Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tuesday Forgotten (or Overlooked) Film Turned On Its Head - Sort Of. And A Quiz - Sort of.

American artist, Mabel Dwight via

And now for something a little different: 

Off the top of my head (no looking things up), I've listed a few viscerally unforgettable moments from movies of the past. Things I'll never forget (even burdened with old lady memory).

When you finish reading my faves, I expect you to name a few of yours (that's kind of the quizzy part) off the top of your head(s) and no fair looking things up.

Okay, here goes:

Listed in the order I thought of them, (more or less) and separated by color to make them easier to read:

The lit match cut to the heat of the desert in LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. One of the great examples of the film editor's art.

The approach from a far off distance of Omar Sharif on camel-back from LAWRENCE OF 

The very first glimpse of C3PO in the first chaotic scenes on board the enemy ship in STAR WARS. I was thunderstruck.

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing Cheek to Cheek in TOP HAT, where his dancing is tantamount to making love to her.

Gene Kelly's ambitious American in Paris ballet sequence in AN AMERICAN IN PARIS done to Gershwin's music. The yellow jockey outfit. The yellow jockey outfit. Gene Kelly's tush.

'What are the 39 steps?' question shouted by Hannaday from the music hall audience near the end of THE 39 STEPS

Woman with knife in back stumbles out of the kitchen into Richard Hannay's arms near the beginning of THE 39 STEPS.

The very atmospheric (and frightening) swimming pool scene in CAT PEOPLE

The heart pounding opening credits of one of the more underrated westerns, THE BIG COUNTRY.

The thunderous approach to the canyon of Charles Bickford's riders in THE BIG COUNTRY.

'Generosity! That was my first mistake.' Eli Wallach as the Mexican bandit responds as the seven gunfighters pop out of the woodwork in THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN.

The scene where La Bete (the Beast) laps water out of Beauty's cupped hands in LA BELLE ET LA BETE.

The scene where the Beast carries Beauty into her bedroom and as they move into the room, her clothes change magically in LA BELLE ET LA BETE.

The glove, and the mystical white horse in LA BELLE ET LA BETE.

The hanging laundry scene in LA BELLE ET LA BETE.

The scene where Beauty walks through the long tiled hall of the castle and the candelabras are arms holding candles which sway as she glides by in LA BELLE ET LA BETE.

The end of A NEW LEAF where Walter Matthau is resigned to his fate.

The scene in LAURA where Gene Tierney (Laura) walks through the door and catches Dana (the gloomy cop) Andrews off guard.

The scene at the museum with the fragile dinosaur skeleton near the very end of BRINGING UP BABY.

The Manhattan lightning storm at the beginning of THE GHOST BREAKERS.

The erotically charged close up of Jean Simmons lying on the beach after she's escaped from the yacht (she'd been kidnapped) in THE BLUE LAGOON.

The extraordinary opening sequence by, I think, Saul Bass to a very bad film, WALK ON THE WILD SIDE. Ignore the film, but watch the opening credits.

The scissor scene where Grace Kelly kills the man trying to kill her in DIAL M FOR MURDER.

"Frau Brucher!" sends the horses rearing up in terror from Mel Brooks' YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN.

"Is this England?" asks Mel Brooks (dressed as Hitler) at the very, very end of his imperfect interpretation of the Jack Benny classic, TO BE OR NOT TO BE.

How many of these moments do you remember? 

Here's the chance to name some of your own favorites. Don't be bashful. We're all movie mavens here.

In addition, here are more moments that I remembered afterwards and banged my head for not remembering them the first time around:

The shipwreck in THE BLACK STALLION, the horse jumping over the railing.

The horse's hooves as they swim underwater for the first time in THE BLACK STALLION.

The horse gingerly approaches the boy on the desert island and takes the food offered him in THE BLACK STALLION.

The boy wakes to find a cobra about to strike - the horse appears out of nowhere and pounds the snake into the sand in THE BLACK STALLION.

The helicopter shot of the boy riding the horse for the first time in THE BLACK STALLION.

Later, in the credits, the boy and horse rolling in the sand in THE BLACK STALLION.


The scene in BAMBI when the frantic doe tells her boy, "Run. Run and don't look back!" 

