It's a Friday - a Good Time to Remember the 100 Greatest Movie Moments Ever (Part 2/2)

in funny •  2 years ago
Starring Ripley, Joker, Superman, T-rex, Gandalf, Neo, Han Solo, Mad Max and many more.

Continued from Part 1.

51. “Get Away From Her, You Bitch!”, Aliens, 1986

The standout moment in the mother of all sci-fi sequels, Ripley’s Power Loader-assisted scrap with Aliens’ queen xeno is a supremely thrilling climax to an action classic. Cameron sews the seeds of the standoff, meticulously building to a meeting of the matriarchs – one avenging the flame-grilling of her repulsive offspring, the other fighting tooth and mechanical claw to save her surrogate daughter after losing her own to a cruel twist of time. Masterfully realised, it’s kicked off with a one-liner so good it’s entered pop-culture legend.

52. Rrenton’s Run, Trainspotting, 1996

“The idea of the opening… was that the film should explode into life,” says director Danny Boyle. Job done, with Ewan McGregor’s on-the-run Renton burning canvas as Iggy Pop’s primal ‘Lust For Life’ speaks seize-the-now volumes. With Renton’s “Choose Life” monologue shifted from the film’s centre for maximum impact, the incendiary kick-start of Boyle’s Irvine Welsh adap blew a righteous hole in movies: it cackled in the face of Merchant Ivory’s Brit-movie monopoly and overhauled maudlin/moralising drug-pic clichés. In this hit of sound, vision and amoral energy, homegrown cinema rediscovered youth’s rush.

53. Catbus, My Neighbour Totoro, 1988
 

54. Tracking Shot, Touch of Evil, 1958
 

55. Bone to Spaceship, 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968

56. Chestburster, Alien, 1979

 

The 12-legged feline people-carrier – which reunites sisters Satsuki and Mei before taking them to see their mum in hospital – is one of the most inexplicably joyful images in Hayao Miyazaki’s quiet ‘picture book’ classic.
 

Night on the Tex-Mex border. Orson Welles’ noir begin with a fiendishly complex four-minute unbroken take. From the planting of something in a car, the camera cranes, tracks, pans until, just over the border, the car explodes.

From the dawn of time to the future of mankind, Stanley Kubrick’s opening boasts one of cinema’s most audacious edits, as a primate’s plaything cuts to a gliding space station. Genius.

 

Yes, Ridley Scott’s cast knew the incubated alien would burst from John Hurt’s chest. “What they didn’t know,” says Hurt, “was how it was going to happen.” Just watch the blood-soaked Veronica Cartwright’s reaction…

 

57. “Just Put Your Lips Together and Blow”, To Have And Have Not, 1944

After Humphrey Bogart died, Lauren Bacall put a whistle in his coffin – a homage to this innuendo-laden, Howard Hawks-scripted exchange.

58. Black-and-White to Colour, The Wizard Of Oz, 1939

This deft transition was achieved by having a sepia-toned Dorothy stand-in open a sepia-toned door on to a vivid Technicolor set.

59. Kong Climbs the EmpIre State, King Kong, 1933

What goes up, must come down – though at least Kong splats one of his killers before his heroic dying fall.

60. Baseball Game Narration,  One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, 1975

Denied permission to watch a ball game, Jack Nicholson improvises his own in a riposte to Nurse Ratched’s tyranny.

61. 50 Eggs, Cool Hand Luke, 1967

Paul Newman only consumed eight of the 50 hard-boiled eggs his character’s dared to eat in this prison drama.

62. KitcHhen Fight, The Raid 2, 2014

Gareth Evans’ six minute, one-on-one knife fight is so electrifying you’ll feel exhausted just watching it.

63. “You Shall not Pass!”, The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring, 2001

Gandalf’s self-sacrifice isn’t just a special effects marvel; Ian McKellen’s perfect delivery made it instantly iconic.

64. Banana Skin, Sleeper, 1973

Woody Allen slips, repeatedly, on the 6ft peel of a genetically modified fruit. The greatest slapstick gag in the movies?

