Films have been a major part of our lives since the early 20th Century. We live vicariously through the experiences of the characters that we fall in love with. The characters are so loved because we find them relatable and they are based on archetypes that most people will experience (or want to experience) at some point in their lives. This is why movies, whether they are Hollywood blockbusters or movies inspired by Jersey Shore, are so special to us.
Within our favorite movies are scenes that have an impact on the viewers’ lives forever and we would class these scenes as “iconic.” It could be the shock factor, the fact that the scene is the first of its kind or the relatability of the scene that makes them so important to us. Nevertheless, these scenes will be burned into the public’s memory forever. We’ve compiled a list of the 10 most iconic movie scenes of all time.
The Shower Scene – Psycho (1960)
This famous scene, directed by Alfred Hitchcock in the early days of the film has become a revolutionary scene in the horror and thriller genre. Not only was this one the very first of its kind, but the 3-minute scene had an incredible 78 camera set-ups and 52 cuts. Talk about technical skills in film! The screeching violins, and screams add to its unsettling power. Amazingly the scene makes such an impact.
“I am your father” Scene – Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back (1980)
The sheer “shock factor” of this scene is what has stirred the hearts of viewers to remember it as one of the most iconic movie scenes of all time. Star Wars is a series of movies that show a major gnostic theme of light vs dark, and good vs evil. But what happens when evil is in your blood? When it is closer than you ever cared to think? Irvin Kershner poses some real and valid questions about our own connection to the dark side.
“I’m Flying” Scene – Titanic (1997)
This scene is undoubtedly one of the most iconic ones of all time. Not only does it strengthen the relationship of our favorite main characters (setting us up for a terrible shock later) but it signifies young love, freedom, and pure trust. These are feelings the majority of the viewers can relate to.
“D-Day” Scene – Saving Private Ryan (1998)
This scene knocks many films records out of the park. At a staggering length of 20-minutes, this is the greatest film sequence ever to grace Hollywood. Directed by Stephen Spielberg, this sequence enlisted the help of 750 extras and cost $12 million to shoot. It brings us back to a close to an accurate depiction of the atrocities that happened on D-Day in WW2. Scenes like this are so important to educate the new generations about what really occurred during those tough times.
“Bullet Time” Scene – The Matrix (1999)
The Matrix is one of the special movies that leave an alternative perspective on our current global experience. Movies like this make us think critically and inspect the details of the circumstances that we find ourselves in. Technically, Wachowski uses a green set and a series of cameras to create the “Bullet Time” special effect that has become so iconic.
“Gollum/Smeagol Monologue” Scene – The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
Gollum’s double identity is as clear as day in this scene depicting the struggle between the good and the evil within. Not only was this an amazing performance by Andy Serkis, but it was also a technical feat in film. Peter Jackson used ‘performance capture’ technology and CGI to create this iconic scene and his artistic ability in film seared the moments into the mind of its viewers. Many of us have felt, this internal struggle to some degree, making it relatable and, thus, even more popular.
“Batman Interrogates the Joker” Scene – The Dark Knight (2008)
Here we get to witness Batman and the Joker getting to know one another. One of the main reasons for this scene being so important to film history is that it was one of Heath Ledger’s most remarkable performances as a method actor. In fact, the fan-favorite actor passed away before the movie’s release, boosting the box office sales tremendously. The scene portrays feelings of helplessness and powerlessness when it truly matters, as well as expresses the Joker’s perspective on humanity.
“…..And I Am Iron Man” Scene – Avengers: Endgame (2019)
This one has an incredible build-up of 11 full years and a whopping 21 movies leading up to it. The scene is the climax to all of that, bringing all the superheroes together to defeat the mega boss villain – Thanos. It is always a moment for the books when the crowd’s favorite superhero dies as a sacrifice when defeating the worst villain of all time.
‘The Heart-Breaking Opening Montage” Scene – Up (2009)
We believe this scene could easily be one of the most tear-jerking ones in the history of the film. It depicts the life journey of a boy who meets a girl as a child, falls in love with her, and has a full life in partnership with her until she sadly passes and he has to live alone as an old man. In a few short minutes, the viewers are guided through the incredibly emotional and relatable life story of Carl. The scene shows the elated joy and deep sadness that we experience through life and how complicated our experiences really are.
“The training montage scene” – Rocky 1976
This sports drama, written and starring Sylvester Stallone has become one of the most famous films on the planet, and the training montage scene has inspired thousands of people to get up and fight for the future that they desire. It shows its viewers that they need to take the bull by the horns and put in the hard work in order to manifest their dreams. It is possible. These iconic movie moments leave us filled with hope and inspired to create our own destinies.