Sunday, April 17, 2005

50 Great Moments in Crime Cinema

Often, ten seconds can make a two hour movie worth watching. That can be especially true in the stylized, violent world of criminal cinema. Here are, in no particular order, 50 great moments from 50 great (and sometimes no so great) crime films. I could have kept going. Please add your own in Comments.

Joe Pesci stomping a man to death to the sweet sounds of Donovan's "Atlantis" in Goodfellas.

"But they don't know, don't show or don't care what's goin' on in the hood." Boyz In Tha Hood.

Chow Yung Fat carrying a baby through a gunfight in Hard Boiled (extra points for the baby pissing out the fire on Fat's leg).

"Everyone needs money. That's why they call it money." Heist.

The hole in the poster, The Shawshank Redemption.

The "oh, fuck" gunfight in Heat.

The con is revealed in The Spanish Prisoner.

"Because I'm fucking stupid. I don't give a fuck about jail. That's my business. That's what I do." Casino.

"This town is one big pussy just waiting to get fucked." Scarface.

Mobster Christopher Walken and security guard Dennis Hopper face off in True Romance (perhaps my favorite movie scene of all time).

"Do you feel lucky, punk?" Dirty Harry. (The most obvious one on this list, but you gotta do it.)

The "I'm as blank as a fart" bar scene in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

Gene Hackman explains the truth about English Bob in Unforgiven.

The Battleship Potemken quoting, baby-carriage dropping gunfight in The Untouchables.

The mindfuck multi-room interrogation in LA Confidential.

"My daughter!" SLAP "My sister" SLAP -- Chinatown.

William Hurt throwing the chair throw the glass door to get to Kathleen Turner in Body Heat.

Just about any time anyone opens their mouth in Miller's Crossing, but if I can only pick one: "I guess you think you've raised hell?" "Sister, when I've raised hell you'll know it."

The full plan is revealed in a box, Seven.

Buffalo Bill's tucked-in genitals "I'd fuck me" dance, The Silence of the Lambs.

The hands in the refrigerator, State of Grace.

The silent gunfight, The Road to Perdition.

The prison riot as Hell in Natural Born Killers.

The first ten minutes of The Salton Sea.

Michael Corleone comes out of the toilet with a pistol in his hand ... but doesn't start shooting yet, The Godfather.

"I just ambushed you with a cup of coffee," Ronin.

The cadaver-dumping car chase, Bad Boys II.

Sam Elliot arrives in Road House.

Harvey Keitel drunk and hooked to the camera in Mean Streets.

Tatum O'Neil as the cutest widdle con artist running a twenty in Paper Moon.

"Would you rather be loved or feared?" "Feared. It lasts longer." A Bronx Tale.

The squibs burst in the final scene of Bonnie and Clyde.

"I hired the best killers there is. White killers!" Super Fly.

The gangsta stops by the studio to record "You Can Get It if You Really Want," Harder They Come.

Switching the twenties and a baseball bat in the guts, The Grifters.

Sean Penn breaking through the cops in Mystic River.

The semen logo, Ichi the Killer.

The parade, The Godfather Part II.

"Homie, you need some help?" BAM! BAM! BAM! Menace II Society.

Benecio Del Toro opens his mouth for the first time, The Usual Suspects.

Bill the Butcher taps on his eyeball, Gangs of New York.

"I'll be your huckleberry," Tombstone.

Harvey Keitel smokes some crack with the rapist, Bad Lieutenant.

"Heineken? Pabst Blue Ribbon!" Blue Velvet.

"Bite the curb": Nazi versus Crips in American History X.

Stabbing a guy with a pair of glasses, The Godfather Part III.

Luke in is post-50-eggs Jesus Christ pose, Cool Hand Luke.

George C. Scott posing as a porn director, Hardcore.

Fresh talks his way out of a chain-whipping, Fresh.

Topher Grace drops knowledge about slangin' dope on Michael Douglas, Traffic.

"It's the one that says 'Bad Mother Fucker' on it," Pulp Fiction.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the proper quote from Blue Velvet is: “Heineken? Fuck that shit! PABST BLUE RIBON!” My personal favorite is Dean Stockwell’s line from the same scene: (proposing a toast) “Here’s to your fuck.” As for Miller’s Crossing, my favorite would have to be the line that sums up the whole film: “What heart?”


10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Reservoir Dogs? "You shoot me in a dream, you better wake up and apologize." or "I may break you in, but I'd make you my dog's bitch"

Or the Mexican standoff at the end...

good list though.


11:52 AM  
Blogger The Bookhouse Boy said...

Well, pulling 50 quotes and whatnot outta my ass, I'm going to gaffe a few. I'm saving Reservoir Dogs and Jackie Brown for the next 50 (coming soon).

11:11 PM  
Anonymous Joe said...

My only major quibble: In Godfather 2, you went with the parade over Fredo getting bumped? His own brother, dawg! Awesome list.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Will said...

Some thoughts:

*The money-counting sequence from "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three."

*George Segal gets stuck in the glass case while he, Robert Redford and the dude with the Afro are trying to lift the diamond from the Brooklyn Museum in "The Hot Rock."

*A very, very pissed off Chuck Bronson beats the shit out of his first mugger -- with a bunch of quarters in a sock -- in "Death Wish."

*A very, very pissed off Michael Caine points a gun at a former crony and forces him to drink himself to death in "Get Carter."

*Bobby DeNiero enters the bar, in slow motion, to the opening bars of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" in "Mean Streets."

*"You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" Michael Caine (again, very pissed off) in "The Italian Job" (the o.g.).

*Steve McQueen walks away scott-free at the end of "The Thomas Crown Affair."

12:03 PM  

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