August 25, 2001
100 of the Greatest Movie Moments
By TOM WILLIAMS
When you leave the movie theatre there is usually something that sticks with you (aside from the chewing gum on the floor). Many
movies have a scene - or even a line - that is repeated or described long after the credits have stopped rolling.
We have compiled a list of 100 of the greatest movie moments.
It starts with three of the greatest actors of all time. First, here are four great moments involving Humphrey Bogart:
Caine Mutiny- Bogart on the witness stand, rattling ball bearings in his hand and having a breakdown.
Casablanca- "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world," bemoans Bogart, "she walks into mine."
Casablanca- "I'm saying it because it's true," Bogart says to Ingrid Bergman at the airport. "Inside of us, we both know you
belong with Victor. You're part of his work, the thing that keeps him going. If that plane leaves the ground and you're not with him,
you'll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life...We'll always have Paris. We didn't have,
we, we lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night...But I've got a job to do, too. Where I'm going, you can't follow.
What I've got to do, you can't be any part of. I'm no good at being noble, 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. Someday you'll understand that...Here's looking at you kid." (Can you
imagine that Ronald Reagan was originally supposed to play Bogie's role?)
To Have and Have Not- Lauren Bacall tells Bogart to whistle if he needs her. "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve," she
adds. "You just put your lips together and blow."
Now, Dustin Hoffman, the greatest actor of our generation, steps into the spotlight:
The Graduate- Hoffman says to a partially nude Anne Bancroft, "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me, aren't you?".
Midnight Cowboy- Walking across a New York street, Hoffman pounds on a car that lurched forward as he walked in front of
it. "I'm walking here," he screams, "I'm walking here." This was reportedly unexpected and he ad-libbed without breaking character.
Rain Man- Hoffman and Tom Cruise coming down the big escalator in a Vegas casino dressed identically.
Tootsie- Hoffman walking down the street as Dorothy, the soap actress.
Here is a quartet of memorable moments from Jack Nicholson:
A Few Good Men- Nicholson screams at attorney Tom Cruise, "You can't handle the truth", near the end of an intense
Five Easy Pieces- Nicholson argues with a waitress, trying to get an order of toast. He finally tells her to bring him a chicken
sandwich on toast but to hold the chicken. "You want me to hold the chicken," she says sarcastically. "I want you to hold it between
your knees," he retorts.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest- Nicholson does play-by-play of the World Series in front of a blank TV screen.
The Shining- Nicholson chops his way through a door with an axe, then sticks his head through the opening and says,
"Here's Johnny!". As it turns out, the line was an ad-lib.
And these great moments, among dozens that could be chosen, from films directed by the master - Alfred Hitchcock:
The Birds- Hundreds of birds gather on a school playground for another attack.
Dial M for Muder- We watch, along with Grace Kelly and Robert Cummings, as Ray Milland tries to figure out why his house
key won't work and eventually incriminates himself in murder. Great narrative throughout the scene by John Williams.
North by Northwest- Cary Grant is attacked by a crop duster.
Psycho- The murdering of Janet Leigh in the shower.
Rear Window- Wheelchair-bound James Stewart nods off repeatedly during the night as killer Raymond Burr, across the
courtyard, carts off some key evidence. This is symbolic of the dozens of key scenes in Hitchcock films where the story line is
advanced without a single line of dialog.
Moving on, in alphabetical order, we have another 83 great movie moments:
All About Eve- "Fasten your seat belts," Bette Davis warns, "it's going to be a bumpy night."
Apocalypse Now- Robert Duvall looks around as the sun rises and says, "I love the smell of napalm in the morning".
Arsenic and Old Lace- Cary Grant, tied to a chair and gagged, acts out his lines to visiting policeman Jack Carson.
Bananas- Howard Cosell interviews a South American dictator as he lies on the steps of the capital building after being shot.
Being There- Peter Sellers and Shirley MacLaine in a hilarious bedroom scene as she tries to seduce him while he is more
interested in watching television.
Big- Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia dancing on the toy piano.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid- "I can't swim," says Robert Redford. "Oh, hell," Paul Newman responds, "the fall will
kill you." And they leap off a mountain cliff.
