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Top 50 Movie Moments of All Time

What makes a great movie? Does it start with the script? Does it take A-list actors or actress'? Or does it begin and end with the director? Henry Miller wrote in Sexus that a great work of art, if it accomplishes anything, serves to remind us, or let us say to set us dreaming, of all that is fluid and intangible.
We all know that it takes the combination of a good script, good acting, and good directing to make a film worth watching. But the one thing that makes a good film great is those movie moments that stir our emotions and go on to last for as long as our minds will allow us to remember. Those moments that set us dreaming of all that is fluid and intangible.
There are certain scenes that are iconic. For example Marilyn Monroe's subway breeze scene will forever be remembered and imprinted into the minds of movie buffs for all eternity. But if one were to ask five random people what the name of the movie was that that scene was part of maybe one out of five would say "Seven Year Itch".
A great and iconic scene no doubt but by no means does it bring the viewers emotions to the surface the same way as the taking of Omaha Beach in Saving Private Ryan.
Listed in the following pages are fifty of the absolute best moments in film. I also have tried to stay faithful to the iconic scenes like the one talked about above because after all they are memorable. I truly hope you enjoy reading and as always your comments are welcomed and appreciated.

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  1. 1

    The Pianist: Szpilman Plays for German Soldier


    I personally think this scene is the most powerful few minutes that I've ever witnessed watching a film. This scene is nearly impossible for me to put into words because of the shear magnitude of what all is taking place. Szpilman playing what he thinks is the last song he'll ever play. The German officer overcome with emotion as he witnesses this beautiful human being that sits before him and the guilt and pain that he feels down into his very soul over all the horror the German's have inflicted upon the Jewish people. This is film making at it's absolute best!!

  2. 2

    Saving Private Ryan: Storming Omaha Beach


    The most realistic 10 or 15 minutes in cinema. Retired military men testified that the way the Omaha Beach landing was portrayed in Saving Private Ryan was exactly the way things went down that fateful June morning in 1944. Saving Private Ryan should be mandatory viewing material in all school curriculum from grades 5 thru 12. 

  3. 3

    The Shawshank Redemption: Red's journey to meet Andy on the Pacific


    There has never, in the history of cinema, been a film that has positively afftected the masses quite like The Shawshank Redemption.  Here we see what is the culmination of Red's journey from institutionalized, hopeless prisoner to a Free-man full of hope and possibility. 
     Moments such as these is the reason Shawshank is the greatest movie ever made.

  4. 4

    The Shawshank Redemption: Tarring the License Plate Factory


    This scene set the tone for the entire movie. It gives the audience a clear picture of who Andy is and who Red is. But at the same time leading us to believe that Captain Hadley might have some small, speck of human decency. Needless to say, we find out later on that he has none.

  5. 5

    Field of Dreams: Father and Son Play Catch


    Maybe it's because I'm a father, a son, and a complete romantic when it comes to baseball. This scene hits home for me on a personal level more than any others on this list. No words of mine could ever truly do this scene justice. But, in my opinion, it pretty much speaks for itself.

  6. 6

    Reservoir Dogs: Like a Virgin at Breakfast


    This is the scene that introduced the world to the genius of Quentin Tarantino. Here we see the silky, smooth dialogue and the very "matter of factly" brand of comedy that has become a staple of every Tarantino film. This scene is without a doubt one of the best beginnings to any movie you'll see.

  7. 7

    The Majestic: Peter Appleton's Courtroom Speech


    It's hard to believe that this powerfully, gripping scene was brought to life by the same actor that gave us Fire Marshall Bill, Vera Di Milo, and Ace Ventura. It just goes to show the versatility Carrey has in his repertoire as an actor. With that being said, he put forth not only an Oscar performance as Peter Appleton but also a career defining one.

  8. 8

    Full Metal Jacket: Meet Sgt. Hartman


    Giving the part of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman to R. Lee Ermey was probably one of the wisest decisions Stanley Kubrick ever made as a director. Nearly all of Ermey's dialogue was improvised as Kubrick gave Ermey free reign in his scenes.

  9. 9

    There Will Be Blood: Daniel Plainview's Baptism


    Usually baptism represents rebirth; a man goes under spiritually unclean and arises born again. This is not the case concerning Daniel Plainview.Here we have a baptism driven by greed and vengeance. In order to get his hands on the oil rich property of William Bandy Plainview must first get baptized (at Bandy's request). The local pastor is an opportunistic little charlatan named Eli Sunday (played by Paul Dano) that has been bullied and pushed around by Plainview the entire first half of the movie. Playing the role of baptizer, Eli sees a golden opportunity to exact revenge on his tormentor. Sunday forces Plainview, by slapping him across the face numerous times, to admit openly to the entire congregation that he abandoned his deaf son to chase his own selfish desires. And amazingly enough Plainview actually shows genuine remorse as he confesses his sins to God and man! Brilliant scene, brilliant acting, brilliant movie! 

  10. 10

    American Beauty: Filming the White, Plastic Bag


    This particular scene is the seed from which everything else in American Beauty blossomed. Here we have Ricky Fitts and Jane Burnham, two social pariahs sitting together watching what looks to be a simple, meaningless video of a white, plastic bag floating around in the wind. But the video is a clear picture into the sublime psyche of Fitts. Here's a young man that has been completely surrounded by blind, moronic hate and bigotry from his own father and narrow minded, judgmental peers for most of his life. Yet he chooses to look past those people and sees the beauty in all things. This reasoning echos the statement made by Marcus Aurelius that said "Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness – all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil."

     Ricky Fitts could be one of the most complex and psychologically elevated characters in the history of film.

  11. 11

    Pulp Fiction: Ezekiel 25:17

  12. 12

    Unforgiven: Will Avenges Ned

  13. 13

    The Deer Hunter: Russian Roulette

  14. 14

    Rushmore: Max's Magnum Opus - Final Dance Sequence

  15. 15

    Gladiator: Spaniard Revealed to Commodus

  16. 16

    Don Juan Demarco: Don Juan and Donna Anna Rendezvous On the Beach

  17. 17

    TLOTR: You Shall Not Pass!

  18. 18

    Eyes Wide Shut: Sex Selection/ Dr. Hartford Arrives at Party

  19. 19

    The Green Mile: Jon and Paul Talk Before Execution

  20. 20

    The Big Lebowski: Hotel California in Espanol

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