Classic Comedies:

Funniest Movie
Moments and Scenes


Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Cable Guy (1996)

  • director Ben Stiller's satirical black (or dark) comedy was about an intrusive, obnoxious, semi-pathological, disgruntled and annoying cable installer ("The Cable Guy") who stalked his customers; he admitted that he used his job to find friends: "That's why I became a cable guy. To make friends like you. Every time I walk up to a new door, that door is a possibility for friendship"
  • one of his cable customers, heartbroken architect Steven Kovacs (Matthew Broderick), had recently experienced a failed marriage proposal with his girlfriend Robin (Leslie Mann) (an employee at Sassy Magazine), and was forced to move into a new apartment during a "trial separation"

The Cable Guy (Jim Carrey)

Cable Customer Steven Kovacs (Matthew Broderick)

"You mean illegal cable?"

"I'll juice you up!"
  • Steven ordered cable TV services for his new apartment and met clingy and needy cable guy Ernie "Chip" Douglas (Jim Carrey), who arrived and joked: "You might want to put on a bathing suit. You'll be channel surfing in no time"; Steve asked if a $50 dollar bribe would get him hooked up to free movie channels, and was asked ominously: "You mean illegal cable?...You're offering me a bribe. What you have just done is illegal and in this state, if convicted, you could be fined up to $5,000 or spend six months in a correction facility!", but then he burst out laughing: ("I'm just jerkin' your chain! Ha ha ha") and offered the deal for free (Chip: "I'll juice you up") - essentially in exchange for an abusive friendship ("Consider it one guy doing another guy a solid")
  • the next day, the cheating cable customer Steven was coerced - as one of Chip's "preferred customers," to visit the city's cable company satellite dish, where Chip espoused the benefits of cable TV while they looked up at the night sky: "The future is now! Soon every American home will integrate their television, phone and computer. You'll be able to visit the Louvre on one channel, or watch female wrestling on another. You can do your shopping at home, or play Mortal Kombat with a friend from Vietnam. There's no end to the possibilities!"; he also confided how his neglectful and abusive single-mother was frequently absent and how he was raised by television: ("When I was a kid my mom worked nights. Never met dad. But the old TV was always there for me")
  • throughout the remainder of the film, the vengeful Chip engaged in a never-ending assault to interfere with and ruin Steven's romantic life, by stalking him, and manipulating his relationship with his estranged girlfriend Robin
  • an aggressive Chip wrecked Steven's pick-up, full-court, shirts-and-skins basketball game with his friends, beginning with an endless non-sensical warm-up sequence, and afterwards assaulted Steven with multiple, annoying phone messages on his answering machine: ("We're having ourselves quite a little game of phone tag here. You're it"); when Steven ignored Chip's calls, Chip vengefully sabotaged Steven's cable connection (curtailing Steven's movie-night with Robin to watch Sleepless in Seattle), and then when summoned to fix the problem, Chip arrived with the severed cable wire in his hand and blackmailed Steven into "hanging out" with him the next evening in exchange for restoring the signal
  • Chip took Steven to the "finest restaurant in town" -- a "Medieval Times" dinner theatre -- where they wore paper crowns and dined while watching knights in mock battle; the two were waited upon by "serving wench Melinda" (Janeane Garafolo) wearing a period costume; Chip ordered for them: "Dos thus have thou a mug of ale for me and me mate; he has been pitched in battle for a fortnight and has the king's thirst for the frosty brew dos thou might have for thus!"; when she returned to the table, Steven asked for a knife and fork, but was denied: ("There weren't any utensils in medieval times. Hence, there are no utensils at Medieval Times. Would you like a refill on that Pepsi?"); he wondered about the incongruities: "There were no utensils but there was Pepsi?" - she rebuked him: "Dude, I got a lot of tables"; in one of Chip's many references to TV shows and movies, he pretended to be Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs (1991) by placing pieces of chicken skin on his face: "Hello Clarice, it's good to see you again"
  • the two of them - armor-clad "noblemen" from the audience - were called upon to "battle to the death to resolve a grievance "in the arena with swords and other medieval weapons, and with a jousting competition; Chip admitted that he had bribed the knights (with free cable) in order to call them to battle
  • shortly later, Chip had secretly broken into Steven's apartment to update his home entertainment theater system; he had installed a 65 inch big screen television set (with massive speakers), a laser disc player, a deluxe karaoke machine, stereo and CD player; Steven declined the gift, but it couldn't be returned for a few days, and Chip proposed a karaoke party ("It sure would be a pity to leave that karaoke machine a virgin"); during a karaoke party (with other misfit 'preferred customers' of Chips) before the system could be returned, Chip crossed the line by hiring a stunning looking prostitute ("working girl") named Heather (Misa Koprova) to have sex with Steven; he urged Steven to take advantage of the situation ("I'd strike while the iron is hot. He who hesitates, masturbates, know what I'm saying?"); while they were passionately kissing in Steven's bedroom, Chip burst in and took a flash picture of them with a Polaroid Instamatic camera - to use for future blackmail purposes
  • the next morning during a breakfast of bacon and eggs prepared by Chip, admitted openly to Steven: "It was my treat!" - and then explained that he had bought Heather for Steven's sexual pleasure ("I bought this time. You buy next time... Don't let your eggs get cold...You think a woman like that would hang out with us if we weren't paying her?"); Steven was extremely upset ("Just get out. I don't ever want to see you again. Robin is never going to forgive me!"), but so was Chip: "Everything was going so well. Why are you doing this, Steven? I made you breakfast, and we were eating and - scramby eggs, and..."
  • meanwhile, Chip's manipulative vengefulness to "set up" Steven continued: (1) in a restaurant bathroom, Chip (with a mustache disguise as the attendant) assaulted and beat up Ray (Owen Wilson), Robin's date, and warned: "Stay away from Robin. She's taken"; (2) Chip upgraded Robin's cable system and told her Steven ("a secret admirer") had paid for it; Steven even took credit for ordering the upgrade; (3) Chip phoned police to report Steven's possession of stolen merchandise (the large home system), resulting in Steven's arrest and temporary detention in the county jail; while antagonizing Steven during a visit disguised as his lawyer, Chip explained his motives: "I taught you a lesson. I can be your best friend, or your worst enemy. You seem to prefer the latter"; he re-enacted a scene from Midnight Express (1978) by opening his shirt and placing his left pectoral against the prison visitation window-glass; (4) Chip interrupted Steven and Robin invited for dinner at his parents' house for their celebratory 40th wedding anniversary - and encouraged everyone to play "Porno Password," a X-rated, naughty parlor game-version of the TV game show, with passwords such as "vagina," "nipple," and "clitoris"; and (5) he also orchestrated the firing of Steven from his job by circulating (via every workers' computer) a privately-recorded video of Steven speaking to Robin while berating his boss; afterwards, the Cable Guy appeared in Steven's nightmare as a threatening, menacing and evil stalker with green eyes
Steven's Nightmare About The Cable Guy as an Evil Stalker
  • Steven discovered that Chip's names were all aliases - of actual classic TV characters; for example, his name - Ernie "Chip" Douglas - was a combination of the children's names from the TV sitcom My Three Sons; he was actually a cable company employee named Darren Stevens who was fired from his job six months earlier, and then stole a company truck ("He was fired for beating up a customer who yelled at him for being late")
  • in the film's denouement set at the cable satellite dish during a rainstorm, Chip kidnapped Robin and tied her up as his hostage; a brutal fist-fight between Steven and Chip resulted in his lisp temporarily disappearing before Steven was briefly knocked out; Chip apologized for screwing up their friendship, and gave a detailed dramatic speech about his abusive childhood when he was raised by TV: ("You were never there for me were you, mother? You expected Mike and Carol Brady to raise me! I'm the bastard son of Claire Huxtable! I am a Lost Cunningham! I learned the facts of life from watching The Facts of Life! Oh God!")
  • in an attempt at suicide, Chip explained how somebody had to "kill the babysitter" (a reference to his childhood's 'babysitter' - the TV: "Say good-bye to the baby- sitter") to prevent others from becoming like him; he threw himself off the platform into the center of the satellite dish to disrupt the broadcast signal, and injured his back
  • the film concluded with Steven and Robin reconciling together, it was revealed in the helicopter taking Chip away for treatment that the EMT paramedic (David Bowe) had been deviously manipulated to be Chip's next victim or "buddy" (Paramedic: "You're gonna make it, buddy")

Chip Disrupting Basketball Game

"Medieval Times" Serving Wench Melinda (Janeane Garafolo)

"There were no utensils but there was Pepsi?"

Posing as Hannibal Lecter

Steven's Passionate Night with Prostitute Heather - Paid for by Chip

The Morning-After Breakfast Scene - Chip: "Everything was going so well..."

Chip Posing as Mustached Bathroom Attendant to Assault Robin's Date Ray (Owen Wilson)

Pretending to Be Steven's Lawyer at County Jail - Re-enacting a Scene From Midnight Express (1978)

"Porno Password" Game

Fight Between Steven and Chip on the Satellite Dish to Rescue Robin

Caddyshack (1980)

  • director Harold Ramis' feature-film debut was a much-loved, crass sports-golf comedy set at the elite Bushwood Country Club (fictitious) in Nebraska; it was a cult favorite with many quotable lines of dialogue; the film told about two major threats to an exclusive country club's golf course - a boorish property developer and a destructive gopher; an outright war was waged against the 'varmint'; its tagline was: "SOME PEOPLE JUST DON'T BELONG"
  • during the opening (and closing) credits sequences, a dancing gopher (an animatronic gopher ("varmint") named Chuck E. Rodent) performed to the tune of Kenny Loggins' song: "I'm Alright"
  • one of the club's teenaged caddies, a young, poor underachiever named Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe) was currently dating the club's snack-bar attendant and waitress Maggie O’Hooligan (Sarah Holcomb); Danny was the main caddy for rich and privileged, playboyish golfer Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) who was the son of one of Bushwood's stodgy co-founders, Judge Elihu Smails (Ted Knight); he was attempting to curry favorable treatment from the Judge who directed the caddy scholarship program

Caddy Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe)

Danny with Golfer Ty Webb (Chevy Chase)

Blindfolded Ty Webb: "Be the ball!"
  • when blindfolded and boasting that he had the power of intuition, Ty gave advice to Danny: ("I'm going to give you a little advice. There's a force in the universe that makes things happen. And all you have to do is get in touch with it. Stop thinking, let things happen, and be the ball!"); later, Ty made other Zen-like pronouncements: ("A flute without holes is not a flute. And a donut without a hole is a Danish" or "You're rather attractive for a beautiful girl with a great body")
  • the club's elitist, snobbish, wealthy and arrogant hotshot Judge Elihu Smails pulled into the club in his Rolls Royce; he was immediately upset when he viewed a gopher tunneling through the greens of the club's massive golf course

Judge Elihu Smails (Ted Knight)

Sandy McFiddish (Thomas A. Carlin)

Greenskeeper Carl Spackler (Bill Murray)

