Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Top 10 Favorite Movie Scenes of All-Time

I’m going completely off the rails for a moment, putting running, working out and nutrition on the back burner to talk about something fun … movies!

For no particular reason, I started thinking about the most memorable scenes on the silver screen. In fact, I've been obsessing about it for days, trying to come up with my top 10 list.

As I wrote in an earlier post, Matt and I are HUGE movies buffs. Each year, we look forward to fall because that’s when the Oscar-contenders are released.

Don’t even get me started on the Academy Awards -- I look forward to the event every year. When I was younger, I would draft speeches of what I would say if I ever had the opportunity to be on that stage accepting an award for best actress, supporting actress, director, original or adapted screenplay, etc.

Movies mean something to me, I guess. I drift away in my mind for a while. I’ve always liked that.

Below are my top 10, with a few runners-up. Let me know what you think. Am I off the mark? Should one, two or more of my picks be bumped off in place of other stand-out scenes? I can talk movies all day. Quid pro quo. ; )

Quint’s Indianapolis speech in Jaws, which actor Robert Shaw actually rewrote for the movie. 

Michael describes in chilling detail how he’ll kill Solazzo and McCluskey in The Godfather

The Pacino/De Niro diner scene in Heat. I waited so long to see these actors share the screen and they did not disappoint. (Technical issues prevented me from posting the actual video. Click on the link above and you'll be directed to YouTube.)

“Do I amuse you?” Joe Pesci in Goodfellas

Edward Norton blows my mind in this scene from 25th Hour. Is it any wonder why he’s one of the greatest actors of my generation (in my opinion).

Sean Penn is brilliant in this scene from Mystic River in which he discovers his daughter has been savagely beaten and killed. An Oscar-worthy performance if ever there was one (by the way, he did walk away with the little gold statue for this role).

As bizarre as this may sound, I can recite this scene word for word. It's one of the many stellar Nicholson performances, this time in A Few Good Men(Runner-up Nicholson Film: The Diner Scene in Five Easy Pieces.) 

How do you like them apples? from Good Will Hunting(Runners-up: The Park Scene, which Robin Williams OWNED. And, of course, the brilliant scene in which Damon gives his reasons for not working for NSA.) 

When Kevin Spacey’s plan comes to light, Brad Pitt becomes wrath in Se7en.

Alec Baldwin shows why he’s one of the greatest character actors of our time in Glengarry Glen Ross.


  1. Great choices, all classics. I would add the closing scene to "The Searchers", voted one of the greatest films ever made. A happy ending when the kidnapped girl is reunited with her surviving "family", but her rescuer Uncle Ethan's character realizes that he has no place in that family or their "civilized/settled world". Haunting scene, shot with no dialogue.

  2. I should have known it was a John Wayne film! In fact, when I posted the link, I almost wrote, "My apologies to the Duke, Peter Carey."

    I have never watched a John Wayne film, despite the fact that my father loved his films and Wayne as an actor.

    I will add The Searchers to our list of movies to watch!