Favorite movie climactic scenes

by MissSimonetta | created - 07 Dec 2017 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

These are my personal favorite movie climaxes: exciting chases, dramatic one-on-one confrontations, or sometimes pure anti-climax. No particular order.

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1. Wait Until Dark (1967)

Not Rated | 108 min | Horror, Thriller

81 Metascore

A recently blinded woman is terrorized by a trio of thugs while they search for a heroin-stuffed doll they believe is in her apartment.

Director: Terence Young | Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna, Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

Votes: 25,497 | Gross: $17.55M

Blind Audrey Hepburn versus a psychopathic Alan Arkin. The weapons are a box of matches and a kitchen knife. This final fifteen minute confrontation is suspenseful and terrifying, one where the viewer never knows who's going to have the upper hand at any given moment.

2. The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

G | 74 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

73 Metascore

Basil, the rodent Sherlock Holmes, investigates the kidnapping of a toy-maker and uncovers its link to his arch-enemy, Professor Ratigan.

Directors: Ron Clements, Burny Mattinson, David Michener, John Musker | Stars: Vincent Price, Barrie Ingham, Val Bettin, Susanne Pollatschek

Votes: 41,045 | Gross: $38.60M

Atmospheric and tense, the final battle between Basil and Rattigan is magnificent. The best part is when Rattigan sheds his civilized persona and goes feral, beating Basil half to death in one of the most savage moments in a Disney movie!

3. Lupin the 3rd: Castle of Cagliostro (1979)

PG-13 | 102 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

71 Metascore

A dashing thief, his gang of desperadoes and an intrepid policeman struggle to free a princess from an evil count's clutches, and learn the hidden secret to a fabulous treasure that she holds part of a key to.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Yasuo Yamada, Eiko Masuyama, Kiyoshi Kobayashi, Makio Inoue

Votes: 22,778

Though the opening car chase is the most referenced and influential scene in Cagliostro, the clock tower battle between Lupin and the Count also has its reverberations throughout pop culture, particularly in The Great Mouse Detective and Batman the Animated Series. Part Hitchcock and part Chaplin, it's suspenseful and quirky-- that is, until the Count ups the stakes outside the tower. A great sequence in a movie filled to the brim with them!

4. Barry Lyndon (1975)

PG | 185 min | Adventure, Drama, History

89 Metascore

An Irish rogue wins the heart of a rich widow and assumes her dead husband's aristocratic position in 18th-century England.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Hardy Krüger

Votes: 134,788

The last duel between Barry and his stepson is as close as anyone gets to a moment of grace in a post-Strangelove Kubrick movie. After having acted like a tyrant for years, Barry tries for a moment of compassion. It does not work out the way he planned...

5. Wizards (1977)

PG | 80 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

On a post-apocalyptic Earth, a wizard and his faire folk comrades fight an evil wizard who's using technology in his bid for conquest.

Director: Ralph Bakshi | Stars: Bob Holt, Jesse Welles, Richard Romanus, David Proval

Votes: 9,412 | Gross: $9.00M

This movie's climax goes against our expectations of what a final battle between a hero and villain should be like. Some people find the blatant anti-climax annoying, but I think it's brilliantly hilarious.

6. Pinocchio (1940)

G | 88 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

99 Metascore

A living puppet, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy.

Directors: Norman Ferguson, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Dickie Jones, Christian Rub, Mel Blanc, Don Brodie

Votes: 118,758 | Gross: $84.25M

In a movie where none of the several villains are defeated, Monstro is the ultimate symbol of evil. Notice how Pinocchio and company don't even try to fight him-- all they can do is run. Combined with gorgeous animation and effects, this is the best Disney climactic scene IMO.

7. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

PG | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

82 Metascore

After the Rebels are brutally overpowered by the Empire on the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker begins Jedi training with Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader.

Director: Irvin Kershner | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams

Votes: 1,068,293 | Gross: $290.48M

8. Our Hospitality (1923)

Not Rated | 65 min | Comedy, Romance, Thriller

A man returns to his Appalachian homestead. On the trip, he falls for a young woman. The only problem is her family has vowed to kill every member of his family.

Directors: John G. Blystone, Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Natalie Talmadge, Joe Keaton, Joe Roberts

Votes: 9,281

Buster to the rescue! Even ninety plus years onward, this is one tense scene, full of Keaton's athletics and his often underrated dramatic abilities.