The China Syndrome- Jack Lemmon takes over the control room of the nuclear plant.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind- Richard Dreyfuss builds a mountain of mashed potatoes, the first big sign that something
Basic Instinct- Sharon Stone, being interrogated by police officers, crosses her legs.
Ben Hur- The chariot race.
Bonnie and Clyde- The ambush of Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty.
Citizen Kane- A dying Orson Welles says "Rosebud", the key word in the entire movie.
Dead Poets Society- All of Robin Williams' students stand on their desks to protest his firing.
The Deer Hunter- The Russian roulette game featuring Robert DeNiro, Christopher Walken and John Savage.
Dirty Harry- "I know what you're thinking, 'Did he fire six shots or only five'" Clint Eastwood says to an armed bank robber. "To tell the
truth, in all the excitement, I kind of lost track myself. But, being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and
would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question. 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do you, punk."
Dr. No- Sean Connery introduces himself as, "Bond, James Bond".
Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb- Slim Pickens, riding a nuclear missile on its way
down like it's a bucking bronco.
The Dream Team- Impromptu sing-a-long to "Hit the Road, Jack" by mental patients (Michael Keaton, Peter Boyle, Stephen
Furst and Christopher Lloyd) in a van on their way to an outing at Yankee Stadium.
Duck Soup- "Remember," says Groucho Marx, "you are fighting for this woman's honor, which is probably more than she ever
E.T.- The boys, trying to get the lovable alien to an appointment with his spaceship, fly into the air on their bicycles over a
The Exorcist- Linda Blair does a 360.
Fargo- Sheriff Frances McDormand gets a description of the killers from two young women.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High- Sean Penn, as the classic Jeff Spicoli, takes delivery of a pizza in class.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off- Matthew Broderick leads an afternoon parade through Chicago.
Forrest Gump- "Mama always said," Tom Hanks reflects, "life is like a box of chocolates."
The French Connection- The car chase throughout New York.
From Here to Eternity- The moving bugle performance by Montgomery Clift as a memorial to his murdered friend, Frank
The Godfather- "I'll make him an offer," Brando says, "he can't refuse."
The Godfather- John Marley finds the decapitated head of his favorite horse in his bed.
Gone With the Wind- "Frankly, my dear," says Clark Gable, "I don't give a damn."
Gone With the Wind- A frantic Butterfly McQueen protests a request to serve as a midwife. "I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin'
no babies," she squeals.
The Grapes of Wrath- Henry Fonda, saying goodbye to his mother (Jane Darwell). "I'll be all around in the dark," he concludes.
"I'll be everywhere, wherever you can look. Wherever there's a fight so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there's a cop
beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad. I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they
know supper's ready. And where people are eatin' the stuff they raise and livin' in the houses they build. I'll be there, too."
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner- The climactic scene, in the living room, with Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, Sidney
Poitier and the rest. Made all the more memorable by the fact that it was Tracy's final scene before his death.
High Noon- Gary Cooper in the famous shootout.
Hoosiers- The state championship game.
I.Q.- Tim Robbins is walking through a park with Albert Einstein (played by Walter Matthau) and others talking over a problem
when Einstein stops and asks, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?". "What would be the odds of that," Robbins' character responds
In the Heat of the Night- Sidney Poitier introduces himself - "They call me MISTER Tibbs!".
Inherit the Wind- Spencer Tracy cross-examining Frederic March.
It's A Wonderful Life- Jimmy Stewart, with a grin as wide as ever, is told by his brother that he is, "the richest man in town" at
the end of the classic holiday film.
Jaws- A stunned Roy Scheider bolts upright after having just seen the great shark for the first time. He then walks up to
Robert Shaw as if in a trance. "You're gonna need a bigger boat," he says.
The Jazz Singer- Al Jolson looks at the camera and says, "You ain't heard nothin', yet". They were believed to be the first
words ever spoken in a motion picture after decades of silent films.
Jerry Maguire- Cuba Gooding Jr. with the theme for the 90s - "Show me the money".
King Kong- The giant ape climbs the Empire State Building and swats away airplanes and other futile attempts to subdue
A League of Their Own- "Are you crying," Tom Hanks yells to a player. "There's no crying in baseball."
The Little Colonel- Shirley Temple and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson tap dance up the stairs.
Love and Death- A Russian soldier tells Woody Allen that the man they are talking about was the village idiot. "Yeah," says
Allen, "what'd you do, place?"
