-would-in-almost-anyone-else's-hands-be-OTT-language-and-imagery... work. Perfectly, devastatingly.
Anna S.: zenfen_mooneliade on May 27th, 2005 10:03 pm (UTC)
No kidding. When poetry is good, that good, it just blows you away.
ellen_fremedon on May 27th, 2005 10:49 pm (UTC)
The scene in Miller's Crossing where Tom takes Bernie out into the woods and the mirroring scene at the end of the movie.

Oh, man, I love that movie! The sequence that always just makes me sit back and bask in the perfectness of it is the whole sequence with the attack on Leo's house, and "Danny Boy." Justifies the existance of whiny Irish tenors.
(Anonymous) on May 27th, 2005 11:40 pm (UTC)
I'm so with you on the movie Fearless (and whatever happened to Jeff Daniels? what an actor). That car crash scene stunned me. In fact, I don't think any movie scene has ever had more of sudden emotional impact.

(New York subway slash reader)
shadowscastshadowscast on May 27th, 2005 11:41 pm (UTC)
I haven't seen all those movies, but the ones I have, I totally agree with you.

My favourite, though, is the "Chasing Amy" one. *g*
beautifulstarsbeautifulstars on May 28th, 2005 12:40 am (UTC)
that poem, from Auden, is, bar none, my favorite because of that scene.
droneish on May 28th, 2005 01:39 am (UTC)
Lance circa Near Dark, smiling creepily
Definitely a great one from the excellent The Usual Suspects. I adore Sarah Connor through most of Terminator 2 but the scene for me is when she's doing pullups (and otherwise being a badass) though that made be akinkthing. I fear most of my favourite scenes are either fights or smut. Hmm. I know: how about in Lawrence of Arabia when Sharif Ali realizes he can't stop 'Aurens' from leaving and rushes out of the government chambers only to be caught, in tears, by Auda? Both Ali and Lawrence are so broken.
Sandysp23 on May 28th, 2005 01:59 am (UTC)
I love the fight with the forklift in Aliens. "Get away from her, you BITCH!" And I too love the scene with Sarah Conner sliding to a halt and scooting back in terror. Two movie sequels that were as good as the originals.

And that scene in Chasing Amy really was a hoot. I think Ben Affleck is a terrible actor, except when he directed by Kevin Smith.

sottovoce10 on May 28th, 2005 02:20 am (UTC)
I have such a crap memory for...everything actually, that I don't remember individual scenes--well, the snow fight was gorgeous in Kill Bill, and stretching back eons, in Dr. Zhivago, there was a white crystal snow palace scene that was very beautiful in a movie that dripped with heavy romanticism. But that Auden poem, Funeral Blues, God, it made me snap to attention and read Auden with real attention. It's a brilliant evocation of just-how-it-must-be when a lover dies.
Diana: queer -- V/Sbutterfly on May 28th, 2005 03:45 am (UTC)
Oh, I adore that scene in Chasing Amy. Even more so because it's actually a good idea as long as you don't take into account the fact that it's a really stupid idea. I can really understand why Holden thought it was workable, even as I want to shake him.
double-oh-well: spacey cute / naekono_detective on May 28th, 2005 04:10 am (UTC)
Mmmm, great selection. Btw, I remember that Kevin Spacey was asked after the release of L.A. Confidential if they froze his death scene, because it goes on forever - and no, they didn't. I swear I can see the light dying in his eyes. *shivers*

And thanks for posting the poem. Beautiful, and devastating.
Mintwitchmintwitch on May 28th, 2005 04:47 am (UTC)
I'm pleased that I agree with all of these. ::confetti:: Except The Shining, which I've only seen tiny, deeply scary bits of.

Did I just end with a preposition?
Deepa D.deepad on May 28th, 2005 11:06 am (UTC)
Thank you for that poem. I didn't know until you gave it to me, that I needed it.