While this column has frequently stressed how important the screenplay is to a movie’s success, film is still a visual medium, and sometimes a picture — or an image — is indeed worth a thousand words, give or take a few hundred. For your perusal are 10 more images that have become forever associated with a film. Many also make a dramatic or comic statement as well. They are randomly listed here.
A woman stands defiantly under the branch of a dead tree silhouetted against a flaming sky.
The image is of Vivien Leigh’s Scarlett O’Hara in one of the most iconic shots from a film filled with iconic shots, “Gone With the Wind.” The image follows Scarlett’s impassioned soliloquy where she vows she’ll never be hungry again.
While this column has frequently stressed how important the screenplay is to a movie’s success, film is still a visual medium, and sometimes a picture — or an image — is indeed worth a thousand words, give or take a few hundred.
For your perusal are 10 more images that have become forever associated with a film. Many also make a dramatic or comic statement as well. They are randomly listed here.
Sadly, space limitations prevent me from mentioning all the images on my master list of about 50. I still welcome reader suggestions since I’m sure my master list is not totally masterful.
“E.T.: The Extraterrestrial” — The title character and Henry Thomas’ Elliott go on a bicycle trip not offered in the Schwinn catalogue as they soar into the sky in front of a full moon. The film’s director Steven Spielberg now uses this image as the logo for his film company Amblim Entertainment. Here, childhood friendship goes on a magical journey that’s out of this world.
“The Battleship Potemkin” — The massacre of civilians on the Odessa Steps depicts a mother pushing an infant in a baby carriage. The mother gets shot and lets go of the carriage. Director Sergei Eisenstein then shows the carriage rolling down the steps. Don’t expect any happy landings here. Numerous directors have paid homage to this shot, including Brian De Palma in “The Untouchables.”
“The Exorcist” — Max von Sydow’s Father Merrin arrives at the home of a possessed child during a night shrouded in an eerie fog. Ding-dong for the devil. You know that Satan isn’t going to treat the exorcist to macaroons.
“Ghostbusters” — For a demon with a decidedly softer side, we submit the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man who goes on a rampage in New York before getting toasted, so to speak. Monstrously comic or comically monstrous.
“Planet of the Apes” — When Charlton Heston’s George Taylor discovers the Statue of Liberty submerged in sand, he kind of goes ape. Wouldn’t you? A visual revelation of the first order, and a powerful one.
“Basic Instinct” — When detectives interrogate Sharon Stone’s Catherine Tramell, she boldly uncrosses her legs, revealing ... a poor memory. She somehow forgot to put on a certain garment. In case you were wondering whether Catherine might be bad news, you won’t be wondering any longer.
“The Graduate” — Dustin Hoffman’s Ben Braddock gazes at the shapely leg of Anne Bancroft’s Mrs. Robinson and the lesson about to be learned won’t be found in any textbook. The course? Seduction 101
“The Sound of Music” — Julie Andrews’ Maria spins around with the glorious Austrian Alps in the background and you can swear that the hills really are alive with the sound of music. If you drink enough schnapps. The late Blake Edwards parodied this image in “The Pink Panther Strikes Again” and why not? His wife was Andrews.
“Forrest Gump” — Tom Hanks’ title character sits on a bench as a feather floats through the air before coming to rest at his feet. Break out of the symbol theories and run with them, Forrest, run with them! The answer is either blowin’ in the wind or wafting in a purple haze. For even more symbolism, check out the rose petals in “American Beauty.”
“Citizen Kane” — Take your pick. The snow globe at the beginning or the sled at the end. Director Orson Welles had a visual style that was 20-20. For another example, there’s the opening shot of “Touch of Evil.”
Other films with iconic images include “Apocalypse Now,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Star Wars,” “Pulp Fiction,” “King Kong,” “Carrie,” “The Silence of the Lambs,” “Risky Business,” “Thelma & Louise,” “From Here to Eternity,” “The Shining,” “Goldfinger,” “Rocky,” “Schindler’s List,” “Sunset Boulevard,” “The Godfather,” “A Trip to the Moon,” “The Deer Hunter,” “Psycho,” “North By Northwest,” “Casablanca,” “Scarface” and, of course, “The Seven Year Itch.”
Brother and sister act
It’s now time for trivia.
Last month’s tester: What actress played the female lead in the debut film of an Ivy League-educated director dating from the late 1970s? Clue: The film’s male lead would be nominated for an Oscar 13 years later.
Answer: Tisa Farrow. The director was James Toback. The film was “Fingers” and the male lead was Harvey Keitel. L.H. of Milford, Mass., was the only reader to answer the question correctly. Congratulations!
This month’s tester: What famous star of American movies was born in France with his sister during World War I? Clue: The sister died at a young age.
The first reader to answer the question correctly will receive beauty products from Fruits & Passion.
Trivia enthusiasts can call me at 508-626-4409 or email me at email@example.com.
Make sure you leave your name, address and phone number on my message machine or email so I can contact you if you answered the question correctly. The address is needed so winners can be mailed their prize. Callers should spell out their names slowly and clearly so their names will be spelled correctly in the column.
Answers will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 13. Good luck!