Greenskeeper Carl with His Boss Sandy
  • the club's lunatic, deranged, and dim-witted greenskeeper Carl Spackler (Bill Murray) was given a misinterpreted request by an enraged Smalls and his Scottish boss Sandy McFiddish (Thomas A. Carlin), to destroy an intrusive and pesky gopher who was ruining the golf course: "I want you to kill every gopher on the course" - with Carl's reply: "Check me if I'm wrong Sandy, but if I kill all the golfers, they're gonna lock me up and throw away the key." Sandy clarified: "Gophers, ya great git! Not golfers! The little brown furry rodents!"; for the remainder of the film, Carl became fixated with his task and attempted numerous ways to destroy the pesky rodent
  • Judge Elihu Smails was accompanied by his sex-loving, bra-less young blonde niece Lacy Underall (Cindy Morgan), who was judged by one ogling male as "Madonna with meatballs"
  • a boorish, crude, abrasive nouveau-riche real estate developer - brash wisecracking, loudmouth named Al Czervik (stand-up comedian Rodney Dangerfield in his feature film debut) wearing colorful golf clothing drove up in his convertible with personalized plates - the disrespectful Czervik immediately began to heckle everyone by spouting many offensive one-liners in the golf shop, with some of the insults directed toward Judge Smails' hat: ("Oh, this is the worst lookin' hat I ever saw. You buy a hat like this, I betcha get a free bowl of soup, huh? (to Smails) Oh, it looks good on you though!")
  • shortly later, Czervik continued to harrass and upset Smails' nearby golf group on the green by playing loud music from his golf bag, and hitting Smails in the groin with one of his drives; the aggravating Czervik suggested that the golf course was the perfect place for a condo and shopping mall development; as the Judge's golf game was ending, Czervik bet him $1,000 dollars he couldn't make his final putt; after missing the hole, the frustrated Judge threw his golf club into the air and it struck a woman and rendered her unconscious; to ingratiate himself to the Judge (to help his scholarship chances), Danny took the blame for not putting stick-um on the Judge's golf grips
  • in one of the film's most memorable vignettes, the speech-impaired, wacky Carl Spackler recounted, to another incredulous caddy, how he once caddied for the Dalai Lama in Tibet: ("So we finish 18, and he's gonna stiff me. And I say: 'Hey, Lama! Hey, how about a little somethin', you know, for the effort, you know.' And he says: 'Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.' So I got that goin' for me, which is nice")
  • the demented Spackler also became fixated and obsessed with destroying the intrusive gophers; throughout the film, Spackler used various methods to eradicate the gopher pest, including a high-pressure water hose to flood the gopher's holes, as he threatened the 'varmint': ("Scum, slime, menace to the golfing industry! You're a disgrace. You're varmints. You're one of the lowest members of the food chain, and you'll probably be replaced by the rat"); his initial attempt caused the flooding of the entire course
Crazed Groundskeeper Carl Spackler

The 'Varmint'
Carl Loading His Rifle
  • in his quarters, Spackler grabbed his shotgun (with an attached flashlight), as he explained why the Varmint Cong (gophers) had to die: ("License to kill gophers by the government of the United Nations. Man, free to kill gophers at will. To kill, you must know your enemy. In this case, my enemy is a varmint, and a varmint will never quit. Ever! They're like the Viet Cong. Varmint Cong! So what you gotta do, you gotta fall back on superior firepower and superior intelligence. And that's all she wrote"); dressed in camouflage that night, he attempted to shoot the gopher with his rifle - but missed
  • Danny learned that the club's caddy college scholarship had become available when the recipient of the award had died from a severe anxiety attack during summer school; his desire to acquire the money meant befriending Judge Smails who was the director of the scholarship program; Danny volunteered to caddy for the Judge and expressed an interest in going to college, and added: "It looks like my folks won't have enough money to put me through college"; all of the caddies, including Danny, were immediately impressed by the Judge's sexy young blonde niece Lacy Underall, who was visiting for the summer from Manhattan
  • during dinner at the club's restaurant that evening, Czervik continued to make loud and vulgar jokes; after farting, he asked: "Oh, (did) somebody step on a duck?"; he criticized the food: ("I had better food at the ballgame! I tell you, this steak still has marks where the jockey was hitting it"); he also personally insulted the Judge's older, white-haired wife: "Oh, this is your wife, huh? A lovely lady. Hey baby, you're alright. You musta been somethin' before electricity, huh?"; he also continued to harrass and insult other guests at the Judge's table, with lines such as: "The last time I saw a mouth like that, it had a hook in it"; he livened up the music on the dance floor, and then grabbed the Judge's wife to be his dance partner as he sexually grabbed her: "Hey, you wanna make $14 dollars the hard way?"
  • after dinner and on an outer balcony with the tempting Lacey, Ty awkwardly and nervously delivered a pick-up line to her: ("What brings you to this nape of the woods, neck of the wape. How come you're here?"); she replied: "Daddy wanted to broaden me"; she coyly invited herself to join him that evening: "I'll bet you've got a lot of nice ties....You want to tie me up with some of your ties, Ty?"; he demonstrated his method of drinking tequilas - by snorting the salt, sucking the lemon and tossing the booze over his shoulder; later, he also attempted to seduce the Judge's promiscuous niece
  • Danny competed in the Caddy Day golf tournament to obtain the caddie scholarship - and won; as a result, he was invited by the Judge to attend the Sunday christening of the Judge's sloop at the Rolling Lakes Yacht Club

Busby Berkeley Water Ballet

Floating Baby Ruth Candy Bar: "Doodie!"

Spackler on the Gross Pool Incident: "It's no big deal!"
  • a Busby Berkeley-style, synchronized swimming water ballet was performed by the male golf caddies in the country club's pool; during a scatological moment, a floating "Baby Ruth" candy bar was thrown into the pool (a young girl reacted: "Doodie!"); it sent swimmers screaming from the water in a Jaws-inspired panic - shock and fainting was caused when Spackler (after the pool was "scrubbed, sterilized and disinfected") ate the brown object and claimed: ("There it is! It's no big deal!")
  • at the Rolling Lakes Yacht Club's christening of the Judge's sloop, Lacey distracted Danny (handsomely dressed in a naval uniform), and enticingly invited him to leave and get high with her back at the Smails' house: ("Hey, Cary Grant. You want to get high?"); after they left, the Judge's boat was christened as "The Flying Wasp," but then Czervik's gigantic "Seafood" Cruiser disrupted the ceremony, collided with the Judge's small sloop, and destructively dropped anchor onto its deck - it quickly sank
  • Danny and Lacey were discovered making out in his bedroom by Smails, who then chased Danny (in his underwear) out of the house with a golf club
  • in the film's memorable "It's In the Hole!" Cinderella story and golf fantasies, Spackler pretended to be an announcer and player - imagining himself winning the championship Masters golf game at Augusta, while he was actually practicing teeing off by whacking down rows of planted flowers: ("The crowd is standing on its feet here at Augusta, the normally reserved Augusta crowd, going wild, for this young Cinderella. He's come outta nowhere. He's got about 350 yards left. He's gonna hit about a 5-iron, I expect, don't you think? He's got a beautiful backswing -- that's -- oh, he got all of that one! He's gotta be pleased with that. The crowd is just on its feet here. He's the Cinderella boy, uh -- tears in his eyes I guess, as he lines up this last shot, he's got about 195 yards left. And he's got about a -- it looks like he's got about an 8-iron. This crowd has gone deathly silent, the Cinderella story, outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper and now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac- it's in the hole! IT'S IN THE HOLE!")
  • complications arose the next day when Maggie found Danny sleeping in the caddy shack, and confessed that she was "late" (pregnant), but also added: "I don't hold you responsible! It's my problem. I can handle it"; Danny promised to stand by her: ("I'm not going to let you go through this alone"), although she wanted to keep the baby: ("I'm going to have it! I've already decided!"); when he offered to get married, she declined his offer ("It might not be yours. Okay?...I'm not making it up"); shortly later, she was happy to report to Danny that she wasn't pregnant after all
  • later in Smails' club office, Danny expected to be fired or to have his caddy scholarship revoked for romancing Lacey, but the uptight Smails only asked Danny to keep the incident quiet: ("The last thing any of us needs now is a lot of loose talk about her behavior"), after admitting that Lacey had "a certain zest for living"; the Judge ended their short meeting by asking: "Are you my pal - "Mr. Scholarship Winner'?" - and Danny agreed: "Yes, sir! I'm your pal!"
  • a major showdown developed in the film's conclusion when Czervik arrogantly called the club a "dump" and a "crummy snobatorium," but offered to buy it; an 18-hole team golf tournament was organized between two pairs of golfers to settle the matter -- Judge Smails (playing with his regular golfing partner Dr. Beeper (Dan Resin)) and Czervik (playing with Ty Webb); a $20,000 bet (that was eventually increased to $40,000 and then to a double-or-nothing bet up to $160,000) was made on the outcome
  • meanwhile, the crazed Spackler gave a speech as he molded clay models of a squirrel and rabbit; he threatened the detestable gopher by planting the plastic explosives (inside clay squirrels and rabbits) that were to be inserted into the gopher holes: ("I have to laugh, because I've often asked myself. My foe, my enemy, is an animal, and in order to conquer him, I have to think like an animal. And, whenever possible, to look like one. I've gotta get inside this dude's pelt and crawl around for a few days. Who is the gopher's ally? His friend? The harmless squirrel and the friendly rabbit. I'm gonna use you guys to do my dirty work for me")
Spackler Preparing and Planting the Plastic Explosives in Clay Squirrels and Rabbits
  • once the tournament commenced, Spackler threatened the animal as he sneakily planted his explosive rabbits and squirrels in the gopher's hole, as he asked his opponent: ("Anybody home? Uh, hello, Mr. Gopher. Yeah, it's me, Mr. Squirrel. Yeah, hi. Uh, just a harmless squirrel, not a plastic explosive or anything, nothing to be worried about. I'm just here to make your last hours on earth as peaceful as possible...In the words of Jean Paul Sartre, 'Au revoir, gopher.' This is gonna be sweet")
  • during the tournament, when Czervik faked an arm injury as an excuse for his poor playing, Danny substituted for him (even though he knew it might jeopardize his scholarship); on his final shot of the game, Danny's putt was perched on the edge of the hole; it was nudged in by a massive, plastic explosives blast set off by Spackler to kill the gopher, and Czervik's team won the game, although the golf course was destroyed in the process
  • Smails (on the losing team) refused to pay off two of Czervik's enforcers Moose and Rocco who were called upon to make him pay up: ("Help the judge find his checkbook"), and he fled as Czervik delivered a curtain-closing invitation: "Hey everybody, we're all gonna get laid!"; in the midst of everything, the unharmed gopher appeared after having survived the explosions

The 'Varmint' in the Opening and Closing Credit Sequences

The Judge's Sexy Niece Lacey Underall (Cindy Morgan)

Bug-eyed Real Estate Developer Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield)

The Dalai Lama Tale

Caddy Danny with Lacey

Danny's Girlfriend Maggie O’Hooligan (Sarah Holcomb), the Snack-Club Waitress

Obnoxious, Wisecracking Loudmouth Club Member Al Czervik at Dinner

Ty's Pickup Line to Slutty Lacey

Ty's Romancing of the Judge's Promiscuous Niece Lacey - An Oil Massage and Back Rub

The 35th Caddy Day Golf Scholarship Competition-Tournament Won by Danny

Czervik's Destructive Cruiser Collided With and Sank the Judge's Small Sloop

Carl's Fantasy: "It's in the Hole!"

