Category Archives: Film / Tv / Theater Review

Ten Iconic Hollywood Film Scenes (X)

The tenth installment of my series of ten iconic Hollywood film scenes among my all-time favorites is from the Francis Ford Coppola-directed 1972 film, “The Godfather”: The Baptism Scene. Filled with the tension of ‘payback’ justice and the symbolic depth of the inversion of “good” and “evil” through the interplay of the sacred and the profane, this film’s climax, highlighted by its superb film editing, constitutes the finale to my current series. I’ve got many more all-time favorite iconic cinema moments, so maybe we’ll do this again sometime! Till then: Leave the gun, take the cannoli [YouTube link]! (Coppola insists that actor Richard S. Castellano, who played Clemenza, improvised that line!)

Ten Iconic Hollywood Film Scenes (IX)

The ninth in a series of ten iconic Hollywood film scenes ranking among my all-time favorites is from the 1997 James Cameron-directed blockbuster, “Titanic”, the 11-Academy Award winner that tied “Ben-Hur” (and “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King”) for the most Oscars for any single film. The scene: The Sinking of the Titanic, in which this film’s Oscar-winning direction, art direction, cinematography, costume design, film editing, sound, sound effects editing, and visual effects are all on full display. Not to mention a spectacular Oscar-winning score by James Horner that grippingly augments this harrowing epic scene.

Ten Iconic Hollywood Film Scenes (VIII)

The eighth in a series of ten iconic Hollywood film scenes among my all-time favorites is another stop motion animation gem, this one from the great Ray Harryhausen: The Skeleton Duel from the 1963 film, “Jason and the Argonauts“, aided by an action-packed Bernard Herrmann score.

Ten Iconic Hollywood Film Scenes (VII)

The seventh in a series of ten iconic Hollywood film scenes among my all-time favorites takes us from yesterday’s Big Ape to a Planet of the Apes (1968). Needless to say, if you have never viewed the film, the finale contains one of the biggest spoilers—and shocking endings—in cinema history. When I saw this film at the young age of 8, the audience was so shocked by the Rod SerlingTwilight Zone”-like twist, that the theater remained eerily silent, even as the credits rolled.

Ten Iconic Hollywood Film Scenes (VI)

The sixth in a series of ten iconic Hollywood film scenes among my all-time favorites is the Boxing Match between King Kong and the T-Rex in the original 1933 film version of the ape story. There are so many iconic moments in this film … but this scene remains a showcase for Willis O’Brien’s trailblazing stop-motion animation—and Fay Wray‘s screams!

Ten Iconic Hollywood Film Scenes (V)

The fifth in a series of ten iconic Hollywood film scenes among my all-time favorites is the Chest-Burster Scene from director Ridley Scott’s 1979 film, “Alien”. “In space no one can hear you scream” was the tagline, but when I first saw this in a packed Brooklyn theater, the screams were palpable until the scene was over. Then … after a moment of silence, a little nervous laughter ensued.

Song of the Day #1866

Song of the Day: Raiders of the Lost Ark (“Soundtrack Suite”) [YouTube link] was composed by John Williams and is performed here by the London Symphony Orchestra. It’s hard to believe … but on this date—forty years ago—in 1981, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” debuted in theaters. Directed by Steven Spielberg and based on a story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman, the film starred Harrison Ford, and gave birth to the Indiana Jones film franchise! This action-packed adventure never lost its sense of humor, and won five Oscars in the process (for Art Direction, Film Editing, Sound, Sound Editing, and Visual Effects). It also gave us a memorable Oscar-nominated score by the maestro, who won a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media.

The Mandalorian Finale!

After having finished season 1 of “The Mandalorian” just four days ago, I knocked out season 2 and thoroughly enjoyed it!

I won’t say anything to those who have yet to see it, but the finale was so rousing that the moment the “first” of the last scenes was over I expected that triumphant John Williams music to engulf me! But I don’t think it’s a spoiler to tell folks not to fast forward through the credits because there is one extra scene that is quite obviously a set-up of things to come!

Finally, no matter how much George Lucas‘s Industrial Light and Magic has forever altered our cinematic experiences, the one thing that this particular show never sacrifices is the wonder of storytelling. You don’t have to be a hardcore Star Wars “nerd” to appreciate the mythology of these stories and the universal thematic content they express. Two Thumbs Up!

Ten Iconic Hollywood Film Scenes (IV)

The fourth in a series of ten iconic Hollywood film scenes among my all-time favorites is another one from the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock: The Shower Scene from “Psycho” (1960), with Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh, with the proviso that if you haven’t seen the film, this is a bit of spoiler (and the same proviso comes with virtually every scene I’ve picked!). And a special acknowledgment to Bernard Herrmann for providing the iconic shrieking strings!

Ten Iconic Hollywood Film Scenes (III)

The third in a series of ten iconic Hollywood film scenes among my all-time favorites is this classic moment in Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” (1959): The Crop-Duster Scene! Check out this tense showdown between Cary Grant and a crop-duster on an empty cornfield: