The 10 most famous film scenes show moments of triumph, despair, action, and romance on the screen. The following movies hail way back from the 1950’s on through recent years. These scenes have been copied and parodied over time, but they forever stand as iconic movie moments that every film buff must see.
- “The Godfather” The first installment of this Francis Ford Coppola movie phenomenon presents the growing violence between warring mafia families in New York. In this most famous film scene, the tension throughout the movie builds to a violent, powerful crescendo on the city streets. Watch for the oranges at the beginning that foreshadow the coming bloodshed.
- “On the Waterfront” Marlon Brando heads the cast on another iconic film. In this famous film scene, Brando’s character levels with his brother about his dreams of advancing as a boxer. The famous line, “I coulda been someone. I coulda been a contender,” is poignant and heartbreaking.
- “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” This movie may be the most famous film of all time, so of course, it contains some of the most famous movie scenes. The most memorable scene is Darth Vader’s shocking disclosure in the second installment: “Luke, I am your father.”
- “Psycho” This Hitchcock thriller is one of the British filmmaker’s most well-known movies because of its creepy, murderous plot. A beautiful woman checks into the Bates Motel and meets a disturbed man with an abnormal relationship with his mother. The shower scene near the beginning of the movie is one of the most famous of film scenes and made people afraid to pull close the curtains closed when showering.
- “Jerry Maguire” In this Cameron Crowe movie, Tom Cruise plays a desperate sports agent whose only client ends up being a football player played by Cuba Gooding Jr. The famous film scene shows Jerry screaming into the phone, “Show me the money!” over and over, while Gooding’s character goads him on.
- “Field of Dreams” This classic movie stars Kevin Costner as a man who comes into contact with his dead father after a voice tells him to construct a baseball field over his new corn field. In the famous film scene, a powerful voice says, “If you build it, he will come.” The mysterious prophesy turns out to be correct.
- “Dirty Harry” Clint Eastwood plays one tough detective in this action crime movie. In this famous scene, Eastwood takes matters into his own hands with a robber. Unsure if he’s fired all six rounds of his gun already, he asks him “Do you feel lucky? Well, do you, punk?”
- “Raiders of the Lost Ark” This famous action adventure movie features Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, the famed archeologist. The opening movie scene is the most famous, as he barely escapes out of an ancient temple by dodging the path of a giant, crashing boulder.
- “Pulp Fiction” This movie by Quentin Tarantino has plenty of famous film scenes throughout. One of the most memorable, however, is when John Travolta’s character must plunge an adrenaline needle into the chest of his boss’ wife, played by Uma Thurman.
- “Sunset Boulevard” This classic example of film noir was brought to the screen by director Billy Wilder. A young screenwriter finds himself living in the crumbling mansion of an old Hollywood has-been. In the final famous movie scene, the delusional star declares, “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille,” as the camera closes in on her.
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