Maggie's Declaration to Danny That She Might Be Pregnant

Shortly Later, Maggie Learned She Wasn't Pregnant

Golf Tournament: Danny's Putt Hanging on the Edge of the Final Hole

Explosions Rock the Entire Golf Course

Curtain-Closing Line: "Hey everybody, we're all gonna get laid!"

The Cameraman (1928)

  • co-director/actor Buster Keaton's classic, slapstick dramatic comedy (of eight reels), with a remarkable number of clever and hilarious set-pieces, was his first film (a two-year deal) with a major studio - MGM
  • the opening title card praised the brave and daring News Reel cameramen ("our modern heroes") who "defies death to give us pictures of the world's happenings"; however, the title character was not one of them - but simply a humble, vendor-photographer selling 10 cent tintype portraits on a NYC sidewalk; the infatuated Buster (aka Luke Shannon) (Buster Keaton himself) aspired to become an acclaimed newsreel-cameraman to win over pretty MGM secretary Sally Richards (Marceline Day) who worked in the studio's News Reels division with newsreel MGM cameraman Harold Stagg (Harold Goodwin) under their MGM boss Edward J. Blake (Sidney Bracey)
  • Buster first met MGM employee Sally (and became infatuated with her) when he was interrupted by an MGM camera crew (including Harold) during his day job of taking tintype photos; they were filming famed English swimmer Gertrude Ederle on the street (seen in vintage newsreel footage of a ticker tape celebration); Harold was Buster's rival for Sally's courtship and affection and often mocked Buster's attempts at impressing Sally
Buster Infatuated with Sally Richards
  • to acquire a job at MGM to be closer to Sally, Buster was told that he required a motion picture camera for a trial interview; he rushed to a pawn shop where he traded in his still tintype camera to purchase an obsolete, battered, hand-cranked Pathe silent-film movie camera for $140 dollars, to be prepared to shoot a wide variety of "interesting" subjects for his "chance to break in"; he jumped onto a passing fire engine to take him to the scene of the Grand Central warehouse fire, but it only returned to the fire station; a title card described: "Within an hour he was photographing everything from soup to nuts... mostly the nuts"
  • Buster's first stop was a visit to an empty Yankee Stadium, where he asked the groundskeeper: "Aren't the Yankees playing today?" and was told: "Sure, in St. Louis!"; to simulate sports action, Buster fully-improvised a pantomimed one-man baseball game as he threw make-believe baseballs from the pitching mound, and then pretended to be a batter at home plate who hit a pitch and ran around the bases
  • when Buster's first test film reel was screened for the MGM bosses, he became embarrassed that his footage was double-exposed, or sometimes running backwards or at tilted angles; for example, a female diver dove back up onto her diving board, a battleship floated down Fifth Avenue, pedestrians were being run over by buses and cars, and a parade marched up the Hudson River

Embarrassed and Humiliated Buster

Battleship on 5th Avenue

Pedestrians and Vehicles
  • Buster was dismissed from the screen room, and forlornly left the MGM News Reel office; Sally tried to bolster his confidence in the outer hallway: "Don't be discouraged. No one would ever amount to anything if he didn't try. You must always grind forward... never backward"; Buster hesitantly asked for a next-day date on Sunday to go for a walk together, but Sally said she already had a date, but might call him if she was free
  • on Sunday morning starting at dawn in his sparse, rented one-bedroom unit, while Buster nervously awaited Sally's phone call on his rooming house's shared phone down three flights of stairs, he destructively hammered open his piggy bank to retrieve his last savings; when Sally finally phoned to tell him that her Sunday date was cancelled, he sprinted up Fifth Avenue and the sidewalk as he dodged cars and other pedestrians to enter Sally's all-female boarding house just as she hung up the phone, and then apologized: "I'm sorry if I'm a little late"
  • on their 'date,' Buster and Sally visited the Municipal Plunge - an indoor public swimming pool where Buster entered a small-scale, men's dressing-room in a crowded bathhouse; he was confronted in one of the tiny cubicle-booths by a burly man (Edward Brophy) who wasn't willing to compromise and share the small space; when Buster asserted: "This is my dressing room!", the man threatened: "Shut up... or it'll be your coffin!"; Buster was forced into a corner, became entangled in the man's suspenders and clothing, and eventually ended up on the man's back, who complained: "Will you keep out of my undershirt?"
Struggling in a Public Changing-Room Bathhouse
  • Buster exited the bath-house dressing room, wearing the bigger man's oversized, ill-fitting bathing costume, and soon after lost his suit in the public pool after attempting to impress Sally with a "real fancy dive"; he remained underwater to hide being naked, and made a very deep dive to avoid Sally's request: "Let's get out of here and go walking on the beach"; Harold offered Sally a ride home in his car, forcing Buster to sit in the rumble seat out in the drenching rain (and catching cold)
  • to help Buster, Sally tipped him off in the film office to a holiday celebration in Chinatown; he promised her that he would film the event: "I'll make good this time, Sally"; rushing to the assignment on the sidewalk, Buster literally bumped into an organ grinder and appeared to lethally injure his hurdy-gurdy monkey (Josephine the Monkey); after being forced to buy the dead monkey by a cop, Buster was astounded when the monkey miraculously revived and they teamed up together

Buster With His Revived Hurdy-Gurdy Monkey on His Shoulder

Buster Filming Outbreak of Tong Warfare in Chinatown

Buster In the Midst of Gunfire
  • in Chinatown, Buster discovered an outbreak of a dangerous Tong War with machine gunfire between two gangs; while narrowly avoiding serious injury, Buster was able to capture exciting footage; his day's filming venture ended when he was rescued by the arrival of police, and he bragged to Harold who arrived late: "I took the whole blamed war!"; however, back in the MGM office, Buster realized that he had accidentally forgotten to load his camera with a film cartridge - the boss quipped: "Pretty short war"; Sally was reprimanded by the boss for aiding the clumsy and foolish Buster: "It's all your fault that this fool has been hanging around here!"; Buster sadly promised Sally that he would never bother her again as a way to save her job
  • the next day at the Westport Yacht Club Regatta, Sally had joined Harold in his boat for the competition; Buster had decided to cover the regatta, and while rowing on the water, he accidentally discovered the missing film reel footage in his rowboat; he confirmed with the monkey that the Tong War footage was saved after asking: "Did you change this film box in Chinatown?"; he set up his film camera on the shore and happened to film Sally being thrown from Harold's boat into the water during a rapid turn; Buster redeemed himself by rowing out and rescuing the drowning and unconscious Sally from being hit by Harold's circling runaway boat, even though his own rowboat was rammed and destroyed
  • during a brief absence when Buster raced to a nearby drug-store for first-aid supplies for Sally, Harold took the unconscious Sally into his arms on the shore; when she regained consciousness in his arms, she mistakenly thought: "You're awfully brave to have saved me" - and the cowardly and caddish Harold decided to play along: "What else could a fellow do?"; he had only thought of saving himself and couldn't legitimately take credit for her rescue; when Buster returned to the scene, he watched as a thankful Sally walked off in Harold's arms - and didn't realize that his monkey on-shore was hand-cranking the action
  • the next morning, the dejected Buster sold his film camera back to the pawn shop owner (at a reduced price), and resumed his tintype photography job on the street; he had also offered his film cartridge canister to MGM boss Edward Blake for nothing; following the screening of both the Tong War and the river-rescue footage, the astounded boss exclaimed: "That's the best camera work I've seen in years!"; he ordered Sally to summon Buster: "Get that man here quick!"; she located Buster on the street corner and thanked him: "I'll never be able to thank you enough"; Buster was thoroughly vindicated and had proven himself to be a capable cameraman; she excitedly told him a reception was being planned to honor him: "Everybody's talking about you! They're all waiting to give you a great reception!"

The Vindicated Buster Thanked and Congratulated by Sally

Buster Mistakenly Believed That The Ticker Tape Parade for Charles Lindbergh was for Him!
  • coincidentally, at that very moment on the street, as Sally led Buster back to the MGM office, Buster thought that a ticker-tape parade in progress was being held for him, but instead it was to celebrate famed aviator Charles Lindbergh in 1927
  • [Note: the film was book-ended with newsreel footage: the initial inclusion of newsreel footage was in the early scene as Buster was taking tintype photographs on the sidewalk when he was interrupted by a celebratory parade for English Channel swimmer Gertrude Ederle in 1926 who was seen standing with NYC mayor Jimmy Walker at City Hall.]

Buster - A Sidewalk Tintype Portrait Photographer

Buster with MGM Secretary Sally Richards (Marceline Day)

Buster's Rival Harold Stagg (Harold Goodwin) With Sally

Buster's One-Man Baseball Game in an Empty Yankee Stadium

Buster's First Test Film Reel Screening

Sally Encouraging Buster to Persevere

Dodging Cars to Race to Sally's Boarding House for a Date

With Sally at Municipal Plunge

Nervously Nude in Swimming Pool after Dive

Riding Home in Harold's Rumble Seat in the Rain

Buster Filming the Yacht Club Regatta

Buster Rescuing Sally From Drowning

Cowardly Harold Taking Credit For Sally's Rescue

Monkey Hand-Cranking the Film Camera to Capture Footage of Buster's Rescue of Sally

Cat Ballou (1965)

  • director Elliot Silverstein's satirical western comedy was an adaptation of Roy Chanslor's 1956 serious novel The Ballad of Cat Ballou; the parody western told about the title character hiring a notorious gunman to protect the ranch of her father from pressure by developers (the Wolf City Development Corporation - WCDC) to acquire his land and water rights
  • Columbia Pictures' studio logo was spoofed, when the female torch-bearing lady figure removed her robe and turned into a cartoonish western cowgirl firing her six-guns
Animated Studio Logo
  • the film featured musical interludes from two traveling minstrels (balladeers or troubadours) playing banjos -- the Sunrise Kid (Nat King Cole) and Professor Sam the Shade (Stubby Kaye) who intermittently performed songs and functioned as a 'Greek chorus' to comment upon the action: ("Well now friends. Just lend an ear, for you're now about to hear. The Ballad of Cat Ballou. It's a song that's newly made. And Professor Samuel Shade, and the Sunrise Kid are singing it for you. Cat Ballou-u-u. Cat Ballou-u-u. Cat Ballou-u-u"); the opening credits appeared in the pages of a Police Gazette magazine being read by a bearded old-timer
  • the opening sequence was during preparations for the gallows' hanging-execution of female outlaw Catherine "Cat" Ballou (Jane Fonda), who was jailed in her hometown of Wolf City, WY; Sam and the Sunrise Kid sang: "She killed a man ln Wolf City, Wyoming. Wolf City, Wyoming. Killed a man, it's true. And that is why they're hanging. Hanging Cat Ballou"
  • in flashback, in the year of 1894 after graduating from Sumpqua Normal School, prim and proper schoolteacher Cat Ballou returned home by train, although she was secretly reading a western pulp novel about legendary and notorious outlaw Kid Shelleen ("KID SHELLEEN AND THE MASSACRE OF WHISKEY SLIDE"); enroute, she inadvertently aided the escape of handsome accused cattle rustler Clay Boone (Michael Callan) from Sheriff Maledon (Bruce Cabot), when Boone's associate - drunken Uncle Jed (Dwayne Hickman) disguised as a preacher distracted the lawman

