A couple months back, the Twittersphere (and the internet in general) was abuzz with the hashtag #7FavFilms. We saw a plethora of variations thereof, including #7FavScenes, which jumped out at us. What makes a specific scene or sequence memorable, even in an already-memorable film? Can a single, masterful scene in an otherwise below-average movie still, somehow, stand out?
The DUO Team — Brian, Karen, Jim, and Robin— put together individual lists of our seven favorite scenes from films, and here they are…
1. Raiders of the Lost Ark — Opening scene in the cave
2. Jaws — Sharing scars / Telling of the Indianapolis story
3. Field of Dreams — “Dad, wanna have a catch?” (gets me every time)
4. The Commitments — “Try a Little Tenderness”
5. The Phantom of the Opera (2004) — “Think of Me”
6. Groundhog Day — Last repeat of Groundhog Day
7. A Christmas Story — The Flagpole scene
- Inglourius Basterds — Strudel
Hans Landa and Shoshanna have a very tense lunch together where Shoshanna has to hide her identity from the man who killed her entire family
- Equilibrium — “Remember Me”
Grammaton Cleric, John Preston’s wife is arrested as a sense offender and in a desperate moment kisses her husband for probably the first time in their marriage, with her parting words of “Remember Me.”
- Lady in the Water — Mr. Heap saves Story’s life
- Life of Pi — The ship sinks
On an ocean crossing, Pi Patel makes it onto a lifeboat as he watches the ship sink with his entire family on board in a hauntingly beautiful scene.
- LOTR: The Return of the King — Pippin’s song
- Love Actually — Jamie heads to Portugal to ask Aurelia to marry him
- The Village — Ivy and Lucius share their feelings
1. The Wizard of Oz — Dorothy arrives in Oz
Dorothy Gale meets Glinda the Good Witch. I grew up with color film and TV, but there’s still something magical about Dorothy opening the door to reveal Oz for the first time.
2. The Little Mermaid — Part of Your World (reprise 2)
Brian gets credit for this one; he mentioned it and I must agree. My first trip to the cinema was to see this flick and Ariel has been my girl ever since. I even cosplay as her now!
3. The Prince of Egypt — Moses parts the Red Sea
Exodus is especially meaningful for me and I love how the story is depicted in this film. I was a hard choice to pick just one scene (I was also considering the Burning Bush scene as well as When You Believe).
4. UP — Thanks for the Adventure!
I thought first of the opening montage, as most folks usually do, but I think this scene is actually more moving in the way that, in Monsters, Inc., laughs are more powerful than screams. The opening montage is nearly flawless filmmaking, but this sequence demonstrates Pixar’s most solid strengths in how it effortlessly conveys and evokes so much.
5. Tootsie — Michael’s Secret Revealed
It was hard to pick a specific scene from Tootsie. This is your classic “reveal” moment, but it works on so many levels and I’m on the edge of my seat each time I watch, in spite of the fact that I know what’s coming. Of course, it’s also especially comedic seeing it from the professional side of production. It’s funny, nerve-wracking, and remains air-tight.
6. Field of Dreams — “People Will Come, Ray”
Field of Dreams is usually one of my go-tos when people ask me what my favorite film is. It’s an unexpected response most of the time; but not one I’m challenged on. This scene may have looked ridiculous and cliche on the page, but James Earl Jones knocks it out of the park and the musical score is pure magic.
7. LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring — Flight to the Ford
Many Tolkien fans take issue with this sequence, but, in my estimation, it’s a shining example of adaptation done right. The change from Glorfindel to Arwen is sensible. The cinematography, editing, dynamic presence of the horses (both real and aquatic), performance by Liv Tyler, and Howard Shore’s incredible score all combine to make a sequence that I eagerly await every time I watch this film.
- Karen: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou — “Let me tell you about my boat.”
In a diorama style, Steve Zissou shows you all the rooms and their functions on his boat, The Belafonte.
- Robin: Labyrinth — When the World Falls Down
I have no tangible explanation for why I love this scene so much, but it’s magical. Perhaps it’s all the eighties glitter. And David Bowie.