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The Most Flawless Scenes In Movie History

September 23, 2019


Sometimes, films scare us…sometimes, they
move us to tears. And sometimes, they have us laughing our butts
off. There’s a reason we love movies so much, and
it has everything to do with a well-crafted scene. These are just a few cinematic scenes that
are practically perfect in every way. The 1996 slasher film Scream, just one of
the many horror classics conceived by Wes Craven, was at once a love letter to horror
films as well as an effective addition to the genre in its own right. “No, please don’t kill me Mr. Ghostface. I wanna be in the sequel!” Set in a small town with a history of tragic
murders, the film centers on Sidney Prescott, a seemingly normal teen who starts getting
mysterious phone calls as she and her friends are stalked by an unknown entity known as
“Ghostface.” Before Sidney even appears, there is a lengthy
opening scene featuring Drew Barrymore as Casey Becker, a teenager enjoying a night
at home when she starts getting some unsettling phone calls. At first, Casey is unfazed by these odd calls,
assuming the person on the other end of the phone is simply playing a rude prank, but
before long, she starts getting nervous, and once she sees her gutted boyfriend posed in
her backyard, her panic intensifies. As her parents arrive home at the end of the
evening, the camera zooms in on her body hanging from a tree on the property, finally cutting
to the opening credits and capping off a perfect encapsulation of both Craven’s vision and
the horror genre. Despite initially flopping at the box office,
Frank Darabont’s magnum opus The Shawshank Redemption went on to become one of the most
beloved films of the 20th century, even earning a spot on AFI’s Top 100 list. Telling the story of Andy Dufresne, a wrongfully
imprisoned man serving two consecutive life sentences at the Shawshank State Penitentiary,
the film paints the grimmest possible picture of prison life. Andy is brutalized every single day until
he figures out a scheme where he can help financially manage the prison as well as lend
a hand to his fellow inmates with their money troubles. The signature scene of the entire film is
the moment when Andy escapes from the prison through a rock tunnel that took nearly 20
years to build. As he emerges from the tunnel, which is filled
with human waste and filth, he stands clean and victorious in the rain, basking in a hard-fought
victory the audience feels right along with him. It’s a perfect moment of human triumph, and
Darabont created a completely unforgettable image that will continue striking an emotional
chord in viewers for years to come. Adapting the Lord of the Rings series, comprised
of three novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, was no easy feat, but clearly one
man was up to the job: Peter Jackson, who used his home country of New Zealand as the
stand-in for Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The films were critical and commercial smashes,
with the final installment, The Return of the King, winning a whopping 11 Oscars. In the first of the three films, The Fellowship
of the Ring, Frodo, a timid and inexperienced hobbit of the Shire, embarks on his long journey
to destroy the One Ring that could control the entire world. During his journey with the “fellowship” of
nine, made up of hobbits, men, elves, dwarves, and wizards alike, the group needs to cross
through the dangerous Mines of Moria, home to ancient monsters that lurk far underground. When they encounter a Balrog, an enormous
demon made of fire, all hope seems lost, until the powerful wizard Gandalf sacrifices himself
to get Frodo and the rest of the Fellowship to safety. “Fly, you fools!” With still-impressive special effects, an
ideal action set piece, and strong performances across the board, it’s no wonder that… “You shall not pass!” …has become a part of the cultural lexicon. Thanks to director Quentin Tarantino’s vision
of a non-linear gangster fairytale, 1994’s Pulp Fiction is regarded as one of the best
films of not just the 1990s, but the back half of the 20th century. With an all-star cast that includes John Travolta,
Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Ving Rhames, Bruce Willis, Christopher Walken, and Tim
Roth, the film follows several different stories as they eventually converge, with the entire
plot happening out of order as well as beginning and ending at the exact same point during
a diner robbery. Though the film is filled with plenty of unforgettable
scenes, the most memorable is arguably Mia Wallace’s overdose and the aftermath that
follows. Wallace, played by Thurman, misidentifies
Vega’s drugs after an evening out, and promptly snorts them. After rushing an unconscious Mia to his dealer’s
house, Vincent ends up stabbing her in the heart with an adrenaline-filled hypodermic
needle to revive her. Between the ensuing insanity that takes place
over Mia’s still body and Thurman’s reaction to the needle, this scene is shot and written
so perfectly that you almost feel like you’re a part of the action. “If you’re alright, then say something.” “Something.” A great opening can perfectly set the tone
for a film, and few are as famous as the sequence that opens Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, the classic
horror movie that made millions of people suddenly reconsider taking a dip in the ocean. The film itself, which is considered one of
the best movies of all time, starred Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider as a marine biologist
and police chief trying to take down a man-eating great white shark that is terrorizing a resort
town in New England, and though they’re ultimately successful, the shark takes several lives
in the process. Thanks to an often unreliable mechanical shark
on set, Spielberg ended up not showing his toothy antagonist in many scenes, creating
a Hitchcock-esque thriller where the main villain’s mere presence evoked fear. This is perfectly displayed in the opening
scene: After a party on the beach, a young girl and her boyfriend take a swim during
which they are both attacked and the girl is eaten by the shark. By filming crucial parts of the scene from