"Uncle Jed" (Dwayne Hickman) with Sheriff Maledon (Bruce Cabot)

Escaped Convicted Cattle Rustler Clay Boone (Michael Callan)

Clay in Cat's Train Berth Hiding From Authorities
  • she was determined to help protect her defenseless father Frankie (John Marley) and his young, mild-mannered, sole ranch hand - a Cherokee named Jackson Two-Bears (Tom Nardini), their well water had already been poisoned (by the dumping of manure into it) to run them off; at the ranch when he appeared "outta nowhere," she briefly met the "muscle" employed by a railroad magnate to acquire her father's land - tough and threatening gunman Tim Strawn (Best Actor-winning Lee Marvin in a dual role) dressed in black with a prosthetic nose; he was known as Silvernose due to his tin nose (after his own was bitten off during a fight); in town, Cat realized that the weak-willed, newly-elected Sheriff Cardigan (Jay C. Flippen) was an ineffective law-enforcer and would be of no help; Jackson suggested to Cat that she hire a protective gunman: "They got a gun fighter. You get a gun fighter"
  • at first, she considered hiring convicted cattle rustler and womanizing Clay Boone whom she had initially met in the film's opening during his escape on the train to Wolf City, and Clay's associate "Uncle" Jed; however, Cat became apprehensive when her initial efforts at protecting the family ranch failed; she decided to wrote a letter to reputed fast-draw gunfighter Kid Shelleen (also type-cast actor Lee Marvin spoofing his own macho image) asking to hire him for $50 dollars - sight unseen - without knowing that he was a whiskey-soaked, staggering drunkard
  • the scene of Kid Shelleen's drunken arrival by stagecoach was a classic, prefaced by Sam and Sunrise mockingly singing about "the fastest gun you've ever seen" - the dusty, semi-conscious gunman was curled up under the back burlap flap of the stagecoach and fell to the ground where he was greeted by Cat and Jackson, and taken in an open buckboard wagon back to the ranch
  • the Kid demonstrated that he was unable to shoot anything ("He did it! He missed the barn!"), although he was a crack shot if he was inebriated (he begged: "If I had one little nip, you know..."); Kid bragged about the good ol' days when he worked with the Wild West Show: "I'll tell you something else, I used to work for the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show and a Congress of Rough Riders. And I rescued many a stagecoach passengers from road agents and drunkard injuns in the nick of time! Twice a day, three times on Saturday"; while shooting at one of his targets, he drew his pistol and his pants fell down; Frankie was unimpressed: "Now I ain't runnin' no dude ranch for misfits and unemployables. You keep him away from me"
  • shortly later at the ranch, Frankie was gunned down outdoors by black-garbed Tim Strawn - who was on horseback at a far distance; after racing after Strawn into town, Cat confronted the hired killer who was sitting on a rocking chair outside the saloon, but she received little support from the corrupt Sheriff to arrest Strawn and bring him to justice; she attempted to shoot Strawn with Clay's revolver, but during a struggle to subdue her, she missed; she vowed to Strawn: "You'll never make me cry!"
  • upon her return home, she discovered that her father's property had been moved out of the house, and the ranch was declared the "Property of Wolf City Development Corp. No Trespassing"; inside, Cat was dismayed to find her father's pine-box coffin with her father smiling; she complained: "My father never smiled like that in his whole life!"; undertaker (Frank DeVol) coldly explained: "Well, he'll smile on now, forever, just as you see him. Free gratis, from the Wolf City Development Corporation"; she vowed revenge when she threatened to leave before morning: "You tell Wolf City that before I'm through, I'm gonna make sure that Sherman's March to the Sea will look like a bird walk"
  • Cat was invited by Clay to join him and his outlaw gang in their hideout, known as the Hole-in-the-Wall; the ineffectual and drunken Kid Shelleen entered the ranch and noticed Frankie's coffin with candlelabras surrounding it; Kid obliviously began singing "Happy Birthday" before blowing out the candles
  • the next morning as Cat rode off with Clay and the others to the hideout (with Kid lying on a litter pulled by a riderless horse), the troubadours sang about the growing legend of Cat Ballou; at the "Hole-in-the-Wall," when Kid was aroused by the local bar and exclaimed: "I smell a waterhole," he entered and was surprised to find that the legendary Butch Cassidy (Arthur Hunnicutt) was a lowly, humble, and aging saloonkeeper; he attempted (without money) to share a drink with him to salute the old times together: (Cassidy: "For old times' sake? That means you got no cash, nothin' doin'!")
  • in order to raise money, the vengeful Cat suggested that the gang rob a train rather than rustle 50 head of cattle, but she faced considerable pushback: ("We're rustlers, not train robbers"); she argued that it would be more lucrative to rob a train: ("Well, if people didn't try something new, there wouldn't be hardly any progress at all"), since they wouldn't have to pay off workers in the slaughterhouse; Cat became angered when everyone rejected her train robbery idea (borrowed from the Kid's robbery plan written about in Chapter 7 of his dime novel); outside, she began throwing rocks at them, and spitefully began a string of name-calling to persuade them: "Some gang! A horse-ranch Indian, a drunken gunfighter, a sex maniac, and an uncle!...Clay Boone and his gang of chicken rustlers. I'm gonna do it alone!"
  • a comical robbery of the Colorado Southern's combination safe by the gang occurred in the baggage car while Sir Harry Percival (Reginald Denny), the owner of the Wolf City Development Co., was taking a bath in his private railroad car; the locomotive was separated from the passenger cars, as mastermind Cat played the part of a grieving widow in the baggage car with a coffin hiding Clay; the train was met by Jackson and Kid Shelleen before the group made their getaway with the company's payroll of $50,000 dollars cash; they were pursued by a sped-up posse in a slapstick sequence; the ballad singers summarized: "Round and round and round they rode Oh, what an episode!"
  • the gang returned to the "Hole-in-the-Wall," but then realized through Cassidy that the money they had stolen belonged to Sir Harry Percival, and that there would be retaliation against the residents of the "Hole-in-the-Wall" if they remained; Tim Strawn made a brief appearance and threatened Cat to return the stolen money to Sir Harry Percival: ("Sir Harry wants his money back! If you wasn't a girl, I'd split you like a chicken"); Kid assured Cat that he would pursue Strawn for a stand-off
Kid Shelleen's Comeback and Training: "No booze!"
  • to prepare to confront Strawn, the Kid struggled to become sober and clean, and vowed to Jackson "no booze"; he practiced his marksmanship, took a hot bath, shaved and wore a slendering girdle as part of his revived, silver-vested gunfighter outfit (with a silver-buckled holster belt)
  • in town, the Kid confronted Tim Strawn in an upstairs brothel room and shot him dead; then, he returned to the gang and entered the saloon, disguised as the black clad assassin with a silver nose to fool everyone; he revealed to the gang that he and Strawn were twin brothers; they also learned that Sir Percival had assembled an army of at least 50 goons to pursue them
  • Cat posed as a prostitute and visited Sir Percival in his private railroad car; she approached him, enticingly revealing that she was wearing a low-cut dress ("You like our wide open spaces"), and telling him that her name was Trixie; she asked about a nude painting on his ceiling and was told: "Yes, that's a Tintoretto"; suddenly in his master bedroom, she revealed her true identity as the daughter of Frankie Ballou; she demanded, at gunpoint, that he sign a confession that he had hired Strawn to murder her father; when he resisted and they struggled for her Derringer, Sir Percival was shot dead
Vengeful Cat Posing as Trixie - a Prostitute - to Confront and Kill Sir Percival
  • the film returned to the present - with Cat in jail in Wolf City, awaiting her execution by hanging; the townspeople were not sympathetic, since the death of Percival brought economic hardship to the town, as explained by Sheriff Cardigan: ("You can't blame them, can ya? Killin' Sir Harry put the kibosh on the whole slaughterhouse, didn't it? No jobs. No payroll. You took the bread out of half of the mouths of Wolf City. You haven't got a friend in the world")
  • as Cat - wearing a white dress - was about to be hung (with the noose around her neck), preacher-disguised "Uncle" Jed appeared to lead her from the jail; Jackson was also disguised as an undertaker; everyone was also counting on the Kid's help, but they were disappointed when the Kid with bloodshot red eyes was discovered by Jackson in a drunken stupor on his horse (with crossed front legs) leaning and slumped against a brick building wall
  • after Cat's last words: "Let's get on with it," Jed cut the noose rope, and Cat safely dropped through the gallows' trap-door into a wagon (prepared for her coffin); she was caught in the air by Clay, who whisked her into Jackson's horse-drawn hearse before the entire gang rode off, with the Kid firing his pistol and following in a half-horizontal position atop his horse

Cat Ballou Led to the Gallows to Be Hanged

"Let's get on with it!"

The Kid Helping With Cat's Rescue
  • the two singers ended the film with a song about Cat's growing legend: "So she rode away, just where now is a mystery / But Cat rode into history and her legend grew / She was the Queen of the outlaws / Her Highness Cat Ballou / Cat Ballou, Cat Ballou / Well, our story now is through / We'll say farewell to Cat Ballou"

Two Troubadours (Nat King Cole and Stubby Kaye)

Cat Ballou Title Credits

Cat Returning Home by Train to Wolf City, WY to Be a Schoolteacher

(l to r): Jackson Two-Bears (Tom Nardini), Frankie Ballou (John Marley), and Cat

Cat's First View of Ominous Hired Gun Tim Strawn

Jackson's Advice to Cat: "They got a gunfighter. You get a gunfighter"

Arrival of Druken Kid Shelleen In Back of Stagecoach - and On the Ground

Completely Inept and Not Worth $50 Dollars

Tim Strawn After Gunning Down Cat's Father Frankie

Cat's Anger and Vow to Seek Revenge For Her Father's Death

Kid Shelleen Blowing Out Frankie's Funeral Candles - Mistaking Them for a Birthday Party Celebration

Cassidy Refusing Free Drinks for Kid Shelleen at the Hole-In-The-Wall Hideout

Cat's Suggestion to Rob a Train Rather Than Rustle Cattle

Sir Harry Percival In His Private Bath Train Car During the Train Robbery

Strawn's Threat to Cat to Return the Stolen Money to Sir Percival ("If you wasn't a girl...")

Cat Jailed and About to be Executed by Hanging For the Murder of Sir Percival

Kid Shelleen Leaning and Drunken on Horse Against Brick Building Wall

Chasing Amy (1997)

  • this low-budget independent film comedy-drama from writer/director Kevin Smith was an honest and appealing story of opposites-attract love between two New Jersey comic-book artists: heterosexual comic book writer Holden McNeil (Ben Affleck) and another comic-book creator in the profession named Alyssa Jones (Joey Lauren Adams), a lesbian-identified bi-sexual; critics of the controversial film felt that Alyssa's 'conversion' to heterosexuality was writer/director Kevin Smith's assertion that lesbianism was reversible
  • the film opened during a NYC comic-book convention where Holden and his homophobic buddy, another comic book artist named Banky Edwards (Jason Lee), were promoting their latest comic series Bluntman and Chronic; during a panel seminar at the comic convention, militant black activist Hooper X Lamont (Dwight Ewell), author of the comic White-Hatin' Coon, lectured about how Star Wars was a racist film: "Those movies are about how the white man keeps the brother man down, even in a galaxy far, far away. Check this s--t: You got cracker farm boy Luke Skywalker, Nazi poster boy, blond hair, blue eyes. And then you got Darth Vader, the blackest brother in the galaxy, Nubian god!"
  • Banky asked an ill-advised question: "What's a Nubian?"; his question was followed by Hooper's elucidating reply: "Vader, he's a spiritual brother, y'know, down with the force and all that good s--t. Then this cracker, Skywalker, gets his hands on a light saber and the boy decides he's gonna run the f--kin' universe; gets a whole clan of whites together. And they go and bust up Vader's hood, the Death Star. Now what the f--k do you call that?...Gentrification! They gon' drive out the black element to make the galaxy quote, unquote, safe for white folks. And Jedi's the most insulting installment! Because Vader's beautiful black visage is sullied when he pulls off his mask to reveal a feeble, crusty, old white man! They tryin' to tell us that deep inside we all wants to be white!"
  • when Banky replied: "Well, isn't that true?", Hooper pulled out a gun and shot Banky while crying out: "Black Rage!" (it was only a set-up)
  • at the convention, they met another struggling, comic-book artist Alyssa Jones, who was friends with Hooper; that evening, the foursome of Holden, Banky, Alyssa, and Hooper X went for drinks at a local bar, where an attraction began to develop between Holden and Alyssa during a dart game
  • later, Alyssa invited Holden (with Banky tailing along) to another bar that she often visited - he didn't know it was a dyke bar; Alyssa was brought onstage: ("Get up here and sing, bitch") to perform the song "Alive" ("I want to feel passion, I want to feel pain") dedicated "for that someone special out there." Shockingly, the "special" person turned out to not be Holden but Kim (Carmen Llywelyn) - a platinum-blonde dyke wearing a white T-shirt who was watching in the audience
  • after the song finished, Alyssa pointed to the admiring woman, beckoning with one finger for her to come forward; the lesbian couple then kissed while Holden did a double-take as he looked on in disbelief (he mistakenly thought the love song was for him); Banky applauded and then said about the pairing: "Hot! Now that, my friend, is a shared moment." The lesbian couple continued to get "mushy" and kiss each other, as the two guys shared their booth table in the club, when the wide-eyed Banky confessed: "When are we ever gonna get a chance to see this kind of s--t live without paying for it?"
  • as their honest sexual banter (typical of the entire film) continued in the bar booth, Alyssa described to an incredulous Banky how she could 'f--k' the other woman without strap-ons, explaining: "F--king is not limited to penetration, Banky. For me, it describes any sex when it's not totally about love. I don't love Kim, but I'll f--k her. I'm sure you don't love every girl you sleep with"
  • one of the film's most memorable scenes followed - a parody of a similar scene in Jaws (1975), in which Banky and Alyssa revealed their sexual scars from past oral sex encounters (Banky's broken tooth, Alyssa's back scar from a heel wound, Banky's injured neck, and Alyssa's scarred knee)
  • during their growing relationship, while sitting on playground swings together, Holden and Alyssa discussed and debated definitions of virginity - the experienced Alyssa forced the conservative-minded Holden (who at first stated that a person remained a virgin until they had intercourse with a member of the opposite sex) to often revise his "standard definition." Alyssa stated her own belief: "I think virginity is lost when you make love for the first time." Both of them discussed extenuating circumstances that blurred the definition, such as rape, or a broken hymen, or non-penetrative lesbian sex, or anal sex
  • Banky (who was jealously miffed at Holden's strong interest in dykish Alyssa) discussed a scenario involving four individuals on a four-way road with a $100 dollar bill in the road's intersection: a male-friendly lesbian, a man-hating dyke, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny; he asked Holden: "Which one is going to get to the hundred dollar bill first?"; when Holden answered the man-hating dyke, Banky congratulated him for having the right answer and explained: "Because the other three are figments of your f--king imagination!"; his implication was that Alyssa would never become a male-friendly lesbian, but was rather a man-hating dyke; Banky blew up at Holden: "What is it about this girl, man? You know you have no shot at getting her into bed. Why do you bother wasting time with her?"
  • Banky was beginning to develop feelings of romantic jealousy (as a closeted homosexual), and he described how he risked losing his close friendship with Holden: ("This relationship is affecting you, our work and our friendship and the time's gonna come when I throw down the gauntlet and say it's me or her. Then what are you gonna say?...Would you trash twenty years of f--kin' friendship because you got some idiotic notion that this chick would even let you sniff her panties, let alone f--k her?...What the f--k makes this bitch all that important?"); Holden was forced to admit that he was in love with Alyssa
  • soon, Holden was pursuing Alyssa even in spite of her sexual leanings; no longer able to hold back his feelings, he confessed his love to her in a long speech; he stopped his car, turned to her, and blurted out: "I love you....I love you. And not, not in a friendly way, although I think we're great friends. And not in a misplaced affection, puppy-dog way, although I'm sure that's what you'll call it. I love you. Very, very simple, very truly. You are the-the epitome of everything I have ever looked for in another human being. And I know that you think of me as just a friend, and crossing that line is-is-is the furthest thing from an option you would ever consider. But - I had to say it...I know that some part of you is hesitating for a moment, and if there's a moment of hesitation, then that means you feel something too. And all I ask, please, is that you just - you just not dismiss that, and try to dwell in it for just ten seconds"
Holden's Speech, Professing His Love for Alyssa
  • after his heart-felt confession, in the pouring rain, Alyssa unburdened her own feelings to him about his "crush" on her: "No, it's unfortunate that you're in love with me. It's unfair that you felt the f--king need to unburden your soul about it. Do you remember for a f--king second who I am?...THERE'S NO 'PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT,' HOLDEN! I'M F--KING GAY! THAT'S WHO I AM! AND YOU ASSUME I CAN TURN THAT AROUND JUST BECAUSE YOU'VE GOT A CRUSH?"; after dismissing him, she ran back into Holden's arms and passionately kissed him before they had sex together
  • Alyssa explained how she had made a conscious decision in her sexual decision-making to be open to lesbianism: "There were no examples set for me in the world of male-female relationships. And to cut oneself off from finding that person, to immediately halve your options by eliminating the possibility of finding that one person within your own gender, that just seemed stupid to me. So I didn't. But then you came along. You, the one least likely. I mean, you were a guy....And while I was falling for you I put a ceiling on that, because you were a guy. Until I remembered why I opened the door to women in the first place: to not limit the likelihood of finding that one person who'd complement me so completely. So here we are. I was thorough when I looked for you. And I feel justified lying in your arms, 'cause I got here on my own terms, and I have no question there was some place I didn't look. And for me that makes all the difference"
  • a roadblock to their gender-transcended relationship surfaced when Holden questioned her sexual past (he learned that it was one of wild experimentation and adventurous sex; she had acquired the nickname 'Finger Cuffs' after engaging in a menage a trois threesome with two guys during HS - Rick Darris and Cohee Lundin (John Willyung), involving both oral sex and intercourse simultaneously: (Cohee: "So Rick's the one that come up with the nickname, cause that day she had us locked in tight from both sides like a pair of god-damned Chinese finger cuffs!")

Flashback: The Origin of Alyssa's Nickname in HS Told by Cohee Lundin (John Willyung)

Alyssa to Holden: "I was an experimental girl, for Christ's sake!"
  • when the conservative-minded Holden confronted Alyssa about her high-school promiscuity ten years earlier and how she had been "used," Alyssa vehemently defended herself: ("You don't think I would've let it happen if I hadn't've wanted to, do you? I was an experimental girl, for Christ's sake! Maybe you knew early on that your track was from point A to B, but unlike you, I was not given a f--king map at birth, so I tried it all! That is until we, that's you and I, got together and suddenly I was sated! Can't you take some f--king comfort in that? You turned out to be all I was ever looking for - the missing piece in the big f--king puzzle!"); Holden ended their conversation by stating his hope: "I want us to be something that we can't...A normal couple"
  • after Holden's conversation with Alyssa, during lunch at a local diner with local stoners and drug dealers Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith), Holden listened as Silent Bob told about his own past romantic relationships; he happened to explain the reason for the film's title when he descibed dating someone named Amy; Silent Bob confessed that his insecurities (similar to Holden's) about his girlfriend Amy's past sexual escapades, adventures, and history unfortunately led to their inevitable break-up when he mistakenly and regretfully pushed her away: ("So I've spent every day since then chasing Amy... So to speak")
  • Holden gathered both Alyssa and Banky together and suggested a threesome as a solution to resolve all of their issues: ("I know what we have to do. And then you - Bank, you Alyssa, and I - all of us can finally be alright...We've all got to have sex together"); his proposal was not well received by Alyssa who promised to always love Holden, but said she could not agree to any more sexual experimentation: ("I'm past that now. Or maybe I just love you too much. And I feel hurt and let down that you'd want to share me with anyone. Because I never wanted to share you. Regardless, I can't be a part of this. Or you. Not anymore I love you. I always will. Know that. (She slapped him) But I'm not your f--kin' whore"); she then stormed off to move on with her life - they were all left to live their separate lives

At NYC Comic-Book Convention, Banky's Question: "What's a Nubian?"

Black Activist Hooper's Reply About Star Wars Being Racist

Banky (Jason Lee), Kim (Carmen Llywelyn) and Holden (Ben Affleck) in the Audience

Two Dykes Kissing: (l to r): Kim (Carmen Llywelyn) and Alyssa (Joey Lauren Adams)

In the Bar Booth, Holden and Banky Watched the Two Lesbians Kiss: ("When are we ever gonna get a chance to see this kind of s--t without paying for it?")

Banky and Alyssa Sharing Oral Sex Battle Scars

Holden and Alyssa Discussing the Definition of Virginity

Banky's Scenario About a $100 Dollar Bill at a Crossroads

Alyssa to Holden After His Confession of Love: "I'm f--king gay!"

Alyssa's Past Reputation and Nickname: 'Finger Cuffs'

Silent Bob's Explanation of the Film's Title: "Chasing Amy"

Holden's Preposterous Proposed Solution to the Threesome's Problems: "We've all got to have sex together"

Chicken Run (2000, UK/US)

  • the UK's Aardman Studio's claymation adventure film directed by Peter Lord and Nick Park was the studio's first feature-length film. It told of the plight of the doomed feathered inhabitants of a chicken farm - it was a comical escape drama set in 1960s England, based upon the plot of The Great Escape (1963), Stalag 17 (1953), and The Flight of the Phoenix (1965), with the taglines: "THERE'S NOTHING MORE DETERMINED THAN POULTRY WITH A PLAN", and the humorous: "This ain't no chick flick!"
  • in the film's opening, there were repeated futile and disastrous attempts of fiesty, tough-minded heroine and plucky chicken leader Ginger (voice of Julie Sawalha) to escape from her 'WWII-type POW or concentration camp' chicken coops (with numbered coops, roll calls, barbed wire and a high fence) located in Yorkshire, England; as punishment after being caught by dim-witted farmer Mr. Tweedy (voice of Tony Haygarth), she was thrown into a coal bin and suffered solitary confinement
  • the rustic, egg-laying chicken farm business with guard dogs was operated by dim-witted Mr. Tweedy and his hen-pecking wife - evil, money-hungry Mrs. Tweedy (voice of Miranda Richardson) - two malevolent versions of the 'American Gothic' painting; although Mr. Tweedy was suspicious that the chickens were getting organized to escape, Mrs. Tweedy shot down his ridiculous notions: "They're chickens, you dolt! Apart from you, they're the most stupid creatures on this planet. They don't plot, they don't scheme, and they are not organised!"
  • there was the unusually grim, memorable execution by Mrs. Tweedy of chicken Edwina (#282) when she failed to lay eggs and she was singled out of the group of hens. Mr. Tweedy snatched bug-eyed, fearful Edwina from the group and she was brought to Mrs. Tweedy (who donned red rubber gloves) outside a wooden shed; in silhouette, Mrs. Tweedy's shadow was seen raising the axe above a chopping block. There was a dull whack sound (off-screen) as the axe cut off Edwina's neck. It caused all of the chickens on the farm to slightly flinch; a fterwards, Edwina's gruesome fate was revealed as a pile of chicken bones on the Tweedy's dinner table
Edwina's Head Chopping Execution
  • swaggering, smooth-talking, Rhode Island Red cockerel, a would-be swashbuckling American Yankee rooster named Rocky (voiced by Mel Gibson), flew over the fence and accidentally crashed into the coop; to the enamoured hens, he introduced himself with roguish swagger: ("The name's Rocky. Rocky the Rhode Island Red. Rhodes for short...Catchy, ain't it?"), and explained why he came to England: ("Why, all the beautiful English chicks, of course")
Rocky with Chicks
  • the audacious Rocky falsely claimed that he could fly (after Ginger saw a circus poster of him appearing to fly); Ginger (often called "Dollface" by Rocky) bargained with Rocky, promising to hide him from his circus owners if he helped the chickens escape; he blamed an injured wing for a delay in their rescue, and meanwhile spent many hours of ineffectual flight training for the chickens with aerobics and Tae-bo-like exercises
  • after a long day of exercises and trying to fly, Rocky suggested that the hens take a break ("We've been workin' too hard. Time to kick back a bit, shake all the tail feathers...That's called a beat, sister, feel it pulsin' through your body?...Well, go with it, baby"), and most of the chickens irresistibly began to dance, to the tune of "Flip Flop and Fly"
  • a turning point came in the film when a giant 18-wheel truck delivered a modern, Rube Goldberg-like, automated chicken pie-making machine; the chickens became suspicious when the Tweedys doubled the chickens' rations to fatten them up before slaughtering them in the barn; dim-witted, innocent and bumbling Babs (voice of Jane Horrocks) objected: "I don't want to be a pie! I don't like gravy";- she was disappointed after a near-death experience: "All me life flashed before me eyes... it was really boring"
  • the Tweedys kidnapped Ginger to test her in their new pie-making machine ("Chickens go in, pies go out"); she promised her husband: "In less than a fortnight, every grocers' in the county will be stocked with box upon box of Mrs. Tweedy's Homemade Chicken Pies"; when he objected to being excluded, Mrs. Tweedy explained: "Woman's touch. Makes the public feel more comfortable"
  • Rocky daringly rescued Ginger, but they were both in danger of becoming chicken pie ingredients: ("It's like an oven in here"), before he was able to temporarily sabotage the machine by clogging the gravy sprayer
  • however, Rocky's bravado and bold promises were just a charade - the second half of his torn circus poster revealed that he was actually a stunt cockerel who was shot from a cannon (he couldn't independently "fly" on his own); the cowardly and disgraced Rocky fled from the farm
  • Ginger took charge of the chickens and organized them to assemble and build an airplane (constructed from chicken coops using stolen tools from Mr. Tweedy) to fly out on their own, using pictures and the personal memories of RAF planes flown by elderly, curmudgeonly war vet cockerel Fowler (voiced by Benjamin Whitrow) during the war; it was a race against time to build the flying machine before the Tweedys' pie machine was repaired
  • as lightning struck, Mrs. Tweedy ominously ordered her husband to "get the chickens...all of them!" to feed into their fixed pie machine; Ginger led the chickens to assault Mr. Tweedy when he entered the barn to retrieve the chickens and shockingly realized they had organized themselves - he was attacked, tied up, and gagged; Ginger urged on the nervous chickens: "Listen, we'll either die free chickens, or die trying"
  • in the crowd-pleasing climax, Rocky (with a tweaked conscience after viewing a controversial ad for the chicken pies), redeemed himself and returned just in time to help the chickens; they launched the chicken-shaped flying aircraft (the Old Crate) into the air to battle the Tweedys
  • "hard-boiled egg" chicken heroine Ginger rewarded American "Lone Free Ranger" Rocky's timely return with a tremendous slap. He had conned the chickens of Mrs. Tweedy's Chicken Farm, fooling them into thinking he could fly and could teach them how, so that all could escape. She angrily told him: "THAT'S for leaving!" Then, Ginger softly cooed, as she drew him near to kiss: "And THIS is for coming back!"
  • their kiss was interrupted by the jolt of Mrs. Tweedy clinging to and climbing up the Christmas lights rope attached to the plane that they were flying; she swiped her hatchet-axe at Ginger -- momentarily, it seemed as if Ginger had been beheaded, but revealed she'd ducked and tricked Tweedy into severing the line, causing Mrs. Tweedy to plunge head-first into a safety-valve vent of her own pie-making machine; the entire machine exploded from a build-up of pressure, covering the entire farm with gravy, as the chickens flew to freedom, and Mr. Tweedy smugly told his gravy-covered wife: "I told you they was organized!"
Final Defeat of Mrs. Tweedy

Axe-Swiping Mrs. Tweedy

Ginger Beheaded?

Ginger With the Severed Christmas Tree Lights Line

Mrs. Tweedy Falling From the Plane

Head-First into Pie-Making Vent

Upside-Down Inside Machine
  • after Mrs. Tweedy was disposed of, Ginger tackled Rocky to the ground and they kissed off-screen, as the rest of the chickens sighed: "Awwwwwwwwwwwwww..."'; in the film's epilogue, the chickens reached the safety of a bird sanctuary, where Rocky and Ginger became a couple
  • during the end credits, the two black-marketing, contraband-smuggling, wisecracking rodent-rats Nick (voice of Timothy Spall) and Fetcher (voice of Phil Daniels) made plans plans to open up their own chicken farm to supply them with eggs; however, they became engaged in an endless chicken-and-egg debate: (Fetcher: "If you don't have a chicken, where are you gonna get an egg?" Nick: "From the chicken that comes from the egg." Fetcher: "Yeah, but you have to have an egg to have a chicken." Nick: "Yeah, but you've got to get the chicken first to get the egg, and then you get the egg..."); earlier during the film, they had numerous quotable lines: ("Birds of a feather flop together!", "Is that your first of-fence?", "Poultry in motion!")

WWII POW-Styled Chicken Coop Camp

Ginger Caught by Mr. Tweedy Trying to Escape and Thrown Into Coal Bin for Solitary Confinement

Roll Call With Mrs. Tweedy (voice of Miranda Richardson)

Flight School Exercises and Training for the Chickens

"Shake Your Tail Feathers"

Babs: "I don't want to be a pie"

Ginger Used as a Test Chicken in the Pie-Making Machine

Rocky's Rescue of Ginger in a Test Run Inside of the Pie Machine

The Threat of the Chicken Pie-Making Machine

Rocky's "Nick of Time" Return to Help the Chickens

The Flying Machine - With Ginger and Rocky Hanging on the Trailing Christmas Tree Lights

Mrs. Tweedy Hanging On to the End of the Light String

The End Credits: Chicken-and-Egg Debate

A Chump at Oxford (1940)

  • Hal Roach Studios and director Alfred J. Goulding's full-length Laurel and Hardy slapstick campus comedy (at 62 minutes) was their first film released by United Artists; it was a parody of the earlier British-MGM comedic drama A Yank at Oxford (1938) starring Robert Taylor
  • in the opening sequence (a tacked-on segment resembling the same material in the duo's short From Soup to Nuts (1928)), two perpetually poor, down-on-their-luck and unemployed partners were temporarily hired by the Sterling Employment Agency to serve at a lavish dinner party at the snooty Vandeveres: Mr. "Baldy" Vandervere and his wife (James Finlayson and Anita Garvin); the two met the qualifications for being hired by masquerading as a married couple - a butler (Ollie) and maid named "Agnes" (Stan in drag disguise)
  • the dinner party was a disastrous fiasco - Stan ate the hors d'oeuvres on a tray he was carrying and spilled its entire contents on Mrs. Vandevere's lap; Ollie summoned everyone to dinner with musical bells: "There's everything from soup to nuts, folks. Come and get it" and then turned fussy about changing all the seating arrangements; meanwhile, "Agnes" misunderstood Mr. Vandevere's instructions and drank all the contents of the left-over cocktails and became completely inebriated; when told by Mr. Vandevere to "serve the salad without any dressing"; he complied wearing only his underwear; the occasion ended up with the exasperated Mr. Vandevere throwing them out by threatening them with a shotgun
  • they had to resort to lowly street sweeping "in the gutter" literally, and during a 12 noon lunch break, the suddenly self-aware Stan explained what their problem was - and why they had never succeeded in life or had solid jobs: ("You know what the trouble is, don't you? We've never had no education. That's what's the matter. You see, we're not illiterate enough....You see, if we went to school like other people, we-we would learn our three Rs, and today there'd be no job too small for us. Believe me"); they decided to attend night school to get ahead and remedy their illiteracy
  • after inadvertently foiling a theft by a robber (Rex Lease) as he fled the Farmers & Merchants Bank of Commerce and slipped on Stan's discarded banana peel on the sidewalk, the two were offered a job at the bank as repayment by the grateful bank's president (Forbes Murray); however, Ollie declined the offer: "You see, we haven't got any education. Have we, Stan?"
  • instead, the duo (who were considered "diamonds in the rough") were presented with an all-expenses-paid educational scholarship at England's Oxford University: ("If it's an education you want, you shall have the finest that money can buy"); the two traveled by ocean liner from New York to Southampton, and then took a steam-powered train north to Oxford
  • the two misfits or "chumps" became the subject of numerous hazing (or "royal initiation") pranks pulled on them by four younger bullying students led by Student Johnson (Gerald Rogers), partially because they arrived mistakenly dressed as Eton College students (an entirely different public school in Berkshire, England); Stan misunderstood when told: "You're dressed for Eton" and he replied: "Swell, we haven't eaten since breakfast"

Students at Oxford Plotting a "Royal Initiation" for Stan and Ollie ("chumps")

The Mazelike Hedge

Ghost's Hand Reaching Through the Hedge to Help Stan Light and Smoke His Pipe
  • during one of the students' practical jokes on their first day, they were directed into a mazelike hedge and became thoroughly lost; inside the maze, Ollie proposed a way to get out: "Now, you go to the left and I'll go to the right. And whoever finds the exit first, comes back and gets the other one"; after they separated and Stan found the exit, he shouted out to Ollie, who then responded: "Where are you?" - Stan replied: "I'm here! Where are you?"; Ollie answered: "I'm here!", but Stan was flabbergasted: "How can you be here if I'm here?"; he told Ollie that he would come find him after locating himself: "I will as soon as I can find myself...I can't be in two places at once"
  • still lost at midnight in the dark and "haunted" hedge maze, they both decided to sit down and attempted to sleep on a bench; the two became spooked by one of the students dressed up as a Ghost (Eddie Borden) who reached out through the hedge and became a third hand to annoy Stan; nonchalantly, he told a disbelieving Ollie: "I just saw three hands" before the additional hand helped him to light and smoke his pipe and (exploding) cigar!; Ollie dismissed the phenomenon as one of Stan's "dizzy spells" but then, both suffered a fright when the Ghost sat down next to them and chased after them
  • the next morning at 9 am, the two "chumps" were fooled by Johnson who claimed he was "Dr. Ramsbottom," but was impersonating the University's Dean Williams (Wilfred Lucas); the two duped first-year students thought they were being escorted in an elaborate procession to their dorm room, but actually were offered the Dean's own residence: ("Well, gentlemen, these are your quarters. Now, don't be afraid to make yourselves at home"); both Stan and Ollie were impressed by their new "swell joint": (Stan: "Lovely. No wonder people go to school. A nice place to live in like this, and no flies or nothin'")
  • when the real Dean was astonished to find the pair in his bed, he overheard them making desultory comments about his portrait of the Dean on the wall, calling him an "old buzzard" and "old cockroach" with a monkey face; Stan and Ollie continued to insult him, squirted him with seltzer water, and hit him with a pillow (and sent feathers flying into the air) when he ordered them to "get out of my quarters, I tell you!"
  • to escape punishment for themselves, the two reported on their mischievous classmates, and the Dean threatened to expel them: ("This is the most disgraceful outrage ever perpetrated at Oxford"); the students plotted revenge against the "dirty dogs" to coerce them to not testify against them: ("We'll see they're not here tomorrow to testify. Snitchers have no place in Oxford")
  • after the Dean's valet Meredith (Forrester Harvey) helped the boys to new quarters, he described how Stan resembled a former Lordship at the university - "the greatest athlete and scholar this university ever boasted of"; Stan refuted the claim as did Ollie who couldn't picture his pal Stan as a Lord who was talented in both athletic abilities and scholarship: ("Why, I've known him for years and he's the dumbest guy I ever saw")
  • Meredith continued to explain that years earlier, the aristocratic, erudite but snobbish academic Oxford scholar and athlete Lord Paddington suffered a blow to his head from a window in that very room, became an amnesiac, and wandered off from the university: ("When you came to, you'd lost your memory and wandered away from the university. We never saw or heard of you from that day to this"); Meredith hoped to restore Stan to his past self: "Oh, if I could only bring your memory back. Maybe one of these days, some of your peculiar mannerisms may show up" - a reference to Lord Paddington's outstanding ability to wiggle his ears when he became angry and was able to "fight like a demon"
  • when an angry group of students arrived, they were chanting revenge: "Fee, fi, fo, fum We want the blood of an American....We'll cut their throats and take out their tongues, We'll chew them up like chewing gum"; Johnson instructed the group to assault the chumps: "We'll go up and make them jump out of the window, and if they won't jump, we'll take off their breeches and throw them out!"
  • while escaping, the simple-minded, loveable and bumbling Stan suffered a blow to his head ("cranium") while trying to exit a window, and was instantly transformed into his haughty, brilliant and arrogant alter ego - earlier described by Meredith; the valet became ecstatic about the change: "You've got your memory back. You know me!... Oh, it's a miracle! A miracle!"
  • "Lord Paddington" confronted the students and demanded an apology; he also turned angry, wiggled his ears, and fought "like a demon" by physically tossing each student out of the window into a blanket-net below that catapulted them into a nearby pond; Ollie - who was unrecognizable to Stan ("Lord Paddington") also suffered the same fate; afterwards, with regal bearing as he stuffed his hankie into his sleeve, Paddington ordered Meredith to bring tea and crumpets
  • Ollie was incensed when his old pal Stanley didn't know him and treated him unfairly: "Who is this coarse person with the foreign accent?"; when Ollie asked: "Why Stan, don't ya know me?", Stan replied: "KNOW you? Why, I never saw you before in all my life"; after Ollie reminded him of their past: "Don't you remember? We used to sweep the streets together," Stan was dismissive: "Sweep the stree...? How DARE you! How DARE you make such slurring remarks! Meredith, show this common person the egress and eject him forcibly"; Ollie had no choice but to agree to become His Lordship Paddington's personal manservant-valet with the name "Fatty"
  • Ollie was continually treated with condescension and called slovenly (a "dummy," "horribly stupid" and "rather thick") by Lord Paddington; His Lordship was considered such a genius that brilliant Princeton professor and scientist Albert Einstein, who was "confused" and requested a lunch meeting to ask for advice about his theory, was told that Paddington's schedule was too busy until the following Wednesday; Ollie became upset by continued insults, musing to himself: "If it wasn't for that bump on the head, he wouldn't know Einstein from a beer stein"
  • the last straw was when Ollie was ordered to march around the room with his "chins up" while carrying a tea tray: ("Well, uh, you don't seem to have the dignity becoming of a lackey. Uhh, no poise. Uh, you don't walk right or something there. Uh, let me see, uh... uh... Pull in your stomach. That's better. Now, now throw... throw your shoulders back. That's fine. Now, uh, chin up. Chin up. No-no-no-no. Both of them. Both"); as a result, when Ollie walked around, he stumbled over a hassock and dropped his tea service tray, while Paddington reprimanded him: "Now look what you've done, clumsy!"
  • after being treated with only criticisms by his vain employer, the resentful Ollie finally lashed out: ("I've had enough! When I knew you, I had more brains in my little finger than you had in your whole carcass, even with your overcoat on!...I'm through! You can take your lordships, your Oxford and your Paddingtons and do what you like with them!...And there's one more thing too! I didn't like that double chin crack!")
  • at that moment, Paddington stuck his head out the window and experienced another head injury when the window sill suddenly dropped down; he was transformed back into his nit-wit self as Stan; meanwhile, Ollie was packing his bags and threatening to leave: ("I'm gonna get my clothes and catch the first boat back....Back to America for me!"); Stan begged, whimpered and cried as he saw Ollie getting ready to leave: "Aren't you going to take me with you?"; Ollie happily hugged and was reunited with his old friend ("Stan, you know me!"), as Stan replied: "Of course I know you. What's the matter? You got one of those dizzy spells?"

Stan and Ollie at an Employment Agency

Masquerading as a Married Couple - a Butler and Maid at the Vandeveres

Stan Serving the Salad - In His Underwear

Stan and Ollie Foiling a Bank Robber

Arrival at Oxford, But Dressed for Eton

Ollie Confronted by Ghost in Maze

Stan and Ollie Relaxing in the Dean's Bed in His Residence

Confronted by the Dean in His Bedroom - and Striking Him With a Feather Pillow

Stan Transformed into Lord Paddington After A Bump on the Head from a Window

"Lord Paddington" Confronting the Vengeful Students - Wiggling His Ears and Fighting Like a Demon

Ollie to Stan: "Why Stan, don't ya know me?"

Ollie Treated with Condescension by His Lordship, as a Teatray-Carrying Valet Named "Fatty"

Transformed, Whimpering Stan to Ollie: "Aren't you going to take me with you?"

The Circus (1928)

  • in writer/director/actor Charlie Chaplin's bittersweet romantic comedy - an underrated, overlooked and captivating award-winning silent film; The Circus was Chaplin's last truly silent film; it came between two other Chaplin masterpieces: The Gold Rush (1925) and City Lights (1931); the classic film premiered at an inopportune time - Chaplin had experienced a series of film production disasters, and was enduring a highly publicized scandalous divorce (in late August 1927) from his very young, twice-pregnant, second wife Lita Grey, with accusations against Chaplin of adultery and non-payment of back taxes; it also premiered at the time of the demise of silents, with the contemporary release of Warners' talkie The Jazz Singer (1927); however, it deservedly won a "special" Academy Award for "Versatility And Genius In Writing, Acting, Directing, And Producing"
  • during the opening title credits of the film's 1969 re-release, 79 year-old Chaplin wrote and sang a defiant theme-song anthem titled "Swing Little Girl" - referring to one of the female circus performers, who was high up in a circus tent and swinging back and forth

Circus Equestrienne Merna (Merna Kennedy)

Circus Proprietor/Ringmaster (Al Garcia) - Merna's Stepfather
  • in the film's iris-shaped opening scene set in the center of a circus ring, costumed bareback rider Merna (Merna Kennedy) burst through a large paper hoop-ring with a black star; her brutish ringmaster stepfather (Al Garcia), the mustached proprietor of the failing circus, became unusually enraged when she missed a paper-starred hoop on her second attempt riding around the ring; backstage, the despotic circus owner punished her with a verbal thrashing and violently pushed her into another paper star; she ripped through it, and then despairingly sat inside the hoop looking miserable and humiliated; he added that she would be deprived of food: ("So you missed the hoop again!...For that you don't eat tonight!”)
  • the next act in the pathetic and desperate circus consisted of five overweight, unfunny and elderly clowns led by a sad-looking 'Old Clown' (Henry Bergman), who were chastized by the Ringmaster when they left the spotlight ("And you're supposed to be funny! Look at that house; empty!")
  • the down-on-his-luck, "hungry and broke," destitute TRAMP (Charlie Chaplin) hobo character was introduced outside the circus tent in the midway area with side-shows; within the gathered crowd, the police were watching a pickpocket-crook (Steve Murphy); in the brilliantly-choreographed slapstick scene, the about-to-be-apprehended thief, who had been working the crowd, knew he was going to be caught with purloined goods; the pickpocket transferred a stolen wallet and pocketwatch into Charlie's back pocket; the cops searched the pickpocket, but he was found to be clean
  • as the pickpocket-sharper attempted to retrieve his stolen items (wallet and pocketwatch) from the Tramp, he followed him to a hotdog stand where the Tramp took bites from a hotdog from the extended hand of a toddler reaching backward over his father's shoulder, and also helped by wiping the infant's mouth
  • a cop apprehended the pickpocket as he reached into the Tramp's back pocket to retrieve the two items; assuming that the items were the possessions of the Tramp, the cop handed them over to the Tramp and ordered "Count it. Is it all there?"; the Tramp was so surprised by his newfound wealth that he ordered a dozen hot dogs; his order was interrupted when the real victimized, pickpocketed mark spotted his stolen pocket watch and wallet in the Tramp's possession and attempted to get them back
  • a chase ensued involving the Tramp, the pickpocket and the cops into a hall of mirrors (Mirror Maze); (the scene was later copied in Orson Welles' The Lady From Shanghai (1948)); the pickpocket entered and was confounded by the multiple images as he tried to confront the Tramp; in one instance, the two ran away from each other, but in fact bumped into each other
Hall of Mirrors (Mirror Maze) Sequence
  • in an attempt to escape and elude the cops and the pickpocket, the Tramp pretended to be one of the automated, robotic mechanical mannequins on the outside of the funhouse attraction; the pickpocket joined him and they both masqueraded as mannequins

The Tramp Pretending to be a Mannequin on the Outside of the Hall of Mirrors

The Tramp and Pickpocket Masquerading as Robotic, Mechanized Mannequins
  • a cop also confronted the Tramp in the Mirror Maze, and then chased him out of the Maze into the circus's main show-tent; there, the Tramp inadvertently became part of the big-top circus entertainment show, upstaging the boring, elderly clowns who were being ignored, booed and assaulted with cat-calls; on a revolving, spinning turntable platform with the cop, the Tramp became an enormous hit with the awakened audience that wildly cheered and applauded, who thought he was one of the show's acts
  • while hiding in a prop table platform during another center-ring performance, the disruptive Tramp found himself caught in the middle of a Magician's (George Davis) act involving a Vanishing Lady (Betty Morrissey); he unwittingly exposed the trick by repeatedly and unexpectedly taking the place of the Magician’s assistant; the pursuing cop mistakenly apprehended the Vanishing Lady rather than the Tramp who had run off
  • the forlorn, exhausted and rejected Tramp was able to return the stolen items to the cop, and then chose a chariot--wheelbarrow to rest in, but as he sat down, the wheelbarrow collapsed and sent him tumbling onto the ground
  • when the clowns were restored to their horribly unfunny act, the circus audience reacted negatively: "Rotten! Get off! Where's the funny man? Bring on the Funny Man!"; the ringmaster realized the appeal of the Tramp, but he had already disappeared
  • during meal-time after the show, the Old Clown (Henry Bergman) offered Merna his plate of food, but the Ringmaster took it away from her; he happened to recognize the resting Tramp in the chariot as his "Funny Man," and immediately offered the Tramp the possibility of a job and requested that he audition the next morning
The Tramp with the Hungry and Starving Merna
  • early the next morning, the Tramp was heating up water in a tin can over a makeshift fire to prepare his morning meal, and gave chase after a chicken for one egg; meanwhile while he gathered more wood for his fire, the hungry and outcast Merna snuck up and stole the Trump's unguarded slice of bread; when the Tramp caught her in the act of theft and biting into his slice, he reprimanded her, but then relented and gave her the partially-eaten piece of bread that she devoured; when he asked if she was the circus' sword-swallower, she corrected him and told him she was a ring-circling equestrienne; before leaving with the Ringmaster, the Tramp handed Merna his boiled egg to eat
  • the Tramp struggled during an audition-tryout with the other elderly clowns, when he was commanded: "Go ahead and be funny"; in a solo act, he managed to perform an uninspiring little dance, and the Ringmaster denounced his performance: ("That's awful!") - he failed his formal audition
  • during their tryout, the clowns performed a William Tell routine that failed when the target clown kept removing the apple from atop his head to take a bite; the clowns also performed in a barbershop routine in which two competing barbers fought with messy shaving cream
  • the Tramp was only entertainingly funny when not trying to be, in situations where he was called upon to improvise or act spontaneously; after he was instructed to take the place of one of the clowns in the routines, he put a banana on his head instead of a worm-infested apple, and humorously failed to follow directions in the barbershop routine, including painting the Ringmaster's face with shaving cream; the incensed Ringmaster tossed the Tramp out: "Get out and stay out!"
  • a work dispute led the unpaid circus property men behind the scenes to go on strike during a show and walk off the job; the Ringmaster ordered: "Get anybody!", and the Tramp was promptly hired as a prop man; the Tramp became the hit of the circus show during comically-improvised moments; while carrying a towering stack of dishes, the Tramp was chased into the circus ring-arena by a normally-docile donkey that charged and brayed at him; he also disrupted and sabotaged Professor Bosco's magic act and was assaulted by an assortment of animals - ducks, white doves, rabbits, and piglets
  • the Ringmaster finally noticed that the Tramp was the hit of the circus: "He's a sensation but he doesn't know it, keep him on as a property man"; a title card described dire circumstances for the Tramp and Merna: "The circus prospered, but not the property man; and the girl led the same hard life"; the Tramp continued to secretly pass food to Merna until the crafty Ringmaster reprimanded him, and exploited his talent: "Keep him busy and don't let him know he's the hit of the show"
  • the Tramp failed to use a tube to blow a medical pill down the throat of an ailing circus horse; and accidentally ingested the horse pill: "The horse blew first -- "
  • after another chase to get away from the donkey, the Tramp accidentally sought refuge in a cage with a sleeping lion (in addition to an annoying barking dog outside who threatened to awaken the beast) - he found himself locked inside, and an escape route through an open door led unfortunately to an adjacent cage with a growling tiger; the Tramp pretended to be brave to impress Merna, who fainted but then regained consciousness and released him from the cage
  • circus equestrienne Merna, the Tramp's love interest, told him - to his surprise - that he was "the hit of the show...All the crowds, all the applause is just for you" the Tramp agreed: "I knew it!"; however, the Ringmaster was listening to their conversation, and the Tramp watched as he slapped Merna for exposing his deceit; the Tramp threatened: "If you strike that girl, I'll quit!" - and then negotiated for higher pay: "And what's more I want what I'm worth" - and acquired a deal for $100 dollars a week
  • just before the next sold-out show, "the success of the Tramp made life easier for the girl and himself" - when a circus gypsy foretold Merna's fortune that a "dark, handsome man" - with love and marriage in his sights - was near her, she was excited; as the Tramp listened in, he became overjoyed to think it was him; he purchased an engagement ring from the Old Clown for $5 dollars in anticipation; however, he then learned, while again overhearing Merna's conversation with the gypsy woman, that she was "in love" with the man of her dreams that she had just met -- the circus' new "added attraction," high-wire tight-rope walker-performer Rex (Harry Crocker) - King of the Air - wearing a top hat and tails
  • the rejected Tramp's mood changed, and his center-ring act was not well received; the Ringmaster noticed: "What's the matter? You hardly got a laugh"; envious and jealous of Rex, in a brief double-exposed vignette, the Tramp's shadowy self stood up and both kicked and then knocked Rex out, and then returned into his body
The Tramp's Shadow Self in a Double-Exposed Vignette
Who Jealously Assaulted Rex
  • a nervous Merna pressured the jealous Tramp into watching Rex's impressive high-wire act; he gave away his distaste for Rex by wildly applauding when he temporarily stumbled; to one-up Rex, the Tramp practiced tight-rope walking on a low-rope, but was caught by the Ringmaster who reprimanded him: "You'd better try and be funny again or you'll go!"; the dejected Tramp's performances were not improving, unfortunately, and he was again warned: "You get one more chance"
  • the Tramp was called upon to substitute as Rex's replacement when he was a no-show; the Ringmaster was unconcerned that he might "kill himself," but Merna was reluctant: "You'll get killed"; the Tramp tried to hide the fact from Merna that he had a safety wire strapped to his waist; on the tightrope, with the aid of the safety wire, the Tramp was able to out-perform Rex with miraculous, daredevil feats of balance, but then the strap around his waist broke free - and he no longer was protected from a fall
With Monkeys on His Head and Biting His Nose
  • as he crossed the tightrope, his act became even more challenging when escaped wild monkeys climbed up onto his head and bit his nose, pulled on his pants to remove them, and put their tail into his mouth; fortunately, he was able to extricate himself and safely return to ground level
  • afterwards, when the Tramp again saw the Ringmaster slapping and beating up Merna, he defended her by assaulting the Ringmaster - and was promptly fired ("You're through!"); that night, he retreated to the nearby woods to cook up another hobo meal under a moon-lit sky; Merna showed up to join him and explained: "I’ve run away from the circus. I'll never go back. Could you take me with you?"
  • to protect Merna from his lonely and vagrant life-style, the Tramp - in a noble gesture - briefly returned to the circus and negotiated for Rex to marry Merna: ("She's run away. I can do nothing for her. Now, there's one way out"); he presented Rex with his engagement ring, and impulsively kissed Rex when he agreed to a wedding
  • after their ceremony the next morning, the Tramp tossed rice into the air and onto the happy couple as they kissed, to celebrate their marriage; the circus was ready to leave town after the show ended its run; the newlyweds Merna and Rex returned to the circus and confronted the Ringmaster, and he agreed to take them back together as a performing couple, but only reluctantly allowed the Tramp to rejoin - "The end wagon for you"
  • in the film's melancholy conclusion, as the horse-drawn circus caravan wagons packed up and moved out, the heartbroken and rejected Tramp deliberately remained behind in a cloud of dust; he sat on a box in the center of an abandoned circle (drawn where the circus tent had been hours earlier); he glanced at a large torn piece of the paper ring with a star on it on the ground in front of him, crumped it up, and kicked it with his heel behind his back
Sad Ending With Iris Fade-Out
  • in the classic memorable bleak ending with an iris fade-out ending in blackness, the solitary Tramp shrugged and then walked in the opposite direction, shuffling away with his trademark jaunt into the distance while spinning his cane with his left hand

Pathetic-Looking Elderly Clowns

On Midway, Pickpocket Searched and Found to be Clean

Pickpocket Pursuing the Tramp to Retrieve His Planted, Stolen Goods

The Tramp Eating a Child's Hot-Dog

The Pickpocket Caught by a Cop Attempting to Retrieve His Stolen Items from the Tramp's Pocket

The Actual Victim Noticing His Wallet and Watch in the Tramp's Hands

The Cop and the Tramp in the CIrcus' Main Ring on a Revolving Platform - A New Attraction

The Tramp Caught In the Middle of a Magician's Act (with a Vanishing Lady) While Being Pursued by Cop

The Tramp Resting in a Broken-Down and Collapsed Chariot

The Tramp's Solo Tryout-Audition for a Job With the Circus

The Messy Barbershop Routine with Shaving Cream

The Tramp (Carrying a Stack of Plates) Chased into Ring by Donkey

The Tramp Disrupting Professor Bosco's Magic Act with Animals

In Circus Cage with Sleeping Lion

In an Adjacent Cage with a Growling Tiger

Merna - the Tramp's Love Interest

Merna with Tightrope Walker Rex (Harry Crocker)

Nervous Merna and the Jealous Tramp Watching Rex Perform on the High-Wire

The Tramp on the Tight-Rope - With Miraculous Balance (Using a Safety Wire)

Merna to the Tramp - Take Me With You

The Tramp Celebrating Rex's Marriage to Merna

The Tramp Left in the Middle of the Circus Ring - In the Dust of the Wagons

Greatest Funniest Movie Moments and Scenes
(alphabetical order, by film title)
Intro | A1 | A2 | B1 | B2 | C1 | C2 | D1 | D2 | E | F | G | H-I | J-K-L
M1 | M2 | N-O | P1 | P2 | Q-R | S1 | S2 | T | U-V-W-X-Y-Z

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