65. Milkshake, There Will Be Blood, 2008

Daniel Day-Lewis vampirically sucks oil from the earth, and souls from men. “I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE!” Quite.

66. TV Terror, Ringu, 1998

Ghost girl Sadako crawls out of the TV. The film was run in reverse to accentuate the unnatural movements.

67. Shootout Suicide, The Wild Bunch, 1969

68. Splashdance, Singin’ In The Rain, 1952


Sam Peckinpah’s brutal Western makes good on its early promise that “if they move, kill ’em”. Hopelessly outmanned and outgunned by a corrupt Mexican army, the Bunch (William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Ben Johnson, Warren Oates) willingly embrace their fate. The vision of cowboy camaraderie gives way to a bloodbath, as they massacre a hundred soldiers while gradually being shredded in slow-motion by the crossfire. Peckinpah had six cameras running at different frame rates, cutting the footage into a balletic blur that continues to influence action directors.


Cinema’s greatest musical number is simplicity itself: a man so happy not even a downpour can dampen his spirits. Cleverly repurposing a 1920s golden oldie for resurgent movie star Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly), the routine has effortless grace via Kelly’s perfectionist choreography – finding his most pliant partner in an umbrella – and co-director Stanley Donen’s swooping crane shots. They make it look easy, but the artistry belies huge difficulties: Kelly braved a fever to film the routine and the on-set water pressure kept dipping whenever Hollywood locals used their sprinklers.

69. Ear Slice, Reservoir Dogs, 1992

When screw-loose bank robber Mr Blonde (Michael Madsen) takes time out to torture kidnapped cop Marvin (Kirk Baltz), it sums up debuting writer-director Quentin Tarantino’s oeuvre in one ragged slice. Set to the 1970s stylings of Stealers Wheel’s ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’, and overlaid with self-mythologisingly smart-arse dialogue as Blonde tells Marvin in detail exactly why he’s disfiguring him – it amuses him to torture a cop – it combines horrifying violence and give-a-shit insouciance with BBFC-bothering élan. A legend was born.

70. The Joker’s Pencil Trick, The Dark Knight, 2008

Heath Ledger’s anarchic, Oscarwinning Bat-villain had his most shocking moment with a “magic trick”: a pencil, propped upright, ‘disappears’ when the Joker slams a thug’s head onto it. Director Christopher Nolan originally didn’t see the scene (conjured up by his co-writer brother Jonathan) working as scripted; Ledger insisted it stayed, and Nolan later admitted, “Now I can’t think of it not being in there.” It was a (bloodless) sleight-of-hand, CG-free stunt, but it helped the 12A-rated film become the BBFC’s most complained-about of 2008.

71. T-rex Entrance, Jurassic Park, 1993

No amount of trivia about Jurassic Park’s suspenseful set-piece – guitar strings creating ripples in the water, the animatronic dino weighing 15,000lb, the complete lack of music – can diminish the scene’s skin-prickling power. The judicious combo of CGI and live-action puppetry gives the queen of the lizards a convincing weight as she sniffs out the stranded visitors. “It’s much more interesting for an audience, I think, to put a T-rex next to a modern car… things we today are familiar with,” explained Steven Spielberg of the set-up.

72. Bank Shootout, Heat, 1995

Cut to Elliot Goldenthal’s tick-tock score, the 10-minute centrepiece of Michael Mann’s epic cop-crook saga sees Robert De Niro and Val Kilmer’s bank robbers shoot their way across downtown LA with military precision. Trained by British SAS, the actors rehearsed on combat ranges, recreating the duck-and-cover routines and learning how to handle weapons like pros. “They got so good,” says Mann, “that the footage of Val Kilmer, firing in two directions and doing a reload without a cut, they used that at Fort Bragg for Special Forces training.”

73. Battle of Helm’s Deep, The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers, 2002

The climactic battle ensured the middle part of the trilogy was anything but middling, as hordes of Uruk-hai attack and Viggo Mortensen’s Aragorn leads the defence. “We built a miniature of Helm’s Deep but it was in itself about 30 or 40ft-wide,” says Peter Jackson of the old-school movie magic involved. The set was polystyrene, but the sequence (shot over four months of night shoots) has a real weight to it – and it’s the most atmospheric of PJ’s epic battles.

