Freudian Slips: Greatest Film Moments

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Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

May 22, 2007

Greatest Film Moments

I painstakingly compiled a delightful dozen favorite film moments. They appear in no particular order and the views expressed are only the opinions of one movie buff. Enjoy.

1)The park bench sharing scene in Good Will Hunting. It features the cat and mouse interplay between Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) and Will Hunting (Matt Damon). The human psyche of couch therapy between two genuises plays out masterfully against the backdrop of nature.

2)The tumultuous holiday dinner table scene in the Oscar nominated movie The Color Purple. Albert (Danny Glover), Celie (Whoopi Goldberg), and Sofia (Oprah Winfrey) give stunning performances in a holiday to remember. The knife in the turkey centerpiece cannot begin to cut the tension in this crowded room that is ripe with character development. This single scene is a solemn prayer for the soul.

3) In the rocking belly of the boat’s cabin in Jaws, Quint (Robert Shaw) describes surviving a man-eating shark frenzy after a shipwreck. If they never showed the terrorizing great white shark once in this landmark movie, people might have avoided the ocean just based on Quint’s guttural storytelling to Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and Police Chief Brody (Roy Scheider).

4) The flash forward closing scene through the mesmerizing eyes of Claire (Lauren Ambrose) in the series finale of HBO’s Six Feet Under. It offers both haunting retrospection and closure to the outstanding cast in this Emmy award winning HBO series. It reminds us that life is indeed short then before you know it…six feet under.

5)Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) baiting Col. Nathan R. Jessup (Jack Nicholson) on the stand in the riveting courtroom testimony in A Few Good Men. The scene defines the gray area of taking orders in the military as a flippant Navy lawyer, trying to live in his father’s polished shoes, conquers the blatant arrogance of a colonel just by trying. Some people can’t handle the truth, Kaffee provokes it thus earning his pinstripes as an actor set on cruise control.

6)Tom (David Byron) confronting domineering father-in-law Phil Carter (James Sikking)on the staircase of his suburban home in the Emmy award winning Doing Time on Maple Drive. The patriarch is blindsidingly challenged for the first time in his life. That staircase might as well have been an elevator to hell because all of the seedy family secrets unravel like a tightly bound twine of morality.

7)A guilt-ridden Conrad Jarrett (Timothy Hutton) talking to his disconnected self-absorbed mother (Mary Tyler Moore) in the idyllic backyard in the movie Ordinary People. When you have to bark like a dog to get your mother’s undivided attention, something is amiss, even with ordinary people.

8)Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams) delivering emotional acceptance speech in Brian’s Song, a true story. In a self-less act, Sayers dedicates an NFL achievement award to his cancer stricken Chicago Bears teammate Brian Piccolo (James Caan). This tearjerker of a scene makes me reach for a snot rag every time.

9)The riveting dueling banjo scene in Deliverance between Drew (Ronny Cox) and a demented inbreed from the South. Genius is cinematically captured by the backwoods ignorance of handicap.

10)Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore(Robert Duvall) revelry among the brutality in the beach scene of the epic war movie, Apocalypse Now. With unflinching candor, bare-chested Kilgore delivers, “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” after fighter planes dump fire bombs on the enemy. Duvall is as incredible as he is believable in this scene.

11) Carr (Clifton James) giving new inmates rules of the prison in Cool Hand Luke. Luke (Paul Newman) looks on dispassionately, the signature attitude for this rebel. It epitomizes the tagline of the film, "What we got here is a failure to communicate" as one man fights his tortured soul within the injustices of the penal system.

12) Elias (Willem Dafoe) staggering out of the Vietnamese jungle after being intentionally shot by nemises Sergeant Barnes (Tom Berenger) and left for dead with the enemy in Platoon. Friendly fire never went so bad. Powerful scene encapsulates not only the ugliness of war but the duality of man. It is viewed aerially by the enduring conscience of Private Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) from the last helicopter to take to the sky in the movie’s pivotal final scene. Elias’ outstretched arms in the formation of a crucifixion underscores the battle of good verses evil in humankind.

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8 Comments:

Blogger mommanator said...

Believe it or not but I haven't seen all those flicks. Doubt if I will ever see Jaws-the commercials are enough for me! I do love going to the movies though. Could not review as you do. You have your eyes on every scene. and the words to do it justice

9:13 AM  
Blogger rfvgardens said...

Well said Joe. The list can go on and on. May we always treasure the story teller. At my table the teller of stories will always get the best cut of meat.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

mommanator,
Allow me to borrow knowledge from your blog when I say, you can get more out of going to the movies alone. he-he.

rfvgardens,
So when can I eat over for free?

6:10 PM  
Blogger Zelda Parker said...

I love discussing movies:
How about Brando in: "Streetcar" screaming for Stella. Not just eye candy but the emotional yearning. Never have I seen another performance like it, or an actor like him.
Brando, simply put in "Apocalypse Now", the horror...

I can't help it, Travolta's "I got chills there multiplying" while he rips off his letterman's sweater in Grease. Watched it twent times.
And I should not admit it but twnty time lists include: "No one puts baby in the corner!". Patrick Swayze was sizzling in Dirty Dancing.

More seriously,
Pacino's "Atica" in Dog Day Afternoon.

"I'll have to watch Doing time on Maple Drive" never saw that one.

"Six Feet Under" was captivating and I could not stop watching it. Hated that it had to end.

How about the speechlees scene in "Glory" while Denzelle takes a whipping. He should have a lot more Oscars at home (in my opinion). I still cry every time when they pan the beach scene at the end.

I could go on endlessly... did agree with many of your comments. I tend to focus on the entire movie rather than a scene, but then I am not the actor.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Zelda Parker said...

Can you believe John Wayne would be 100 if he were alive? According to Turner Classic Movies site.

8:58 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Zelda,
good additions.

9:06 PM  
Anonymous et said...

Good observations and write-up.

My all time favorite movie: "In the Heat of the Night"

Favorite line: "They call me Mister Tibbs!"

9:08 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Et,
Who would have known that Cliff Robertson got unseated?

6:06 PM  

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