10 Most Famous Movie Scenes

Thursday, November 25 by George Root

The 10 most famous movie scenes become part of our culture over time. We know the lines by heart, and we cannot wait for the right moment to come when we can act the scenes out in real life. The 10 most famous movie scenes are familiar to all movie fans, and even those that do not enjoy movies are familiar with them in some way.

  1. "Casablanca" (1942). The movie "Casablanca" (1942) is filled with so many famous scenes, but none as famous as when Rick (Humphrey Bogart) puts Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) on the plane to leave the country just as the Nazis arrive. Classic movie buffs know the lines by heart, and thanks to countless parodies in advertising and on television shows many people would recognize the scene instantly.
  2. "Duck Soup" (1933). The Marx Brothers did more to advance comedy in the early days of Hollywood than almost any other comedy team. In the classic comedy "Duck Soup" (1933), Harpo and Groucho Marx perform their famous mirror scene where Harpo mimics Groucho's actions to give the impression that a mirror is there. 
  3. "Braveheart" (1995). There have been many inspirational speeches filmed over the years, but Mel Gibson's speech in "Braveheart" (1995) is the one that makes the list of the 10 most famous movie scenes ever. The blue make-up and Gibson's passionate delivery created a scene that will not be forgotten.
  4. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975). Jack Nicholson makes it on to the list of the 10 most famous movie scenes twice. His first entry is the scene in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975) where he convinces Chief Bromden (Will Sampson) to throw the water fountain through the window and escape.
  5. "The Shining" (1980). There are few actors that have the ability to take a simple line and turn it into a classic scene. When Jack Nicholson chops at the bathroom door with an axe in "The Shining" (1980) and then places his face in the opening to say "Here's Johnny" he creates the stuff of Hollywood legend.
  6. "The Godfather" (1972). It can be almost impossible to choose one scene from "The Godfather" (1972) for a list of the 10 most famous movie scenes ever, but the one that stands out is the scene in the beginning where Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) delivers his speech about drugs at the meeting of the heads of the five families. Only Marlon Brando could make being a mafia boss look effortless. 
  7. "Alien" (1979). You could argue that the scene in "Aliens" (1979) where the alien pops out of the android Kane's (John Hurt) chest is one of the 10 most famous movie scenes ever. But when the other android Ash (Iam Holm) is ripped to pieces and his severed head starts talking, that ranks as one of the best scenes ever filmed.
  8. "American Werewolf in London" (1981). This movie featured one of the very first graphic transformation scenes put on film when David Kessler (David Naughton) turns into a werewolf. When this movie premiered in 1981, that scene was talked about for years afterwards. It is still referred today as a piece of movie genius.
  9. "Star Wars – Episode IV: A New Hope" (1977). If you are looking for something worthy of the list of 10 most famous movies scenes ever then you do not need to look any further than "Star Wars – Episode IV: A New Hope" (1977). As the rebel ships are escaping the Death Star, the Death Star explodes in one of the most dramatic science fiction scenes ever filmed.
  10. "Sudden Impact" (1983). Clint Eastwood has created many memorable movie scenes in his career, but he will always be remembered for the scene in "Sudden Impact" (1983) when Dirty Harry Callahan utters the famous line "Go ahead, make my day." The cool and calm delivery of Eastwood makes this scene one of the 10 most famous movie scenes ever.
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