I had in mind writing a blog post about those unforgettable little moments in movies--looks in the eyes of the actors, inflections that changed the meanings, as when Humphrey Bogart says, "Here's looking at you, kid," in Casablanca, instead of the way the remark is usually said, before downing a shot of some strong drink, "Here's lookin' atcha,"--little unforgettable glitches in big unforgettable movies.
I posted on my "status" on Facebook for suggestions of movies that had unforgettable moments. What I got were comments of a wide range of sometimes life-altering scenes that my readers wanted recorded.
This, from Jonathan Odell: "There is a scene in Zefferelli's Romeo and Juliet in 1968 when there is a nude shot of Romeo's backside. I remember thinking for the first time in my life, "Oh, my God, I'm gay!"
I'll have to counter that with the dance scene from Picnic that Bobby Slezak (and Dennis Maloney) saw ten years earlier, confirming the opposite to their adolescent hormones. Slezak has sent it to me on YouTube but I still don't get it. Love the music but the heavy-handed clap-dance, and the dance itself just doesn't move me the way the kiss on the beach in From Here To Eternity did. To Slezak the beach scene only reminded him that that damn sand gets in everything.
Back to scenes that do work. Jo Ann Breland Lord loved the moment in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy stepped out of the dull little sepia-toned house into the Technicolor world of Oz. Steve McCants will never forget Harry Dean Stanton singing "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" in Cool Hand Luke. Lissane Lake suggested this from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: "Can I move? I'm better when I move." (I don't recall that one at all.) Ronald Hill offered this, "My major lasting memory was seeing Fantasia when I was 5 or 6 and going home and drawing animated scenes on big sheets of kraft paper. The impact of the creative work of that movie still resounds today. So many modern artists were inspired by the concepts in Fantasia."
I originally had in mind moments like these: "I can eat 50 eggs," from Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke. Or young Jack Lemmon, the hapless employee in The Apartment being persuaded by his boss (Fred MacMurray) to let him join the other executives using his apartment for daytime sexual assignations, "Four bad apples, five--"
Dustin Hoffman, The Graduate, “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me. Aren’t you?
Doris Day, Young at Heart, after a kiss on the cheek from Frank Sinatra: “Kinda weak for a week’s thought, wasn’t it?”
Marilyn Monroe, Gentleman Prefer Blondes, viewing her stateroom on an ocean liner: “It’s just like a real room, isn’t it?”
Diane Keaton, in her adorable, impeccably sloppy Ralph Lauren wardrobe in Annie Hall, “La di dah, la di dah”
James Dean, Giant: “My well come in big, Bick…I’m rich. I’m a rich ‘un.”
Marlon Brando, On the Waterfront: “I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it. It was you, Charley..”
And unforgettable movie endings: Joe E. Brown, in Some Like It Hot, "Nobody's perfect." Or Brandon de Wilde, at seeing his hero ride away in the movie, Shane, "Come back, Shane!"
And Henry Fonda, in Grapes of Wrath, “I'll be everywhere. Wherever you can look - wherever there's a fight, so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad. I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they know supper's ready, and when the people are eatin' the stuff they raise and livin' in the houses they build - I'll be there, too.”
Clark Gable, Gone With the Wind: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
Bette Davis, Now Voyager: “Jerry, don’t let’s ask for the moon. We have the stars.”
This one also suggested to me by Steve McCants, from The Searchers: John Wayne deposits Natalie Wood on the doorstep, with no words but the music of “Ride Away” sung in the background. The picture, framed by the farmstead doorway and bookending the film with the shot from the opening of the movie, constitutes one of the best endings ever.
I'm sure you have more ideas.