Gone With The Wind
It’s a ridiculous notion to pluck just one iconic moment from this 3 hour and 40 minute epic. Peppered throughout are beautiful scenes, stellar performances and rousing lines of dialogue. Max Steiner’s score rocks the foundations of cinematic history throughout but THAT moment when Scarlett stands with her father, surveying their land, silhouetted against the beautiful red hues of the setting sun really takes the cake.
“It’ll come to you, this love of the land. There’s no getting away from it if you’re Irish”.
It’s this singular moment that sets Scarlett O’Hara in motion for the arduous emotional journey, which takes place during the American Civil War.
Got a problem with my choice?
“Frankly my dear… I don’t give a damn”!
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
While there’s no denying the Gene Wilder version is perhaps more beloved, the Tim Burton/ Johnny Depp reimagining manages to truly excel in one crucial department; The Land of Candy.
From the second Willy Wonka opens the tiny door and parades his visitors into the entirely edible room there’s a sense of profound wonderment that sparks the imagination of every adult and child who dreamt of chocolate rivers, candy cane trees, cream filled flowers and gumdrop bushes after reading Roald Dahl’s delicious story.
“Every drop of the river is hot, melted chocolate of the finest quality”.
… Just hold me upside down by the ankles and lower me in please!
Empire of the Sun
Probably the least Ballardian of J.G. Ballard’s adaptations, Empire of the Sun gives a biographical account of his childhood in Japanese internment camps during WWII. Steven Spielberg continues his fascination with airborne vehicles as Jim Graham (a very young Christian Bale) grows from naïve boy to war worn teen and at the point of losing all hope, sees the simmering radiance of an American aircraft.
Racing to the top of the building and throwing down his belongings, John Williams score swells. Jim hugs himself in disbelief before smiling. The music stops and a choir herald the arrival of his favourite plane, the pilot waving as he passes at almost eye level, to which, Jim lets out a jubilant cheer.
“P51, Cadillac of the sky”
North By Northwest
In a pulse pounding case of mistaken identity, Cary Grant’s Roger Thornhill is kidnapped, interrogated and then hunted across country by James Mason’s Vandamm and his thugs.
Directed by the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock there’s seemingly no end of narrow escapes and close scrapes for Thornhill. The most iconic of these being chased down in open plains by a hoodlum in a crop duster. As it swoops down, Thornhill is forced into the dirt as bullets rain down around him.
I won’t give away much more but the image of Cary Grant running in the foreground while a bi-plane races menacingly behind him is enough to make your heart skip a beat.
The Wizard of Oz
“We’re not in Kansas anymore”.
Just remember boys and girls. If you ever feel like you’ve truly managed to achieve something in life just remember that in the same year Victor Fleming directed Gone With The Wind, he also released a little known movie called The Wizard of Oz!
From the sepia beginnings to glorious Technicolor we follow Dorothy on an adventure along the yellow brick road. But before the vibrancy and wonder of Oz, this little girl gives a ponderous performance of a sweet dream involving blue skies, with no troubles and no clouds in sight.
Somewhere over the rainbow.
All Work and No Play…
Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of the Stephen King novel is brimming with haunting chills, unease and malevolence. A young boy starts to understand his powers while his father slowly loses his mind in the isolated, out of season hotel. With thunderously violent, murderous intent, Jack chases down his hysterical wife, who locks herself in the bathroom, desperately trying to escape. As he starts breaking through the door with an axe, he forces his head into the opening and delivers probably the most iconic adlib in cinema history…
… “Here’s Johnny”!
In almost any other circumstance, this line would warrant a chuckle. Here, you’ll be lucky if it manifests as nervous laughter. Utterly engrossing and outright disturbing, Kubrick and Nicholson prove to be an admirable partnership.
Adapted from Frank Miller’s graphic novel, 300 is where Zack Snyder really honed his particular visual flair. Opulent imagery, kinetic choreography, exaggerated stoicism and oily, half naked dudes with CG six packs, this is as gung-ho as swords and sandals flicks get.
Gerard Butler IS King Leonidas. There is no greater statement of intent than his actions when messengers from King Xerxes demand tribute from the Greek warrior kingdom. In refusing to submit to the Persians, Leonidas backs the messenger to the edge of a great pit.
“This is madness”, decries the messenger.
“This is Sparta”! bellows Leonidas as he straight-up kicks the poor fellow into the pit, where he is soon followed by the remaining Persians.
In a story of pirates treasure, murderers, booby traps and kids growing as a team there are a huge number of scenes that immediately jump to the forefront of my mind. Chunk’s truffle shuffle, Data’s “Pinchers from Hell, Mouth’s disgusting tongue through the painting and Mikey’s stolen kiss with Andi… these are all funny, jubilant, gross and charming moments but the one that gets the biggest cheer, that never fails to put a smile from ear to ear is the battle cry of the gargantuan man-baby, Sloth.
“Hey you guys”!
With his Superman T-Shirt and tiny pirate’s hat on, he makes his way down the ship’s sail in true swashbuckling style, with a terrified Chunk holding on for dear life. It’s such an air punching moment, full of childlike joy that perfectly encapsulates the stirring excitement in the final reel of this 80s classic.
There are few men as badass as Dirty Harry Callahan. He’s a no-nonsense cop who makes up for his lack of political correctness with snarl, gristle and a very, very large gun.
While eating a hotdog and minding his own business, Harry hears the sound of alarm bells as a bank is being robbed. With a mouth still half full of lunch he makes short work of the bad guys, casually sauntering over to one assailant edging toward his firearm, Harry addresses the man with an iconic monologue regarding the number of bullets he’s fired in all the excitement that’s occurred.
“I know what you’re thinking… Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well to tell you the truth in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and would blow your head clean off, you’ve gotta ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?
It’s Clint Eastwood’s proto Action hero that set the bar for the stars that followed, and where as some of these actors became known for their quippy one-liners, it’s still this incredible prose that’s the granddaddy of them all.
We hope you're enjoying BRWC. You should check us out on our social channels, subscribe to our newsletter, and tell your friends. BRWC is short for battleroyalewithcheese.