Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Eye's Delight: 10 Favorite Scenes

Why do we love movies?
What secret self does the celluloid embrace and make safe? We all have our favorite films, actors and actresses; the stuff our dreams are made of. And lodged between the opening and closing credits are the unforgettable moments that speak to us as if they have read our hearts and minds and souls.

And so, fellow movie lovers, in the spirit of sharing I lay bare my heart and list 10 of my favorite scenes. Roll 'em!

10. Wuthering Heights - Oh look, Cathy, they're praying.
Olivier looks like a Byronic hero - black hair, alabaster skin and broken heart. My heart broke for him, too.
9. The Producers - Springtime for Hitler.
Mel Brooks - tasteless, vulgar and hilarious. Laughter is the best medicine and Dr. Mel is the head healer!
8. Notorious - Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman and oh, that kiss.
Cary Grant is my dream man and, yes, I have mentally bumped Ingrid out of the scene and replaced her with me!
7. Sunset Boulevard - Norma is ready for her close-up.
The great Norma Desmond, the greatest star of them all, has long been my muse (hence the name of the blog). If her love of the make-believe of movies makes her crazy, well... call me nuts.
6. Sherlock, Jr. - Buster enters the movies. Oh, the wonder of Buster. I could have easily filled all 10 slots with moments from Keaton's films, but this one speaks to the dream of cinema that lured our Buster and makes him dear to the hearts of all movie lovers.
5. Singin' in the Rain - Puddles of Joy. My heart swells and it fills me with pure joy. Each and every time. Period.
4. The Apartment - Billy & Jack Forever. Billy Wilder can do no wrong in my book, and neither can Jack Lemmon. He plays this scene beautifully (as does Shirley) and the little catch in his voice when he answers the phone makes me gasp every time.
3. Cinema Paradiso - The Magic of a Kiss. Love movies? Then you, too, are a true romantic.
2. City Lights - From Tramp to Suitor. Although that last scene from "City Lights" is gut-wrenching, this is so seamless, so perfect, and so worthy of the word "genius." In just a few motions, so much changes; in just one moment, so much romance.
1. Hannah and Her Sisters - Woody, a Tumor and the Marx Brothers. Exactly. If the world has the Marx Brothers (or Cary Grant, or Ann Dvorak or James Cagney - you fill in the blank), then this is a world worth living in.
So, there you have 10 of my most favorite scenes. Of course, there are scads more and additional posts may be required. 
And may I ask you to share those movie moments that  make your list of all-time favorites?


marynarkiewicz said...


Unknown said...

Beautifully written, as always Marsha... I am thrilled that we share 2 of the same top ten.. But..alas.. like anything that has captured our hearts and imagination.. the movies contain sooooo many moments that do, and will, live in my heart and mind forever. far too many to mention here but like the films I love, they run across my mind like one long strip of celluloid. some color.. some b & w but all wonderful... Your blog reminded me of that ..so many that instantly spring to mind. and just as many that were just laying wait in the dark recesses of my cinema grey matter... just waiting for me to say..."OH...and what about?"....... Thank You Marsha

FlickChick said...

Mary - thank you. Next time I'll try to work our Hayley in there.

FlickChick said...

Oh, M.a. - thanks you for such a lovely comment. I haven't felt much like writing lately and your comments lifted my spirits.

Samantha said...

I loved your list but you did ask for mine so here goes...quickly and not in order.
Rosebud...Citizen Kane
"Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn" Gone with the wind.
Here's looking at you kid" Casablanca
Shower scene in Psycho.
The dress and subway gate in Seven Year Itch.
All so wonderful...
Thank you for making me think of some wonderful movies.

Anonymous said...

Great article as always, Marsha! It would be impossible for me to narrow that list down to 10. I have so many, and they would vary depending upon my mood, etc. Thanks for always giving us things to ponder over!

FlickChick said...

Samantha, I am soooooo proud of you!!

FlickChick said...

itgirl - so true. I think it's fair to say that the list of favorites will vary depending on your mood and what is going on in your life at the moment. That's what is so great about the movies - something for everyone at any time.

Rick29 said...

Very nice! I would add the beach scene in FROM HERE TO ETERNITY.

FlickChick said...

Thanks, Rick - that scene is unforgettable.

Caftan Woman said...

Lovely article. It's a privilege to share of your favourite movie scenes. Each one made me nod my head and smile. "The little catch in his voice when he answers the phone". Oh, yes.

Here are a few scenes that mean a lot to me.

From "It's a Wonderful Life", George and his mother in the front yard talking about Harry and his new bride, and how Mary has the answers, while the party goes on inside the house and Uncle Billy stumbles home.

Clare and Vinnie singing "Sweet Marie" as twilight falls in "Life With Father".

The recapture of Earl Williams in "His Girl Friday". Each reporter giving a different account to their editor.

From "Helpmates" -
Stan: If I had any sense I'd walk out on you.
Ollie: Well, it's a good thing you haven't any sense!
Stan: It certainly is!

FlickChick said...

Thankk you, CW! Your choices made me smile (and sigh).

Marcela Costa :} said...

Number two is perfect! This film is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen!

FlickChick said...

Marela - I couldn't agree more! It is practically my #1, but Woody's philosophy touches my heart.

Mythical Monkey said...

Boy, every one of those scenes is a great one. You know, after I finish my review of Chaplin the Musical, maybe I'll make my own top ten list -- citing you as the inspiration, of course!

FlickChick said...

Thank you, Monkey! I can't wait to read your Chaplin review.


It's hard to choose, but right now I can remember the Marsellaise scene in Casablanca, Cary Grant dressing a women gown in Bringing up Baby and shouting "I went GAY all of a sudden!" and Harpo turning a piano into a harp in A Night at the Opera.
Your choices were great, and the clips were a great idea.

The Lady Eve said...

FlickChick, Love your choices, some of them are favorites of mine, too (particularly that scene in "Notorious"). And the clips are great. Here are just a few of mine...

Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck alone in the moonlight on a ship deck in "The Lady Eve" - in a romantic ramble, he tells her he's never loved anyone else.

Marlene Dietrich in "Morocco" in a tuxedo singing a French song and tossing a flower to Gary Cooper.

Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard lifting their masks and kissing for the first time in "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

The last scene of "Casablanca."

Too many scenes to mention in "The Awful Truth" and "To Be or Not to Be."

FlickChick said...

Le - thank you, Sweetie! The Marx Brothers are always a golden addition.

FlickChick said...

Lady Eve - I can't argue with any of your choices. I guess 10 is just impossible.

Silver Screenings said...

Great choices! I would have to say my #1 pick from this list is the Sunset Boulvard scene. This is a clever idea for a post. :)

Unknown said...

In no particular order:

Sunset Boulevard - Norma is ready for her close-up.

The Thomas Crown Affair - The chess- game.

The Letter- When Bette goes to retrieve the letter from her lovers wife.

The Illusionist- When Edward is performing his illusions on stage.

Unknown said...


How to Marry A Millionaire- Diamonds are a girls best friend dance number.

Leave Her to Heaven- while Gene Tierney rides her horse scattering her father's ashes in the Sedona, AZ mountains.

The Ghost and Mrs Muir- The last scene.

Singin in the Rain- Gene Kelly's famous dance number.

Blood and Sand- the dance number in the bar between Rita and Quinn.

Vertigo- I love the scene where Jimmy is following close behind Kim through San Francisco..