74. Plane Send-off, Casablanca, 1942

“I’m no good at being noble,” says Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) as he puts Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) on a Lisbonbound plane with her freedomfighter hubby at the end of Michael Curtiz’s wartime romance. “But it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.” Neither Bergman, Bogart nor the midget extras placed next to the model aeroplane to create the illusion of perspective knew whom Ingrid would end up with until the scene was shot.

75. Bullet Time, The Matrix, 1999

While facing down a gun-toting agent on a rooftop, his own weapons long spent, Neo (Keanu Reeves) proves his superhero credentials as the Chosen One of grey-green alterna-world the Matrix. Part comic-book frame, part videogame special move, he swoops away from the impact with gravity-defying grace, dodging the bullets as they stutter past on useless CG trajectories. Since Sam Peckinpah’s ’60s heyday, action sequences have made use of fast cuts and slow-motion, but the Wachowski siblings were the first to actually stop time.

76. Clock Dangle, Back To The Future, 1985

With just seconds before the lightning strike that will send Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) back to the future, Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) finds himself hanging off a town hall clock face desperately trying to reconnect the wires that will let the electric bolt flow into the flux capacitor of Marty’s speeding DeLorean. The scene was intended as a homage to Harold Lloyd’s 1923 classic Safety Last! and is prefigured in the film’s opening seconds by a snapshot of a straw-hatted gentleman holding on to a minute-hand during the ticking-timepiece montage.

77. Water Dance, La Dolce Vita, 1960

Marcello Mastroianni’s star-struck journo is mesmerised by Anita Ekberg’s air-headed American starlet, when she cavorts in Rome’s Trevi Fountain.

78. Walking Away, The Searchers, 1956

John Wayne’s obsessive Ethan Edwards returns his niece safely home… before ambling off to ‘wander between the winds’.

79. Crucifixion Singsong, Monty Python’s Life Of Brian, 1979

Crucifixee Graham Chapman looks despondent. Then Eric Idle starts to sing: “Always look on the briiight side of life…”

80. “Funny How?”, Goodfellas, 1990

Joe Pesci’s Tommy DeVito pranks Ray Liotta’s Henry Hill in Sonny’s restaurant. “What the fuck is so funny about me?” Gulp.

81. Han and Chewie, Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens, 2015

Entering the Millennium Falcon stage left, Han (Harrison Ford) unleashes a roguish smile: “Chewie, we’re home.”

82. The Lift, Dirty Dancing, 1987
 

83. “Nobody’s PerFect”, Some Like It Hot, 1959
 

84. “You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat”, Jaws, 1975

85. Odessa steps, Battleship Potemkin, 1925
 

Jennifer Grey soars above Patrick Swayze to Bill Medley and Jennifer Warne’s ‘(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life’.
 

Joe E. Brown’s response to learning his beloved ‘Daphne’ (Jack Lemmon) is a guy is surely the greatest last line ever.
 

Roy Scheider’s famous response to seeing the great white shark for the first time actually derived from an on-set catchphrase.

Eisenstein spawned innumerable theses, and parodies, with his epic montage of soldiers firing indiscriminately at civilians on Odessa’s stone staircase.

86. Chariot Race, Ben-Hur, 1959

It took $4m and 10 weeks to shoot Charlton Heston’s showdown with Stephen Boyd on an 18-acre set.

87. “Mo, Mr Bond…”, Goldfinger, 1964

“Do you expect me to talk?” says James Bond (Sean Connery) as he lies spreadeagled on a sheet of gold with a laser beam inching inexorably towards his privates. “No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die!” chuckles Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe) – or rather Michael Collins, the English actor brought in to re-dub the German’s dialogue. According to director Guy Hamilton, Connery was “not very happy” about the acetylene torch used to fabricate the laser illusion. “He was wondering who would give the people underneath him the cue to stop.”