Major League- "Wild Thing" playing every time relief pitcher Charlie Sheen enters from the bullpen, setting a trend at baseball
The Manchurian Candidate- What seems like a garden club scene to the hypnotized American prisoners is really a meeting
of communist leaders.
Mr. Holland's Opus- A surprise assembly to salute retiring teacher Richard Dreyfuss.
Mrs. Doubtfire- The restaurant scene, where Robin Williams is playing both Mrs. Doubtfire and himself at two different tables.
My Cousin Vinny- Judge Fred Gwynne, unable to understand the New York accent of attorney Joe Pesci, asks him, "Did you
The Natural- Robert Redford goes deep in the big game.
Network- News anchor Peter Finch yells "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!". And a nation of viewers joins
A Night at the Opera- The Marx Brothers cram dozens and dozens of people into their stateroom.
The Odd Couple- Walter Matthau takes a call from Jack Lemmon in the Shea Stadium press box and, while Lemmon's Felix
is telling him not to eat any hot dogs because they are having franks and beans for dinner, Matthau's Oscar misses a triple play.
On The Waterfront- "I coulda had class, I coulda been a contender", Marlon Brando, sitting in the backseat of a car, says in a
fabulous scene. "I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it."
Patton- George C. Scott's speech in front of a giant American flag.
The Phantom of the Opera- The unmasking of the phantom.
Poltergeist- Young actress Heather O'Rourke sets the scene for the thriller by placing her hand on the TV screen and saying,
Rebel Without A Cause- A frustrated James Dean yells at his parents, "you're tearing me apart".
Risky Business- Tom Cruise, in shirt, briefs and white socks, lip synchs "Old Time Rock & Roll" in his living room to
celebrate his parents' departure on vacation.
Rocky- Sylvester Stallone runs through the city of Philadelphia during his workout. One story has it that this scene was shot
without notice and that many in the markets he passed threw things at him, thinking he was just a thief running away with something
he had stolen.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show- "The Time Warp".
Saturday Night Fever- John Travolta strutting down a New York street with the Bee Gees in the background.
The Seven Year Itch- Marilyn Monroe stands above a subway grate and her white dress blows up around her waist each time
the train passes below.
Shane- Young Brandon DeWilde shouts to Alan Ladd, as he rides off into the sunset, "Come back, Shane!".
The Silence of the Lambs- Anthony Hopkins explains, "a census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava
beans and a nice chianti".
The Silence of the Lambs- Anthony Hopkins reveals he is Hannibal Lecter by peeling someone else's face off his own.
Singin' In the Rain- Gene Kelly dances through the rain to the title song.
The Sixth Sense- When we realize that Bruce Willis is actually dead.
Some Like It Hot- Jack Lemmon, in drag, has just told his fiancÚ, Joe E. Brown, that he is actually a man. "Nobody's perfect,"
Brown replies, leading to a classic Lemmon doubletake.
The Sound of Music- Julie Andrews on the mountain top singing the title song.
Spartacus- Slave Tony Curtis stands and admits, "I am Spartacus". Hundreds of other slaves then follow his lead, sparing his
Star Wars- Alec Guinness delivers the classic line, "May the force be with you".
Star Wars- The bar scene.
Sudden Impact- "Go ahead," says Clint Eastwood, "make my day."
Taxi Driver- Robert DeNiro's often-repeated line, "You talkin' to me?".
The Terminator- Arnold Schwarzenegger promises "I'll be back".
Terminator 2- "Hasta la vista, baby," says Arnold.
Titanic- Leonardo DiCaprio, standing on the bow of the great ship, shouts, "I'm the king of the world".
When Harry Met Sally- After Meg Ryan simulates the sounds of an orgasm in a deli, another customer (played by director
Rob Reiner's mother) says, "I'll have what she's having".
The Wizard of Oz- "Toto," says Judy Garland after arriving in Oz, "I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."
Young Frankenstein- Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle (as the monster) sing and dance to "Puttin' on the Ritz".
Remember them all?
If not, you've still got time this summer to rent those that aren't familiar. And, by the way, if you think we missed some great
moments, feel free to send them along.
Be sure to read The Sandpaper in the Ocean City area and The
Beachcomber in the Wildwood area throughout the summer months for similar features.