The best movies can make a lasting impact throughout generations. Take a look back at cinema history with 25 of the best movie scenes from the greatest films ever made.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
1Gone With the Wind
Gone With the Wind continues to be one of the most beloved movies ever created, but the line that it will forever be associated with it is, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." In a AFI poll, it was named the most famous movie quote of all time, but it almost never happened. It took months for David Selznick, the producer of the film, to get the word 'damn' past movie censors. Before it was approved, other versions of the quote were considered, including "Frankly my dear, I just don't care."
2The Wizard of Oz
Released in 1939, The Wizard of Oz has been a cherished movie for generations. According to the Library of Congress, it's the most watched film in movie history. While the flick is filled with unforgettable lines ("Follow the yellow brick road," and "Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore" are good examples), it's the line from the final scene — "There's no place like home" — that's in a league of its own.
3The Seven Year Itch
Despite starring in close to 30 films, the movie most associated with the blond actress will forever be TheSeven Year Itch. The scene where Marilyn Monroe's dress blows up while she's standing above a subway grate has a permanent spot in pop culture. The image has inspired Halloween costumes, countless merchandise and works of art. The actual dress from the scene was auctioned off in 2011 for a whopping .
4Breakfast at Tiffany's
Without a single word mentioned during the nearly 3-minute clip, this scene from Breakfast at Tiffany's is one of the most famous opening sequences in film history. It was rumored to have been difficult to shoot (for reasons ranging from Hepburn's distaste for pastries to Fifth Avenue onlookers wanting to a get a glimpse of the actress), but Julie Andrews, the director's widow, revealed that the scene was shot in one take at the film's .
5The Sound of Music
How many of you have tried to recreate this scene after coming across an open field? The meadow where Julie Andrews twirled around and sang "The hills are alive, with the sound of music," is in Germany, and, at the time of filming, . Now, a well-known mountain climber is the proud owner, and he rarely lets visitors onto the famous hill.
Even actress Janet Leigh admitted that she became afraid of taking showers after shooting this famous scene from Psycho. "I stopped taking showers and I take baths, only baths," she told . Who can blame her? Even though a knife was never seen penetrating her skin (which would have gone against production code at the time) it's still one of the most terrifying movie scenes ever.
On a much brighter note, Mary Poppins captured hearts everywhere after its release in 1964. The movie continues to be a must-see for all ages. From "A Spoonful of Sugar" to "Let's Go Fly a Kite," the family-friendly film is filled with memorable musical scenes. But none comes close to the song with the title no one can spell off the top of their heads, but everybody loves: "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."
There are movie monsters, and then there is King Kong. It's been over seven decades since the movie's release, but King Kong lives on as a movie icon. Since its release, it's inspired several more movies, books, cartoons, video games and even theme park rides — and no one can forget that scene where Kong climbs to the top of the Empire State Building clutching actress Fay Wray.
Many regard the 1972 film as the best movie of all time. Despite being the studio's last choice for the role, Marlon Brando brilliantly brought Don Corleone to life, jawline and all. The film starts off by introducing us to the famous gangster, as he pets his cat. Some fun facts: The feline was actually a stray, and Brando was wearing a mouthpiece that took three hours to apply. The prop is currently on display in the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.
All it takes is two words ("It's Alive!") to remind movie buffs of this unforgettable scene, which shows Frankenstein's monster coming to life. The story itself has been around for close to 200 years, and it's since found its way into pop culture countless times. From even more movies to books and TV shows, the tale of Frankenstein will forever be "alive."
If you have a fear of sharks, you can thank this movie. The special effects in the 1975 film, of course, don't appear as sophisticated as the ones in the films today, but we think the movie remains terrifying — especially the "You're gonna need a bigger boat" scene.
12Singing in the Rain
One of the most iconic dance numbers in film history, Gene Kelly's 1952 performance of Singing in the Rain set the bar for musicals. There was a rumor that the scene was shot in one take, but it really took two and half days, , and he even danced through a fever at one point.
"No cinematic moment captured the 1960s generation gap better than the seduction of Dustin Hoffman's Benjamin Braddock by Anne Bancroft's Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate," says . While Bancroft was only six years older than Hoffman in real life, their performance became an instant classic, making Hoffman an overnight success.
Casablanca is over 70 years old, but no round-up of classic movies is complete without it. While the entire film is worth multiple viewings, this clip is the most famous — and has the best line: "Here's looking at you, kid."
15The Empire Strikes Back
Even if you have never seen The Empire Strikes Back (have you been living under a rock?!), chances are you've heard countless imitations of the line "Luke, I am your father." But actually, it's one of the most misquoted lines in film history — the actual line that Darth Vader delivers is "No. I am your father."
16West Side Story
Based on Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet, the 1961 film adaption of the Broadway musical West Side Story will forever go down as one of the most groundbreaking musical films ever. (Fun fact: Director Robert Wise's genius charmed the world again four years later with the release of The Sound of Music.)
17From Here to Eternity
The beach, the waves, the kiss. Every element of this scene makes it an iconic moment in film history. The movie, of course, tells a much larger story about World War II and Pearl Harbor, but it's this beach-side tryst that became a cinema treasure.
18The Breakfast Club
After tearing down the stereotypes of high school cliques, the final scene of The Breakfast Club is one to be remembered. It's hard to think about this movie without immediately envisioning Judd Nelson pumping his fist in the air, but according to the gesture wasn't written into the original script. Nelson improvised the triumphant stance while filming.
We've all heard this line, whether we've seen Scarface or not. As Al Pacino's Tony Montana prepares to fight his rivals who have infiltrated his mansion, he yells the famous line. It even landed a spot on AFI's list of the Top 100 Movie Quotes.
20Lady and the Tramp
This Disney classic is over 60 years old, but everyone still loves watching the tale of puppy love, especially this clip. But the film's most famous scene almost didn't happen. Walt Disney took it out of the movie's first storyboards. "Walt wasn't convinced that that would be a very clean-cut scene. As you can imagine, if you have two pets and they eat a plate of spaghetti, it's hard to envision that being too graceful," former studio archivist Steven Vagnini told .
If this scene doesn't make you want to conquer the world, than not much will. Rocky's iconic run up the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art proved to be legendary, as the stairs are still one of the main tourist attractions in Philadelphia. There is even a statue of the character Rocky Balboa nearby.
22E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
As a child what could be more exciting than flying on your bicycle across the sky with your new alien friend? The cinematography in this scene is captivating, and the silhouette of Elliott's bike with E.T. in the basket is one of film's most recognized images.
Tom Hanks had already won an Oscar when he took on the role of Forrest Gump, but it was the 1994 film about a slow-witted, simple man that forever transformed his career (and won him another Oscar, of course).
There has never been a scene quite as romantic as this one. Watching a young Leonardo DiCaprio whisk Kate Winslet onto the bow of the doomed Titanic has made movie fans swoon since 1997. We'll never tire of watching Jack Dawson hold Rose's hips as she stretches out her arms and declares, "I'm flying!"
25The Princess Bride
The opening scene of The Princess Bride sets the tone for the quirky but romantic film. We're sure there are a lot of people who've used Westley's famous line, "As you wish," as another way to say "I love you" and hey, we don't blame them — it worked on Princess Buttercup.
Marlisse CepedaWeb EditorMarlisse is the Web Editor of WomansDay.com, and she hails from Bronx, NY.