88. Riding the Bomb, Dr. Strangelove, 1964

89. The Airport Battle Royale, Captain America: Civil War, 2016


Despite the efforts of Group Captain Mandrake (Peter Sellers) and US Prez Merkin Muffley (Sellers again), one lone bomber, its radio disabled, has got through and is heading inexorably for its Russian target. Universal nuclear destruction is assured. In the climax of Stanley Kubrick’s pitch-black farce, while ex-Nazi presidential adviser Dr. Strangelove (yup, Sellers again) outlines his plan for the survival of the elite, gung-ho bomber pilot Major ‘King’ Kong (Slim Pickens), finding his bomb release non-functional, dons his cowboy hat, straddles the bomb and rides it whooping down. Yeeeee-haah!


Ever since the dawn of the comic-book movie boom, there’s been no shortage of superpowered scraps on the big screen. The airport throwdown from Captain America: Civil War has them all beat. For starters it boasts a dozen combatants that, crucially, are characters we’ve grown to care about – not faceless Hulk fodder. And everyone gets a moment to shine, the lengthy rumble littered with deliriously gleeful beats, from the joyous introduction to Tom Holland’s Amazing Spider-Man to Scott Lang’s scenestealing bout of gigantism. Superhero action doesn’t get any better.

90.“You Taikin’ to Me?”, Taxi Driver, 1976

Introducing a 40th anniversary screening of Taxi Driver at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year, De Niro said, “Every day for 40 fucking years, at least one of you has come up to me and said, ‘You talkin’ to me?’” He wasn’t joking. The iconic scene marks the exact moment that De Niro’s lonely, troubled Vietnam vet-turned-New York cabbie goes outright loco; stood in army jacket in front of his mirror, he tries out various poses and intonations before each time jerking his arm to release a pistol into his hand from a homemade rig strapped to his arm. His plan is to assassinate a presidential candidate; five years after Taxi Driver’s release, John Hinckley Jr., obsessed with Martin Scorsese’s film, attempted to assassinate President Reagan. In fact, Travis became a poster boy for angry young men everywhere. You might say that this famous line – ad-libbed, by the way – most certainly talked to them.

91. Sandstorm, Mad Max: Fury Road, 2015

Car-mageddon goes up a gear as Furiosa drives her War Rig into an apocalyptic tornado that scatters her pursuers like ninepins.

92. Red Coat, Schindler’s List, 1993

Oliwia Dabrowska was three when she played the girl whose coat catches Liam Neeson’s eye as Krakow’s ghetto is liquidated.

93. Buzz Flies, Toy Story, 1995

Buzz Lightyear “falls with style” thanks to a bouncy ball, a Hot Wheels track and a plane tethered to the ceiling.

94. Drum Solo, Whiplash, 2014

Miles Teller did all his own drumming in his climactic act of defiance against tyrannical music tutor Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons).

95. Edge Of the World, The Truman Show, 1998

96. Mozart in the Yard, The Shawshank Redemption, 1994

97. Transformation, An American Werewolf In London, 1981

98. “You’ve Got Me?”, Superman, 1978

Truman (Jim Carrey) realises that his existence is finite when his schooner pierces the canvas boundary of his make-believe universe.

It’s Edith Mathis and Gundula Janowitz singing as Tim Robbins uses the Shawshank PA system to broadcast The Marriage Of Figaro.


 

Rick Baker won an Oscar for turning David Naughton into a werewolf – a look he based on his pet dog Bosko.



 

Christopher Reeve catches Margot Kidder in mid-air in the scene that made us all believe a man really could fly.


 

99. The Blacc Knight, Monty Python And The Holy Grail, 1975

“It’s just a flesh wound!” insists the armless Black Knight – a riposte repeated this year by David Cameron, to mock Jeremy Corbyn, during his final PMQs.

100. “I ate His Liver...”, The Silence Of The Lambs, 1991

Hannibal Lecter’s liver, fava beans and Chianti recipe is more famous than anything Jamie Oliver’s cooked up. The jury’s out on which tastes better.

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Was looking forward to this. Fantastic list! The knight from Holy Grail never fails to crack me up. :) The other top favourite is Bone-to-Space, of course.

Look forward to more such posts.