the shark’s perspective and using menacing, and now iconic, music by John Williams, Spielberg
takes a “less is more” approach to creating this unforgettable scene. One of David Fincher’s most highly regarded
films, 1995’s Se7en is a classically dark and twisted thriller from the acclaimed director,
as well as one of his first big hits. Starring Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, the
film centers on two detectives, Mills and Somerset, tracking a violent and creative
serial killer who taunts police by leaving his victims in deliberate arrangements meant
to evoke the seven deadly sins. With each crime carefully covered up and meticulously
planned, the detectives have no leads until John Doe arrives at the police station covered
in blood to confess. Doe then leads both detectives to a remote
spot in the desert to show them his final crime, revealing that he has been guilty of
the sin of envy, leading him to murder Mills’ pregnant wife Tracy, and presenting Mills
with Tracy’s head in a box. “Because I envy your normal life…” “Put the gun down, David.” “…it seems that envy is my sin.” “No, what’s in the box?” “Not ’til you give me the gun.” “What’s in the f—ing box?!” In response, an enraged Mills shoots Doe,
representing wrath and doing exactly what Doe wants. The scene, with its sepia-toned color scheme,
tense music, and impeccable performances, is a master class in thrillers, especially
since the audience never even sees the contents of the box. We don’t need to. In fact, the scene is better, and more gut-wrenching,
with just the mental image. The final moments of The Usual Suspects, the
1995 neo-noir mystery film starring Kevin Spacey as Verbal Kint, one of the sole survivors
of a shootout led by a notorious crime boss named Keyser Soze, are regarded as one of
the best twist endings in film history. The script focuses almost entirely on Kint’s
recollection of the events preceding the film, which involves a group of gangsters attempting
to pull off a complicated heist in order to get revenge on the NYPD, only to be foiled
by Soze, who seems more like an urban legend than a real person. As the detectives frantically try to figure
out which person in the story could possibly be Soze, Kint’s bail is posted, and he leaves
the police station…and as he does, his physicality completely changes; his limp goes away, and
his non-functioning hand suddenly works. Back at the station, the detectives realize
that Kint was Keyser Soze the entire time, but they’re too late, he’s already escaped. “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled
was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” No matter how many times you’ve seen the film,
the ending still completely works, especially once you can look back at all the clues the
film laid throughout to lead viewers to solve the mystery themselves. Christopher Nolan rebooted the Batman franchise
to rave reviews in 2005 with Batman Begins, but that was nothing compared to 2008’s The
Dark Knight, widely regarded as one of the best films of the decade, as well as the gold
standard that future superhero movies would strive for. Nolan cast Heath Ledger, then mainly known
for arthouse dramas and teenage romantic comedies, as the Joker to play opposite Christian Bale’s
Batman. And, though the casting was initially controversial,
the bet paid off handsomely. Tragically, Ledger passed away in January
of 2008 before the film’s summer release, but his performance in the film remains one
of the best of all time. “See, madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes it a little push!” There are almost too many incredible scenes
featuring Ledger to narrow them down to one, but one of his best occurs when he crashes
a high society gala to torment Harvey Dent, terrorizing guests and throwing glasses of
champagne with reckless abandon. The scene is a perfect encapsulation of chaos
on any scale, whether that means committing murder or simply making a mess as the Joker
traverses the party, cackling as he eats off random trays and explains his disfigured face. “Now, I’m always smiling! A little fight in you, I like that.” What’s left to say about the original Star
Wars, one of the most influential and beloved films of all time? The story of Luke Skywalker, a young Jedi
who must confront the Galactic Empire alongside the virtuous Rebel Alliance, is one of the
most important movies ever made. Its success spawned a universe of sequels
and spinoffs, creating an entire industry. The first film released in the series, A New
Hope, made worldwide stars out of Mark Hamill, who played Skywalker, along with co-stars
Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. The film’s final battle scene, the trench
run at the Death Star, is among the most famous in a film arguably filled with iconic moments,
and it’s easy to see why: Director George Lucas and his crew used mostly practical effects
to create a stunning 15-minute sequence during which Luke and a squad of Alliance pilots
attack the Death Star, eventually blowing the fortress-like ship to smithereens by bombing
an exhaust port. Tense, thrilling, and victorious, it’s Star
Wars at its very best. One of the most famous directors in history,
Alfred Hitchcock is responsible for some of the most famous and unforgettable scenes in
all of film, arguably led by that infamous shower scene in Psycho. As Marion Crane, a young woman who stops at
the Bates Motel, Janet Leigh seems to be the hero of the story, but in a perfect subversion
of expectations, Marion is stabbed to death by an unseen attacker while taking a shower
at the motel. The scene, which has no score or music until
the murder, focuses tightly on Leigh, which only increases the audience’s sense of dread
when they see a shadowy figure through the shower curtain. The camera then lingers on Leigh’s body, eventually
contrasting her open eye with the open drain, allowing for a sense of symmetry. This three-minute scene, which contains only
45 seconds of action, remains one of the gold standards of the horror genre, so much so
that an entire documentary about it, 78/52, was released in 2017, offering viewers a whole
new insight into this masterful cinematic moment. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
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