The nude swimming sequence in TARZAN AND HIS MATE.

In ET, the magical moment when the kids on bikes fly away as they're about to be cornered by government agents.


Since it's Tuesday, don't forget to check in at Todd Mason's blog, Sweet Freedom, to see what forgotten (or overlooked) Films, Television or Other Audio/Visuals other bloggers are talking about today.


  1. Oh, I'll play Yvette! You've picked so many great ones - here are a few more from my memory bank:

    The final reveal at the furnace in CITIZEN KANE

    The freeze frame at the end of THE 400 BLOWS

    Pfeiffer and Bridges on the piano 'Makin' Whoppee' in THE FABULOUS BAKER BOYS

    The mirror at the end fo Argento's PROFONDO ROSSO / DEEP RED

    The music sequence in the bar when Tim Daly jumps on the stage in DINER

    Kim Noval emerging into her room ith the new haircut bathed in green light in VERTIGO

    The telephone love scene from IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE

    Inigo Montoya asking for his father back from the six-fingered man in THE PRINCESS BRIDE

    Robert DeNiro's refusing to take his daughter's money in MIDNIGHT RUN

    The dentist scene in MARATHON MAN

    JJ Gittes slapping the black widow in CHINATOWN and realising that he has got everythign wrong

    Kirk realising that Spock is missing from the bridge at the end of STAR TREK II

    James Bond conforting Vesper Lynd in the shower in the unexpectedly tender sequence from CASINO ROYALE

    The ending of FIELD OF DREAMS (of course)

    The 'electric ear cleaner' sequence from PARENTHOOD

    The death and revival scene from THE ABYSS, beautifully played by Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

    The 'Kremlin Kola' sequence in ONE, TWO, THREE

    The stalking o sister Clodagh in BLACK NARCISSUS

    Robert Preston singing 'Trouble' in THE MUSIC MAN

    Fred and Cyd 'Dancing in the Dark from THE BAND WAGON

    1. Ooooh, good ones, Sergio. A few of these I've never seen, but those that I have - Yes! I thought of the BLACK NARCISSUS one but didn't add it because I couldn't remember the crazed nun's name.
      Another I forgot to add: remember when the Commandant cuts the rose off his plant at the end of GRAND ILLUSION?

    2. I was in facr going to include GRAND ILLUSION and clearly got distracted! Thanks chum.

  2. The little boy chasing after Alan Ladd crying "Shane, Shane don't go Shane" in the movie of the same name.

    1. Oh, how could I have forgotten that one, Gram???

  3. Yvette,

    From _To Kill a Mockingbird_, at the end of the trial, Scout is in the balcony and the black minister says she should stand up, for "Your father is passing." That gets me just thinking about it.

    At the end of _The Maltese Falcon_, Bogart tells Mary Astor "I hope they don't hang you, precious, by that sweet neck. Yes, angel, I'm gonna send you over. The chances are you'll get off with life. That means if you're a good girl, you'll be out in 20 years. I'll be waiting for you. If they hang you, I'll always remember you." and " When a man's partner is killed, he's supposed to do something about it. It doesn't make any difference what you thought of him."

    There are others, of course, and I'm sure I'll remember some as soon as I publish this message.

    1. That's how memory works, Fred. :) I remember these two moments, Fred. Good choices.

  4. I remember well many of yours and Sergio's. I'll pick a few more...

    The scene leading up to the escape by boat and all the following scenes with the children in the boat on the river in NIGHT OF THE HUNTER.

    The gun fight in the hall of mirrors from LADY FROM SHANGHAI

    The entire sequence showing the capsizing of the S. S. Poseidon. Terrifying!

    The spectacular train wreck in THE FUGITIVE

    Tom Berenger sees the face of the corpse in the sunken car wreck in SHATTERED.

    Fred & Ginger dancing to "Let's Face the Music and Dance" in FOLLOW THE FLEET (1936).

    "Vessel with the pestle/chalice from the palace/flagon with the dragon" sequence in THE COURT JESTER

    Swimming and sunbathing at the quarry in BREAKING AWAY

    The stunt filled chase sequence in WHAT'S UP DOC?

