Sometimes, all it takes is an incredible movie scene to etch a movie in the heart of millions of viewers. Want to take a ride back down memory lane and reminisce about some of the most iconic scenes you have ever watched? Let’s go!
This article is a compilation of some of the most mind-blowing scenes in cinematic history. Even though many of these scenes might not be crucial to the plot, they have surely inspired and awed audiences for a long time.
The Shower Scene – Psycho (1960)
An incredibly influential horror movie, Psycho, shocked viewers from all around the world. The American psychological thriller was a masterpiece crafted by director Alfred Hitchcock.
Despite initial hesitation from the film fraternity, audience, and event production house Paramount, the movie did quite well in the Box Office. Marion Crane steals a lot of money and is on the way to meet her boyfriend.
She stops at an old motel owned by Norman Bates but gets brutally murdered in the shower. Even though there’s more to the plot, the 45-second shower scene is where your heart will stop.
This scene in this timeless thriller is perhaps one of the most iconic scenes of all time. The implied violence and extreme close-ups in the scene have been shocking audiences for years. If you haven’t watched this Alfred Hitchcock movie, watch it now – and look out for this iconic scene.
The Opening Scene – The Sound Of Music (1965)
Based on the Von Trapp Family’s life, The Sound of Music is a heartwarming story of Maria. The tuneful storytelling unravels how Maria becomes a governess at a widowed naval captain’s house, appointed to take care of seven children.
Not only does she bring music into their otherwise dull house, but she also introduces a new love of life. The most recognizable scene from the film is its first line. The viewers are always in awe of the beautiful view in the opening scene as Maria joyfully twirls and sings, “the hills are alive with the sound of music.”
Shot in Marktschellenberg, Germany, the mesmerizing opening scene sets the tone for the movie. Of course, the rest of the movie lived up to audience expectations. Not only was The Sound of Music a grand box office hit, but it remained in theaters for over four years!
The Opening Scene – Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961)
Based on Truman Capote’s novel, the American romantic comedy Breakfast at Tiffany’s is the story of Holly. She works as an escort in New York City and meets a young aspiring writer when he moves into her building.
Even without any dialogue, the opening scene where Holly arrives outside Tiffany’s, the New York Jewelry store, will leave you wanting more. She glances through the store windows while drinking coffee and eating her pastry.
The audience has only known the character for a mere few seconds, but this very glimpse is enough to get an idea of who she really is. It was perhaps her eccentric and naive personality that won over the hearts of viewers.
The “I’ll Have What She’s Having” Scene – When Harry Met Sally (1989)
When college graduates Harry and Sally shared a car ride in 1977, they engaged in arguing whether women and men can ever have strictly platonic relationships. When they met again ten years later, they revisited that discussion.
This scene in When Harry Met Sally is another movie clip that lives in the heart of viewers. They continued their discussion regarding how a man and woman can never be friends in New York City because sex gets in the way.
Sally draws everyone’s attention at the deli as she demonstrates a fake orgasm. While this clip is hilarious, When Harry Met Sally is much more than that. The unabashedly romantic movie is a beautiful portrayal of chemistry and compatibility.
The “I Am Your Father” Scene – Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
The Star Wars adventure continued in the second film. In Episode V, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Chewbacca face an imperial forces attack on Hoth, the ice planet.
The nail-biting storyline kept the audience asking, “Will Luke survive the duel with Darth Vader?” Sure, the anticipated face-off led to tons of memorable scenes in the movie, but “Luke, I am your father” is the top Star Wars scene of all time.
In fact, even someone who’s not a fan of the movie franchise knows this line by heart. However, to the first audiences of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, it came as a shock that Darth Vader was Luke’s dad.
The Bend-And-Snap Scene – Legally Blonde (2001)
Elle enrolls in the same law school as her ex-boyfriend with intentions to teach him a lesson. But, he was not the only one who learned a lesson. If not for Legally Blonde, how would girls worldwide learn the best way to get a man’s attention?
Yes, you got that right – the bend-and-snap scene! In this remarkable scene, Elle teaches Paulette a sure-shot way to get the UPS guy’s attention, something her mom taught her in high school.
Even though the bend-and-snap technique might not be the most feminist-approved way of getting a man, it gained a lot of popularity. Overall, the movie did well too. Legally Blonde was a sleeper hit that made over $141 million.
The “Shut Up” Scene – The Princess Diaries (2001)
Anne Hatheway’s debut as a lead, Princess Diaries, was a great kickstart for her career. The film collected $165 million worldwide at the box office. Mia, a shy teenager from San Francisco, finds out she is a real-life princess and must now also take much-needed princess lessons from her grandmother.
Her comical journey towards the throne keeps the audience very entertained, but one scene, in particular, steals the cake. Hathaway fans love The Princess Diaries, and this “shut up” scene is too funny to forget.
What would your reaction be if you were told you are the princess of Genovia? When Mia first found out she’s royalty, she was in disbelief. She just found out she is royal by blood and her obvious response was “shut up!”
The Door Scene – Titanic (1997)
One of the highest-grossing movies of all time, mega-blockbuster Titanic, is Rose and Jack’s love story. 17-year-old Rose boards Titanic and meets artist Jack Dawson. They are quick to fall in love, but destiny had other plans.
When the luxurious ship crashed into a giant iceberg, the outcome cut their love story short. One of the most important scenes in the movie was when Jack sacrificed his own life for the sake of love by letting Rose stay afloat on a piece of a wooden door.
Even though a definite tear-jerker, the scene stirred many debates regarding whether Jack and Rose could have shared the door. While it seems like the door was big enough to keep both of them afloat, it made one of the most emotional scenes in film history.
The Wingardium Leviosa Scene – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was the first adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. Released in 2001, the movie was a huge commercial hit. Just during the initial run, it grossed $974 million in ticket sales. In this first installment, Harry learns that he is the orphaned son of two wizards on this eleventh birthday.
To learn how to best explore his own magical powers, he enrolls at wizard boarding school Hogwarts. At Hogwarts, he befriends Ron and Hermione, who together have an exciting first year learning new magical skills.
In particular, the scene where Hermione corrects Ron on how to rightly say “Wingardium Leviosa” is a favorite among Harry Potter fans. The scene shows the true essence of both of their personalities and sets the tone for their friendship.
The “You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat” Scene – Jaws (1975)
Jaws is a Steven Spielberg film packed with scenes that will terrify you. When a giant man-eating shark terrorizes residents on a quiet island called Amity, a police chief named Martin Broday decides to take some action.
He teams up with marine biologist Richard and a professional shark hunter named Robert Shaw on this quest against the dangerous great white shark.“You’re gonna need a bigger boat,” is a popular Jaws dialogue that has become one of the most iconic parts of the movie.
In this blood-curdling scene, the audience is just as scared as the characters as a huge shark swims toward the boat. Yet, Chief Brody’s reaction to the gigantic shark became quite popular, as did the full movie. Jaws went on to make a whopping $472 million box office collection, a well-deserved success.
From romance to thriller to drama – the movie industry has been entertaining various genres over the years.
These are some of the most remarkable scenes from cinema history, but the list of iconic movie scenes does not end here.