MOVIES: "Cherry" moments

In this context a “cherry” is a moment in a film that defines the essence of it as each person sees it. I’ll get the ball rolling with a couple:


In Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, for me the defining moment was when Gandalf and Pippin were sitting in Minas Tirith waiting for the orcs and trolls to break through the door. Pippin says he didn’t think it would end this way (meaning their lives). Gandalf then explains that it is not the end–that there is something beyond–something that makes it all worthwhile, in words Tolkien used in another part of the book, but which I think were aptly used in this spot in the film. LOTR fans will know the one I mean.

And in another completely different sort of film: Smokey and the Bandit, it was when the Bandit breaks his Transam to pick up “Frog”, who is in a wedding dress. He swerves as he brakes and so stops exactly where Frog can get into the car and go off with him. It’s a real cherry.

So people, what cherries do you have to share?

Okay, I may not have worded that right. :blush: I’ll put it another way: What are your favorite scenes in your favorite movies that you feel really tell what they are about.

The first line in Bella, “If you want to make God laugh, just tell Him your plans!”

In Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” when Jesus says from the Cross “E’lo-i, E’lo-i, la’ma sabach-tha’ni” “My God my God, why have you forsaken me?” Ps 22:1

In Kubrick’s Dr Stangelove, when the President tells Gen Turgidson (Geo C Scott) and the Russian ambassador “Gentlemen, stop fighting, this is the war room!”

In Gibson’s Braveheart, William Wallace says; “Aye, fight and you may die, run and you will live, at least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they will never take our freedom!”

Just a few for starters.

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!


Those are good, Mark!

For me the defining scene in The Passion was when Jesus is about to be flogged and quotes Ps.57:7/108:1 “My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready!” It was the point at which we all knew there was no turning back for him. I also felt that when he had fallen and Mary comes to him after losing sight of him behind the buildings and he says to her: “Behold, I make all things new.” That was a real chiller, too. There were a lot of good moments like those in that film, weren’t there?

Did you all have your favorite passages memorized? Or did you go look them up for this? Or did you paraphrase? I don’t have this memorized, and I have loaned out my copy, so I am paraphrasing.

In the Twilight Saga, when Bella has learned that Edward is a vampire, but is part of a group who is committed to not harming humans. They subsist on animal blood even though it is not very satisfying for them and leaves them with a constant desire. Bella asks, " Tell me why you hunt animals instead of people." Edward replies “I don’t want to be a monster!”

That’s a great quote, RSD. :yup:

Well, I’m a bit of a film geek (that is when it comes to films I like), so yes, I do have some passages memorized. What can I say? It’s my hobby. :blush: :smiley:

For me, it was that moment toward the end, when Christ has been taken down from the Cross and Our Lady is holding His Body in her arms… and then she slowly raises her eyes from her face and looks straight toward us, the viewers, with the gentlest look of rebuke. Devastating. As violent and unrelenting as that movie was in its portrayal of what Christ suffered for us, that moment left me shaking: it’s as if she’s quietly reminding us of what our sins did to Him…

When Sr. Helen sings “Be Not Afraid” to Matthew Poncelet in “Dead Man Walking”.

When the priest carries the Eucharist in procession against the troops shooting at them In “The Mission”.

Two scenes for me:

  1. In Remember the Titans, Denzel Washington’s Gettysburg speech sets the tone for the rest of the movie.

  2. In Rudy, when Rudy gets his speech from the janitor.

I’ll ditto that one too.

Got a couple more to share from “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming” (a real gem of a little film):

The Russians invade the summer home of a writer (Carl Reiner) and his family. His wife (Eva Marie Saint) has the keys to the car in her purse which the Russian officer (Alan Arkin) needs to drive into town to confiscate a boat. Well, she hands him her bag and he starts rummaging through it. He doesn’t just throw it down and empty the contents onto the floor–he keeps rummaging and rummaging trying to find the keys. Finally he hands it back to her and she pulls them out in one go without even looking inside. So funny and so telling. The man’s an officer and a gentleman not a thief nor does he really intend to shoot them all–he just wants to get his submarine off the sandbar so they can go back out to sea. It sets the tone for the whole film.

Then, later on, the same group of Russians ties up a little old lady to a chair and hangs the chair on a peg on the wall. Her deaf old husband comes in but doesn’t see her there. He calls for her: “Murial!..Murial?!” She’s gagged so she can’t answer and he can’t hear her struggling right behind him. He gives up looking for her, saying, “All right! If that’s the way ya want it…” I just about die with laughter whenever I see that scene!

The emotional moment I liked from Rudy is when his friend gives him that Notre Dame jacket before he dies in the factory.

On a similar note, the last scene in the new version of Brian’s Song is touching.

For me the final courtroom scene in ‘A Man for All Seasons’ when Richard Rich has just perjured himself to send Thomas Moore to the block. Thomas notices he is wearing a new medallion of office and asks what it is. Cromwell tells him Rich has just been appointed Collector of Revenues (I think) of Wales, and Thomas says to Rich: ‘It does not profit man to give his soul for the world…but Wales?’

The whole movie (a great classic) in one line.

All these are great moments in some really fine films. Keep 'em coming! :smiley:

I too thought that scene in “A Man for All Seasons” so telling. Richard Rich sold his soul to the devil to get ahead and to keep his head, like so many others did. His character summed up the spirit of that age under the ponderous and salacious Henry VIII, didn’t it?

Two scenes in LadyHawke. The first one is when Phillipe Gastone (“the little mouse”, played by Matthew Broderick) has recently rescued Navarre, as a wolf, from drowning. Navarre as a man of course does not know this. He is berating Phillipe about losing Navarre’s family sword. He grabs at Phillipe’s clothes and sees the claw marks all over his chest and shoulders and just stops. Even then, when Navarre asks what the scratches are, Phillipe still does not tell him he has saved Navarre’s life. To me, that is the moment in the story where it was really driven home that Phillipe was truly a good and decent person, and not just the little thief and liar he was at the beginning of the movie.
The other scene, which I believe was immediately before the one above, was when Navarre and Isabeau (Michelle Pfeiffer) could see one another as man and woman at the exact moment of dawn. He had just transformed from a wolf, and she was about to transform into a hawk. In that one short moment between the change from one to the other, they can see each other as they truly are. They reach to touch one another, and just before they do, she completes her transformation and flies away. There is no dialogue in this scene, just the look of absolute longing from both of them. Then, once Isabeau flies away, a great cry of loss comes from deep within Navarre.

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