    Jonathan Winters sees “the Big W” in IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD

    The car out of control in FAMILY PLOT

    Smashing the light bulbs and then the refrigerator opening in WAIT UNTIL DARK

    The title sequence to NORTH BY NORTHWEST

    Cary Grant caught in the reflection of the TV in NORTH BY NORTHWEST. So incredibly brilliant!

    The edit between Eva Marie Saint clasping Cary Grant's hand from Mt. Rushmore to the train compartment and then the train going into the tunnel. Doubly brilliant!

    Sergio already mentioned my favorite part of FABULOUS BAKER BOYS. I'll pick my second and third favorite parts: The audition montage (hysterical!) and Jeff Bridges looking over Michelle Pfeiffer's perfume bottles and make-up with that wonderful piece of music by Dave Grusin underscoring the scene.

    The audition sequence ("On Broadway") from ALL THAT JAZZ.

    Kristin Scott-Thomas being left alone in the cave in THE ENGLISH PATIENT. Destroyed me for the rest of the movie first time I saw it.

    "Dances with Wolves! I am Wind in His Hair! Do you see that I am your friend! Can you see you will always be my friend?" For me that's an unforgettable scene for a very personal reason.

    There are hundreds more…I’ll spare you. :^D

    1. The train wreck in THE FUGITIVE and the swimming and sunbathing at the quarry in BREAKING AWAY - I remember both vividly. Also the scene where the kid on his bike races and then grabs hold of the truck and later (or earlier) his singing that Italian aria. SO funny. 'Vestle with the pestle...' YES! Also when Danny Kaye swings down the outside of the castle into the princess's room. U.S.S. POSEIDON - of course, how could I forget that one.

      So many wonderful memories.

    2. BREAKING AWAY is one of my all time favorite movies. It so perfectly captures the 1970s that I knew growing up in a small town in Connecticut. I could list many memorable scenes from that one. Apparently that quarry scene is so memorable for so many people that they've gone on field trips and road trips to find the site. It's in Indiana somewhere. Multiple YouTube videos showing a variety of trips made there. Looks a lot less romantic 36 years later. I prefer to remember as it was filmed in the movie -- in lazy summer sunshine surrounded by all that greenery.

    3. On my list as well, John. A great movie. A simple story of outsiders well told and with no violence or anyone getting killed or anyone dealing drugs. I loved Paul Dooley who played the confused father. And Barbara Barrie as the mother was superb - I love the scene where she tells her son about the passport she will never use. I remember seeing this movie in the theater with my daughter and husband and we all adored it. We all got it. Seeing the real locations which we first saw on film is usually disappointing. That's why I don't do it.

  5. Cagney as George M. dancing down the White House stairs in YANKEE DOODLE DANDY.

    John Wayne facing facing down the Pepper gang in TRUE GRIT.

    William Bendix's white suit in THE DARK CORNER.

    Lee Marvin's provocative monologue about Gail Russell and Randolph Scott in 7 MEN FROM NOW.

    George Murphy's tragic, brutal demise in BORDER INCIDENT.

    The Smith family reconciling through song (You and I) in MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS.

    Karl Malden rehearsing his sermon in POLLYANNA.

    Bing singing Too-ra-loo to Barry Fitzgerald in GOING MY WAY.

    Charles Laughton kicking his tormentor out of his restaurant in RUGGLES OF RED GAP.

    Kirk Douglas' rant at the radio people in A LETTER TO THREE WIVES.

    George Burns and Walter Matthau silently arranging and rearranging the rehearsal furniture in THE SUNSHINE BOYS.

    Richard Conte turning off Brian Donlevy's hearing aid before shooting him in THE BIG COMBO.

    1. I've only seen a couple of these, Pat. You've stumped me. :) But that's what I love about these sorts of lists - they give you plenty of stuff to look forward to. You know, I'm surprised none of us included 'I coulda' been a contender' from ON THE WATERFRONT. But the truth is, I just thought of ti myself.

  6. It's been a while since I've seen any of these, Yvette, but - playing by the rules - some thoughts:

    From THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, Julie Harris, badly frightened after supernatural things happen, whispering, "Then whose hand was I holding?"

    From THE CAT PEOPLE (or was it CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE), where the frightened girl is walking alone at night by a park, apparently being stalked by something...and then, with a giant roar...a bus pulls up, she gets in the bus and rides off.

    Jeanne Moreau singing "Le Tourbillon" in the middle of JULES ET JIM.

    Gloria Swanson ready for her closeup at the end of SUNSET BOULEVARD.

    1. I picked a different scene from CAT PEOPLE, Les. The swimming pool one has always remained large in my memory. But the scene you included is BIG too. A terrific film. Gloria Swanson's close-up scene has been parodied so many times that I forgot it. Does that make sense?

  7. The "Marseillaise" scene in CASABLANCA.

    Elizabeth Taylor riding her dream horse along the seashore for the first time in NATIONAL VELVET.

    John Wayne's boat crew silently listening to the radio broadcast on the fall of Bataan, and then strains of "Marcheta," in THEY WERE EXPENDABLE.

    The climactic scene in SENSE AND SENSIBILITY. "He's kneeling down!"

    Everyone at the court-martial staring in disbelief after Humphrey Bogart goes to pieces in THE CAINE MUTINY.

    Walter Huston's first scene in THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE, which foreshadows practically everything that happens in the film.

    Gene Lockhart looking down his nose at Jerome Cowan all through the trial scene in MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET.

    Like some of you have been saying, I know I'll remember more afterwards...

    1. Good choices, Elizabeth. A few I remember on my own. I remember a couple of others after I'd finished my post and now I'm debating adding them. :)

  8. Fun quiz, Yvette – Here are a few more:

    The toga party in ANIMAL HOUSE

    Karen Black sitting on the sink doing her makeup in FIVE EASY PIECES

    Ann Sheridan deflecting the advances of George Raft at the diner in THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT

    Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood dancing in the kitchen in THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY

    Spencer Tracy seeing Elizabeth Taylor in her wedding gown in FATHER OF THE BRIDE

    Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart pulling the boat in THE AFRICAN QUEEN

    Harold Russell showing Cathy O’Donnell his war injuries in THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES

    Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni in the fountain in LA DOLCE VITA

    Edward G. Robinson ticking off the many ways a man could commit suicide in Bill Wilder’s DOUBLE INDEMNITY

    Jack Lemon pulling off his wig and telling Joe E. Brown he’s a man, in Billy Wilder’s SOME LIKE IT HOT

    Claudette Colbert with the Ale and Quail Club on the train in Preston Sturges’ THE PALM BEACH STORY

    Clark Gable listening as Doris Day reads his insulting letter to her class in TEACHER’S PET

    Doris Day seeing the assassin at the Albert Hall in THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH

    Jimmy Stewart’s POV of Grace Kelly kissing him in REAR WINDOW

    Cary Grant on the villa rooftop looking for the cat burglar in TO CATCH A THIEF

    Errol Flynn’s duel to the death with Basil Rathbone in THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD

    Tyrone Power’s duel to the death with Basil Rathbone in THE MARK OF ZORRO

    Julie Christie ironing at the field hospital in DR. ZHIVAGO

    Omar Sharif’s frozen mustache in DR. ZHIVAGO

  9. Oh, you've come up with some excellent choices,Elgin. I'd forgotten (I know, how could I?) the scene from BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES. And also the field of grounded, derelict planes. Remember? And of course, the 'nobody's perfect' line from SOME LIKE IT HOT. One of the all time great endings.

  10. The scene at the end of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner when Spenser Tracy (who was so extremely ill in real life) talks about life and the importance of love to his daughter and Sidney Poitier. And The tears in Katherine Hepburn's eyes immediately afterward. Also, in The Best Years of Our Lives, the scene when Frederick March comes home and Myrna Loy keeps asking, "Who was at the door, Bud?" until she realizes why he's not answering. And she walks into the living room ... and there's her husband. Another scene from Best Years of Our Lives (they were all pretty much great) was when their daughter tell Frederick March and Myrna Loy that they've forgotten what it is to be in love and they respond so beautifully. I cry every time I watch it.

    1. More excellence from THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, Elizabeth - what a tremendous motion picture. Top ten of the past hundred years no question. I want to see it again so I think I'll have to buy my very own copy.


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