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Most Famous Scenes in Hollywood Movies

Updated on April 19, 2013

Ben-Hur 1959

Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd racing for more than just a win. This is probably the single greatest scene in movie history. The film received eleven Oscar nominations.

The Sand Pebbles 1966

Mako is tied to a stake surrounded by Chinese Nationalists. He is yelling, "Shoot me!" as Steve McQueen aims his rifle from the nearby San Pablo ship where he and Mako have become friends.

The Deer Hunter 1978

Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken are sitting at a table in a Viet Nam jungle hut forced to play russian roulette by their captors. This is the most intense scene in movie history.

Seven 1995

Police officer Brad Pitt has just opened a box which holds the head of his wife and is trying to make himself shoot his prisoner, Kevin Spacey who is the perpetrator.

The Godfather 1972

James Cann is riddled with bullets at a toll booth by members of rival Mafia.

The Bridge on the River Kwai 1957

Alec Guinness, commander of the prisoners and Sessue Hayakawa, commandant of the prison have discovered a wire going from the bridge that the prisoners have been building. The wire goes to a detonator which is manned to blow up the bridge. William Holden comes running across the river bed to stop them from their attempt to disarm the detonator.

Lawrence of Arabia 1962

Omar Sharif shoots a man at his watering hole in the desert from afar as Peter O'Toole watches in disbelief.

Casablanca 1942

Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains in final scene watching Bogie's true love fly away. The two will begin a new friendship together away from Casablanca.

Cool Hand Luke 1967

Paul Newman in his attempt to eat 50 eggs after George Kennedy places a bet that "his boy, Luke" can do so.

Angels With Dirty Faces 1938

James Cagney, tough guy is dragged kicking and screaming to the electric chair.

Rocky 1976

Sylvester Stallone celebrates at top of steps in Philly.

Titanic 1997

Leonardo DeCaprio and Kate Winslet aboard the ill-fated Titantic on the bow of the ship as the beautiful theme is sung by Celine Dion .

Public Enemy 1931

James Cagney is wrapped like a mummy and left at the front door of his mom's and brother's home by the mob.

Public Enemy 1931

James Cagney shoves grapefruit into face of Mae Clark. This was supposedly an improvised scene by Cagney which has become one of the most famous scenes of all-time.

An Officer and a Gentleman 1982

Richard Gere carries Debra Winger off from her job to marry him. She has tried to "bag" an officer candidate for some time and it finally paid off.

Gone With the Wind 1939

Vivien Leigh giving her soliloquy, "As God is my witness, I will never be hungry again!"

Bullitt 1968

Steve McQueen in famous chase scene on streets of San Francisco.

"10" 1979

"She's a 10" might not have come from this movie, but the film sure did help encourage the use of that descriptive view of a woman. This scene is Bo Derek running up the beach as Dudley Moore's eyes pop out.

Giant 1956

James Dean just struck oil on his tiny property in the middle of Rock Hudson's cattle land.

The Pride of the Yankees 1942

Gary Cooper gives the Lou Gehrig farewell speech in Yankee Stadium.

From Here to Eternity 1953

Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in the most famous kissing scene ever.

It's a Wonderful Life 1946

James Stewart and Donna Reed's little girl says, "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings."

Grease 1978

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John dressed as gang member dance to a great soundtrack.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 1969

Paul Newman and Robert Redford come out guns blazing against 100 soldiers in final scene.

Psycho 1960

Janet Leigh being stabbed by shadowy figure of an old woman while showering at the Bate's Motel.

The Seven Year Itch 1955

Marilyn Monroe's dress blows up while Tom Ewell watches.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 1939

Freshman U.S. Senator, James Stewart delivers a commanding filibuster in the Senate Chamber.

Midnight Cowboy 1969

Dustin Hoffman slamming the hood of a taxi and yelling, "I'm walking here!" Jon Voight walks beside him.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 1966

Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach face off in a cemetary.

The Silence of the Lambs 1991

Anthony Hopkins gives the evil eye to Jodie Foster from his cell.

The Wizard of Oz 1939

Judy Garland, Tin Man, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion finally meet the Wizard.

Jaws 1975

Young girl swims for life as great white shark has her by the torso.

Some Like it Hot 1959

Tony Curtis and Jack Lemon dress as women to get a job with a traveling girl's band in order to escape from the mob. Marilyn Monroe is the singer with the band. Here they are playing for fun as they travel by train to their next gig. Marilyn strolling down the aisle with her ukelele is sheer poetry in action.

Dirty Harry 1971

Clint Eastwood has the gun on fugitive and says, "Do you feel lucky? Well, do you, punk?"


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    • discovery2020 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from GARLAND, TEXAS

      You are correct about the earlier version. Thanks for your observation.

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 

      6 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      I certainly agree with you that the Ben-Hur chariot race scene deserves a place at the top of the list. For sustained emotional intensity it's hard to beat. I remember someone, I think in a documentary, saying that even the silent movie version of that scene was tremendous.


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