Category Archives: The Great Scenes

Great Scenes: “Perfect Organism” from ALIEN

The Setup: When the crew of the spaceship Nostromo becomes the prey of a deadly extra-terrestrial being, Science Officer Ash (Ian Holm) enacts an order to bring the “life-form” back to corporate headquarters, regardless of the danger in which it puts the ship’s surviving members. When Warrant Officer Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) angrily confronts Ash about this, he attacks her until […]

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The Great Scenes: “Come Home” from Junebug

The Movie:                Junebug Spoiler Level:             Zero point Zero The Setup: Madeleine is an arts dealer living in Chicago with her new husband, George.  Madeleine plans a trip to North Carolina in order to convince an obscure artist to allow her to showcase his art.  This artist just happens to live very close to George’s hometown.  Madeleine and George have only […]

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The Great Scenes: “Helen Sinclair’s Introduction” from BULLETS OVER BROADWAY

Movie: Bullets Over Broadway (1994) Spoiler Level: None The Setup: Up and coming playwright David Shayne (John Cusack) is making every compromise he can stomach, including casting a mob boss’s girlfriend, to get financing for his new play God of Our Fathers. One compromise Shayne doesn’t want to make is the casting for his leading lady. He’s decided to go […]

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The Great Scenes: “Why Mommy Left” from KRAMER VS. KRAMER

Movie: Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) Spoiler Level: None The Setup: Winner of five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Kramer vs. Kramer chronicles the emotionally brutal battle between the recently divorced Ted and Joanna (Dustin Hoffman & Meryl Streep) for custody of their young son. The movie fearlessly examines the realities of the contemporary dysfunctional family. Much of its success can […]

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The Great Scenes: “The Speech” from THE GREAT DICTATOR

Movie: The Great Dictator (1940) Spoiler Level: Low The Setup: Charlie Chaplin’s first true talking picture addresses the rising menace of fascism by making a complete mockery of the men who led the movement. Chaplin stars in a double performance as both a kindly Jewish barber and ruthless (and ridiculous) fascist dictator Adenoid Hynkel (an obvious parody of Adolf Hitler). […]

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The Great Scenes: “Two Normal Guys” from LOLITA

Movie: Lolita (1962) Spoiler Level: Moderate to High The Setup: Professor Humbert (James Mason) has run off with his step-daughter Lolita to hide from potential suspicion after the death of his wife (Lolita’s mother). Meanwhile, Humbert and Lolita have been quietly pursued by a strange and mysterious man named Clare Quilty (Peter Sellers), who like Humbert has developed an unhealthy […]

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The Great Scenes: “The Invention of the Hula Hoop” from THE HUDSUCKER PROXY

Movie: The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) Spoiler Level: Mild The Setup: Part of the charm of Joel and Ethan Coen’s brilliant homage to screwball comedy is that the setup for this scenario is ridiculously complicated but essentially the board of Hudsucker Industries, in an attempt to drive down the company’s stock so that they themselves can buy it up for cheap, […]

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The Great Scenes: “The Ecstasy of Gold” from THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

Movie: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Spoiler Level: Moderate The Setup: After a series of misadventures that led them across the Southwestern countryside near the end of the Civil War, the wily and devious Tuco and his mysterious partner/rival (known only as “Blondie”) finally stumble upon the thing they’ve been scratching, clawing and killing to find: a graveyard. […]

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The Great Scenes: “You never open your mouth, ’til you know what the shot is.” from GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS

The Movie: Glengarry Glen Ross Spoiler Level: Moderate to High (Profanity Level: Earmuffs – Not safe for work or tiny ears) The Setup: Glengarry Glen Ross is director James Foley’s adaptation of the 1982 David Mamet play, about four real estate salesmen struggling to keep their jobs. After an edict from their disembodied bosses Mitch & Murray announces that all […]

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The Great Scenes: “Liberation of the internment camp” from EMPIRE OF THE SUN

The Movie: Empire of the Sun Spoiler Level: Moderate The Setup: Many would agree that, along with Walt Disney and Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg is one of the most famous filmmakers of all time. He’s made movies like “Jaws,” “E.T.” and “Schindler’s List” that quickly cemented their places in the pop culture lexicon. However, upon closer examination of Spielberg’s storied […]

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The Great Scenes: “Chaplin walks a tightrope” from THE CIRCUS

Movie: The Circus (1928) Spoiler Level: Low The Setup: Charlie Chaplin’s 1928 comedy masterpiece The Circus often gets overshadowed by the auteur/star’s more famous works like Modern Times, City Lights and The Kid. True Chaplin-fans know, however, that The Circus possesses just as much heart and hilarity as any of Chaplin’s best films. It follows the famous Little Tramp as […]

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