List compiled by Eddie on 29/04/2016
Rocky running up the steps, fists pumping as he reaches the pinnacle, ET and Elliot flying across the moon, William Wallace rallying his troops into battle, Wayne and Garth singing along to Queen, there’s an abundance of cinematic moments that live long in people’s memories and since the dawn of cinema as we know and love classic scenes have made films into the beloved entities people see them as today.
Picking just 10 classic movie scenes is a hard task and no doubt personnel in many ways as some films strike a chord with each individual viewer but that’s the power of cinema, the ability to connect with us all on different levels.
These 10 scenes below are all standout picks in their own right and while in no way showcase the be all and end all of classic cinema moments; all provide evidence as to why cinema is such a loved art form.
Happy reading and happy watching.
BEWARE – possible spoilers ahead
10. Friday Night Lights (2004) – Coach Gaines Half-time Speech
A heartfelt and poignantly impassioned speech that showcases cinemas power to move with mere words, Billy Bob Thornton’s Coach Gaines speech delivered to his team during the half time break of a championship game is great stuff. Within cinema history there’s been many a memorable speech but this one delivered in Peter Berg’s terrific sports film stands amongst the best.
9. Interstellar (2014) – Docking the Ship
Watched in context this heart pounding moment in Christopher Nolan’s Sci-Fi epic is exceptional stuff. The perfect blend of Hans Zimmer’s excellent score and visual spectacle that surrounds it creates one of modern cinemas most tension riddled extended scenes.
8. The Goonies (1985) – Introduction to the Gang
Now this is how you both start a film and introduce your audience to the characters within it! Wasting no time at all getting down to business, director Richard Donnor starts out his 80’s adventure classic in thrilling fashion with a jailbreak, a police chase and around that an introduction to a rag tag bunch of kids and teenagers who are about to take the journey of their lives.
7. There Will Be Blood (2007) – Oil Explosion
A telling moment in not only oil baron Daniel Plainview’s life as an oil man but in the audience’s as they watch along, this speaker shattering oil rig disaster is beautifully captured, white knuckled in its intensity and highly memorable in a film that made a huge dent upon release in 2007.
6. The Dark Knight (2008) – The Joker Meets Harvey Dent in Hospital
Showing off not only Heath Ledger’s stunning skills as the Joker but director Christopher Nolan’s ability to blast audience’s away with mind blowing spectacle, this scene showcases abundantly why The Dark Knight is so highly regarded as one of the true all round masterpieces of cinematic history.
5. Children of Men (2006) – In the Heat of the Battle
While much of this classic Sci-Fi takes place in more intimate spaces, Children of Men’s one take run through a bullet infested battle zone is one of the singular most thrilling battle scenes ever captured on camera. As Clive Owen’s Theo scrambles across the terrain we as viewers feel like not offsiders watching from afar but feel very much as though we to are running for our very lives.
4. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) – Intro to Bag End
In what may seem like a strange and low key scene to pick from Peter Jackson’s stunning trilogy of films, this beautifully constructed intro to Bag End (aka the land of the hobbits) gave us our first taste for the world Jackson and his team had so wondrously created for us and set the tone for the glorious things to come.
3. The Godfather (1972) – Baptism Scene
Any number of singular scenes from Francis Ford Coppola’s crime masterpiece could make a list like this but this fantastically juxtaposed combination of new life and the taking of lives is a masterful achievement. Showcasing the lengths Don Corleone will go to keep his family at the top of the food chain, this is stunning stuff, especially for the day in which was delivered.
2. Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back (1980) – Luke Skywalker v Darth Vader
A scene that needs to real explanation, this classic set piece is now a part of movie lore not only for the lightsaber skills on display from our Jedi Luke Skywalker and from the dark lord himself Darth Vader but for its huge story revelations that at the time shocked audiences the world over.
1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) – Mozart’s Sull’aria Plays Over the Speakers
Moving, uplifting and memorable, this particular scene in which Tim Robbin’s wrongly incarcerated Andy Dufrain decides to liven the mood of the prison yard by locking himself in the wardens office and playing music that makes inmates forget where they are, for ever a brief moment, is the stuff movie magic is made from. You’d find it hard pressed to not sit back with a smile on your face as this scene transpires and this is the perfect examination of why The Shawshank Redemption is rated so highly by cinema lovers the world over.