Part of Ray's legacy is surely his love of film, and his strikingly visual writing. Once in awhile, a film will have what I call a "Magic Moment", which is a moment of, well, magic. It's difficult to put into words, but you'll know it when you see it. In short, this moment affects you profoundly, and in a good way. It may make you laugh, it may make you cry, it may make you feel great emotion, possibly even anger. This is what the greatest films do.
I'll begin, shall I?
In The Shawshank Redemption, when Andy Dufresne plays opera over the loudspeakers for the other inmates, if only for a few minutes.
Opening scene of
'Something Wicked This Way Comes'
...where the seller of lightning rods heads towards town as a storm begins to loom...
1. When George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart)is about to enter his "honeymoon" home, Ernie the cabman (Frank Faylen) is standing outside like a doorman, in the rain, with his trouser legs rolled up and a top hat on. He extends his hand (as if to receive a tip) and his hat tilts back. George looks down at his hand with wonder, causing a stream of rain to pour off the brim of his hat into Ernie's waiting hand, and then Ernie's top hat comes back down.
2. "...A heart. A home. A Brain. (Bert Lahr goofily looking at the camera) Da Noive!"
3. Chaplin's last shot in "City Lights".
4. The "wiper" of the automatic feeding machine in "Modern Times".
5. The face of the house falling down and the window just clearing Buster Keaton.
6. Hattie McDaniel: "It ain't fittin', it jes ain't fittin.......It ain't fittin'!"
I could go on, but perhaps later...
That's fine, Mr B - I actually had in mind limiting myself to one a day. Of course, you can limit yourself to whatever you want.
“The Friendly Persuasion”
Gary Cooper’s friend has just died in his arms and he soon gets the drop on the Rebel soldier who killed him. The Reb is sure he’s about to die when Cooper puts up his rifle and says, “I will not harm thee.” After a moment the Reb realizes he is going to live and he walks off towards the camera with is head up and his eyes gazing toward the heavens.
"Ninotchka" - Garbo laughs!
"Penny Serenade" - Edgar Buchanan changing the baby.
"The Best Years Of Our Lives" - Harold Russell
lying in bed weeping after his fiance helps him
remove his prosthetic "arms".
"A Christmas Carol" - Alastair Sim's Christmas morning revelation/reactions, especially 1. at home with Kathleen Harrison (Mrs. Dilber), and 2. at his nephew's asking forgiveness from Fred's wife (Olga Edwardes). I'm always weeping through those scenes. Nobody did it better.
Aye - the '51 version was the best, was it not?
In Waking Ned, when Jackie and Michael are trying to put Ned's dentures back in, and Jackie can't keep from laughing. He tells Michael to "Stop, you're... You're panicking me, man! You're panicking me!"
Michael and Eliot when E. T. comes back to life!
I have always admired the final scenes of Truffaut's film of Ray's FAHRENHEIT 451...the scenes of the book lovers memorizing their chosen books for posterity, with the snow gently falling and Bernard Herrman's lovely music playing in the background. A wonderful moment.
I was going to pick that one soon, myself. It is a wonderful ending to a mediocre film. RB has said this himself. He said that the ending makes the film good.
In Fahrenheit 9/11 (in which there are a bunch of these moments), when the Flint Michigan mother who lost her son in the (stupid) war visits the front of the White House and breaks down sobbing.
Just before, a Supporter of the War tells her, in response to her dead son, that a lot of people have been killed in the war.
The scene is touching, heartbreaking, and perhaps most of all, inciting to anger, and righteous patriotism.
AMEN to that, Richard!
That was to have been my first choice, but I've only mentioned that on the board her a few dozen times or so already.
A few more:
"Invasion of the Body Snatchers" - when Kevin McCarthy realizes his sweetheart has been "taken over". Chilling!
The "shower scene" in "Psycho", of course.
"A Close Shave" - when Wallace discovers Wendolene doesn't share his passion for cheese.
"A Clockwork Orange" Patrick Magee apoplectic hearing Alex singing, and in the next scene (I love this and found out it was ad lib!) "Try the wine!"
mageewine.jpg (23 Kb, 7 downloads)
Can't believe no one has mentioned Gene Kelly's "Singing in the Rain" dance!
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