Like any film fan, there are certain film scenes that stay in my memory. And it’s not just me who finds certain scenes memorable. Many of these same scenes have become legends in film history.
In chronological order of release date, here’s my favorites, excluding samurai sword fight scenes which for me are in their own category:
Graphic violence is a staple in many of today’s films. Yet, I doubt any film can match the impact of the shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” (1960) even if it is in black and white.
On the other side of the spectrum, Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove” (1964) was a surreal portrait of nuclear Armageddon which is still one of my favorites. The “nuclear war survival” scene is one I like to watch regularly.
The 1966 spaghetti western “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” is easily my favorite of the genre and one of my favorite westerns period. There are only two scenes I remember. One is the “dust” scene where “Confederate” soldiers turn out to be Union ones after they dust off their uniforms to reveal blue coats under the “gray.” The other is the ending.
For one of the most foreboding opening scenes, it’s hard to beat Stanley Kubrick’s “Clockwork Orange” (1971) for the coming “ultra violence.” After just two minutes, you knew it wasn’t going to end well.
Many films have produced a classic line you still hear year decades later. Probably one of the most memorable, and oldest, is the “lucky” line from Clint Eastwood in “Dirty Harry” (1971).
Martin Scorsese‘s “Taxi Driver” (1976) brought another line which also became a classic when Robert DeNiro practiced: “You talking to me?”
“A Few Good Men” (1992) brought us the truth about “the truth” from the exchange between Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson.
Quentin Tarantino is my favorite director. His “Pulp Fiction” (1994) gave us Samuel L. Jackson quoting the Bible’s Ezekiel 25:17 while he and John Travolta conduct a little “business.”
“Sin City’ (2005) featured a lot of bloody scenes but my favorite is when bad guy Jackie Boy (Benicio del Toro) picked the wrong folks to mess with in Old Town and made the mistake of bringing a gun to a fight with samurai sword wielding Miho.
And since I like women wielding samurai swords, I’ll wrap up with what is probably the best fight scene ever from the film that started it all: “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”: