*Note, the attached YouTube clips and this feature WILL contain spoilers from the selected films on this list.*
Film sometimes offers the viewer an impactful experience that can stem from a litany of emotions, sometimes ranging from an extreme adrenaline rush to lonesome melancholia. Below are a 10 selected scenes that are guaranteed to stimulate the senses and have the potential to be “classic film scenes” decades from now.
“Glass Breaking Scene” in Charlie Wilson’s War (2008)
This introduction to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character in the film is perhaps one of the best character introductions ever put on film.
“This is Real Scene” in A Beautiful Mind (2001)
When it comes down to true love within a film, this scene with Jennifer Connelly and Russell Crowe is perhaps one of the most beautiful, tearjerker scenes in film. Playing the wife of a brilliant mathematician who is suffering from Schizophrenia, Connelly’s impact in this scene as the devoted spouse is tremendous acting.
“Hallway Fight Scene” in Inception (2010)
Occurring as a dream within a dream, this sequence is one of many incredible moments in this film, yet Joseph Gordan-Levitt’s hallway fight scene is the most memorable moment.
“The Invisible Cloak Scene” in Crash (2005)
Crash is an incredible film that was so successful at pointing out the level of innocence that can be destroyed from racism. This scene of a little girl running outside to “save” her father because she believes he has given her an “invisible cloak” for protection is one of the most extraordinary and heart-stopping moments ever put on film.
“Final Dance Scene” in The Artist (2011)
It was already extraordinary that this was a silent film that achieved deserved critical acclaim, but this film also truly utilized elements of classic Hollywood within its narrative. The final scene is such an ode to the Golden Age of Hollywood with its perfectly choreographed dance number.
“Times Square Scene” in Birdman (2014)
In a scene that has already become iconic and screams of being a “classic scene” for future viewers, this continuous take of Michael Keaton locked out of the theater in the middle of a stage performance and resorting to running through Times Square in his underwear is hilarious.
“Opening Sequence” in Up (2009)
People were shocked that an animated movie had the capacity to gorgeously portray a sequence of love and life that could pull at the heartstrings. This sequence has already been immortalized by film lovers and critics alike.
“The Rain Scene” in The Bridges of Madison County (1995)
This may not be a contemporary film, but it is part of this list to remind readers that sometimes a phenomenal scene can be overshadowed and forgotten. The theme of this film is about a life that could have been, which focuses on an affair that lasted only a weekend, but was felt throughout a lifetime. This is the final scene between Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood, when she has one final chance to run away with her lover, with him even going so far as to remind her of the necklace she gave him earlier in the film. The result is heartbreaking.
“The Final Scene” in There Will Be Blood (2007)
This scene is all what film viewers will ever need to see to confirm the brilliance Daniel Day-Lewis exhibits in every performance he has ever delivered. Most famous in this scene is his “I drink your milkshake” monologue.
“The Reentry Scene” in Gravity (2013)
This scene not only is a technical achievement at its finest, but it is also one of the most satisfying scenes ever put on film. Every component of this scene, from the acting to the score to the special effects, are superior film-making.