The 5 Most Shocking Moments In Film History

Thursday, July 12 by Joseph Gibson

Scared Shocked People

Everybody loves a good shock now and then. There are lots of ways to get them-you can stick a fork into an electrical outlet, for instance. Or drop your hair dryer into the bathtub. But there are safer ways to feel that jolt of electricity through your body-or metaphorical electricity, in this case. You can find it at the movies! To help you do that, we've compiled five of the most shocking moments in film history, for your shocking pleasure.

 

Dead Farmer, "The Birds"

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	Director Alfred Hitchcock was famously billed as <a href='http://www.screenjunkies.com/tag/the-master-738/' class='linkify' target='_blank'>The Master</a> of Suspense, but he was capable of doling out an old shock now and then. One of the most potent today is the scene in which a farmer is seen after getting attacked by the murderous birds of the movie's title. It's not a long scene-but the quick series of edits that brings the camera closer and closer to the farmer's face (and his empty and bloody eye-sockets, picked clean by the birds) isn't easily forgotten.</p>
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	<strong>Is It Safe, "Marathon Man"</strong></p>
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	A '<span data-scayt_word=70s thriller very much in the Hitchcock tradition, "Marathon Man" has its share of shocking moments. But the most shocking, and the most famous, is undoubtedly the scene in which evil Nazi dentist Laurence Olivier has innocent bystander Dustin Hoffman trapped in his lair for a bit of interrogation via dentistry. And he keeps asking one question "is it safe?" No, it isn't.

 

Coke Bottle Smash, "The Long Goodbye"

Sometimes the most shocking movie moments are the ones that come out of nowhere-and this one definitely qualifies. It's unlikely that anyone watching Robert Altman's parody/homage to '30s and '40s detective pictures (particularly the ones featuring detective Philip Marlowe) would expect as shocking an instance of violence as the one in which the villain smashes his girlfriend's face with a Coke bottle just to prove a point. Which makes it even more shocking when a scene just like that happens. The rest of the movie is a fun, shaggy romp, but that scene draws blood.

 

Olive Neal Goes Out With A Bang, "Bullets Over Broadway"

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Speaking of shocking scenes in decidedly un-shocking movies, there's a scene in Woody Allen's "Bullets Over Broadway" that takes the cake. Jennifer Tilly plays Olive, an aspiring "actress" who mostly succeeds in annoying everyone around her. Still, nobody in the audience expects the scene in which Olive's gangster bodyguard played by Chazz Palminteri takes her to a deserted spot and plugs her a couple times-as in, with a gun.

 

The Christina Hendricks Head Explosion, "Drive"

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No, it's not the name of a lost psychedelic band from the 1960s, it describes arguably the most shocking scene in Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive." The movie has plenty of shocking violence, but none of it is quite as unexpected as the scene in which a band of criminals descends on the seedy hotel room in which Ryan Gosling and Christina Hendricks are hiding out-and one of them takes out Hendricks' head with a shotgun. We could elaborate, but it probably isn't necessary.