9. Obsession (1976)

PG | 98 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

A wealthy New Orleans businessman becomes obsessed with a young woman who resembles his wife.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Cliff Robertson, Geneviève Bujold, John Lithgow, Sylvia Kuumba Williams

Votes: 7,943 | Gross: $1.00M

10. Way Down East (1920)

Passed | 145 min | Drama, Romance

A naive country girl is tricked into a sham marriage by a wealthy womanizer, then must rebuild her life despite the taint of having borne a child out of wedlock.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Mrs. David Landau, Lowell Sherman

Votes: 4,704 | Gross: $4.50M

Richard Barthlelmess rescuing the unconscious Lillian Gish from the ice flow is one of silent film's most iconic sequences. As crude as the melodrama might seem to some, you cannot deny the effectiveness of this scene, both because of the editing and the fact that the actors' lives actually were in danger due to the sequence being filmed on-location. Barthelmess's anxiety isn't acting here!

11. Castle in the Sky (1986)

PG | 125 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

78 Metascore

A young boy and a girl with a magic crystal must race against pirates and foreign agents in a search for a legendary floating castle.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Cloris Leachman, Mark Hamill

Votes: 130,207

12. Frankenstein (1931)

Passed | 70 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

91 Metascore

An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff, John Boles

Votes: 59,495

13. Brazil (1985)

R | 132 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

88 Metascore

A bureaucrat, in a retro-future world, tries to correct an administrative error and becomes an enemy of the state.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Jonathan Pryce, Kim Greist, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond

Votes: 177,070 | Gross: $9.93M

14. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

90 Metascore

Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the mysterious Darth Vader.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness

Votes: 1,137,207 | Gross: $322.74M

15. Bambi (1942)

G | 70 min | Animation, Drama, Family

91 Metascore

The story of a young deer growing up in the forest.

Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, David Hand, Graham Heid, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Norman Wright, Arthur Davis, Clyde Geronimi | Stars: Hardie Albright, Stan Alexander, Bobette Audrey, Peter Behn

Votes: 120,431 | Gross: $102.80M

16. Broken Blossoms (1919)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance

A frail waif, abused by her brutal boxer father in London's seedy Limehouse District, is befriended by a sensitive Chinese immigrant with tragic consequences.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Donald Crisp, Arthur Howard

Votes: 8,686

17. Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916)

Passed | 197 min | Drama, History

92 Metascore

The story of a poor young woman, separated by prejudice from her husband and baby, is interwoven with tales of intolerance from throughout history.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Mae Marsh, F.A. Turner

Votes: 13,012 | Gross: $2.18M

18. The Red Shoes (1948)

Not Rated | 134 min | Drama, Music, Romance

A young ballet dancer is torn between the man she loves and her pursuit to become a prima ballerina.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring, Moira Shearer, Jean Short

Votes: 25,032 | Gross: $10.90M

19. The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)

Not Rated | 98 min | Drama, Fantasy

87 Metascore

In 1940, after watching and being traumatized by the movie Frankenstein (1931), a sensitive seven year-old girl living in a small Spanish village drifts into her own fantasy world.

Director: Víctor Erice | Stars: Fernando Fernán Gómez, Teresa Gimpera, Ana Torrent, Isabel Tellería

Votes: 15,258

20. Behind the Door (1919)

70 min | Drama, Thriller, War

A German-American naval officer takes revenge against the German submarine commander who brutalized his wife.

Director: Irvin Willat | Stars: Hobart Bosworth, Jane Novak, Wallace Beery, James Gordon

Votes: 136

21. Carrie (1976)

R | 98 min | Horror

85 Metascore

Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, John Travolta

Votes: 154,457 | Gross: $33.80M

22. The Grey (2011)

R | 117 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

64 Metascore

After their plane crashes in Alaska, six oil workers are led by a skilled huntsman to survival, but a pack of merciless wolves haunts their every step.

Director: Joe Carnahan | Stars: Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo, Dallas Roberts

Votes: 230,607 | Gross: $51.58M

23. What's Up, Doc? (1972)

G | 94 min | Comedy

The accidental mix-up of four identical plaid overnight bags leads to a series of increasingly wild and wacky situations.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich | Stars: Barbra Streisand, Ryan O'Neal, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars

Votes: 17,773

24. Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)

R | 161 min | Comedy, Drama

83 Metascore

A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood's Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch

Votes: 186,797 | Gross: $135.37M



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