Nasa / Space

11 classic scenes from sci-fi movies

A TechRepublic member highlights classic scenes from Forbidden Planet, Star Wars, Alien, and other science-fiction movies. Which memorable sci-fi film scenes would you add to the list?

TechRepublic member lehnerus2000 started a discussion last week about classic scenes from science-fiction films. Here are the 11 scenes highlighted:

Forbidden Planet

The tour of the Krell complex.

The battle against the monster at the spaceship.

The Planet of the Apes (the original)

The final scene on the beach.

Star Wars

The opening Star Destroyer fly-over.

Alien

The alien ship.

The Empire Strikes Back

The asteroid chase.

Blade Runner

The city fly-over.

The Return of the Living Dead

The battle against the first corpse.

Prince Of Darkness

The computer readout, "Your god...".

The Fifth Element

The city scene when Leeloo escapes.

V for Vendetta

The first terror bombing.

TechRepublic members Palmetto, Tony Hopkinson, NotSoChiGuy, nonseq, rwatters, and drowningnotwaving have already chimed in. What memorable film scenes would you add to the list?

About

Mary Weilage is a Senior Editor for CBS Interactive. She has worked for TechRepublic since 1999.

90 comments
stephen
stephen

The two black helicopters in Capricorn One that turn to look at each other

Mundo209
Mundo209

Richard Dreyfus has stopped in his truck in the dark and is waving cars past. The lights don't go round but up and over as the next "vehicle" overtakes. Classic and comedic. I love that film because nothing is explicitly explained to the viewer. You have to figure out what is going on.

neilb
neilb

Independence Day. The President's Speech Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in this history of mankind. Mankind - that word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps its fate that today is the 4th of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom, not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution - but from annihilation. We're fighting for our right to live, to exist. And should we win the day, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice: "We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive!" Today, we celebrate our Independence Day! -------------------------------- I have to put this forward as the most appalling cheesy soliloquy ever delivered in any film that I have seen - or heard about. Neil :) Even thinking about it makes me feel queasy...

reisen55
reisen55

Warn: There is another system

patfoley
patfoley

Enemy Mine - The last scene

masteripper
masteripper

I believe u should add the scene from Aliens where Sigurney Weaver rushes out to save the marines who are trapped inside the plant from the hordes of aliens.The whole scene from the point the scanner detects multiple signal to the exodus scene is great and probably the best action scene ever...not to mention the superb music

squidproquo
squidproquo

I love the scene where the alien-in-the-dog, in the cage with the other dogs, starts making weird noises and snake-like appendages emerge from its skin and start flailing around (sort of looks like a car wash brush). One of the guys in the artic station sees it. When one of the other guys asks "What is it?" The first guy says,"I don't know but it's weird and it's pissed off."

sars42
sars42

HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy - Deep Thought scenes. A race of super intelligent creatures want to know the meaning of life. They build a stupendous super computer called "Deep Thought" to calculate the answer. 2 priests approach the computer to give it the question. Unfortunately, they haven't speced the question proparly so they ad-lib: Priest: "We want to know the answer to Life, the Universe... Everything" DT: Tricky Priest: "Is there an answer, a simple answer" DT: "Yes... it will take 7 and a half" Priest: "What not till next week?" DT: "Million years" Fast forward 7 and half million years and a religion and the hopes of their entire civilization rest on the answer from Deep Thought. Priest: "Do you have an answer?" DT: "Yes, but you're not going to like it" Priest: "We have to know" DT: "The answer to the ultimate question of Life the Universe and Everything is.......42" Priest: "We are going to get linched" Was the question wrong or is there just no answer. SS

Ed G.
Ed G.

I can't believe nobody's mentioned this scene from ST:II yet!

freaknout
freaknout

The scene where Riddick kills the alien and says you dont who your F'n with

sboverie
sboverie

I like the original movie (there is a remake coming out soon) because of the special effects. The use of a Theremen to make the spooky noises of things from interstellar flight to the invisible monster walk was intense. The visual effects were done quite well considering the time and that it was done by Disney. The blue jet of the ship when landing and the sparks that showed the monster standing up to the force field and weaponry was a great way to subtly show the invisible monster. My favorite scene is actually the climax where the monster is burning its way into the Krell lab and seeing all of the power gauges pegging on max one by one as the door starts to glow and melt. The message of the movie was that we must control the monsters from the Id before we can be trusted with infinite power. Having the power from an entire planet at the disposal of the subconscious to make every whim happen was what wiped out the Krell. The remake of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" was lousy. I hope that the remake of "Forbidden Planet" will be closer on the story and not run off on a stupid tangent from the original story.

gwd3
gwd3

The scene early on in Scanners where the villain, Revok(brilliantly played by Michael Ironside), causes a man's head to explode in an overly-energetic demonstration of scanning. This left an indelible imprint on my memory.

Lost Cause?
Lost Cause?

How about "Weird Science" where the kids created Kelly LeBrock?

Canuckster
Canuckster

It just occured to me that there is another contender I would like to toss into the list. The scene in Real Genius where the students at a university class are slowly opting to tape recorder the lectures and over a number of scenes there are fewer students and more recordering machines until, in the last classroom scene, there is nothing but tape recorders recording a lecture given by a large tape recorder.

RealGem
RealGem

Soylent Green, when the main character is trying to tell everyone that they are unwitting cannibals.

IndianaTux
IndianaTux

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan - three scenes from that one. Khan yelling at Chekov "THIS IS SETI ALPHA FIIIIVEE!!!" When Kirk screams into the communicator "Khaaaaaaaannnn!!!" Spock's funeral. Kirk's speech still makes me tear up to this day, followed by Amazing Grace on the bagpipes.

Canuckster
Canuckster

So many choices but I am still reminded of the scene in Brazil where the DeNiro character disappears in a whirl of paper waste.

ted
ted

Gort carrying Klaatu on to the saucer.

RobNoyes
RobNoyes

It's in 'Alien,' not 'Aliens,' where you see the alien spaceship. One hopes the in-production prequel, being directed by Ridley Scott, will show a lot more of it and the battle that caused its crash.

vaneiken
vaneiken

Colossus: The Forbin Project. The world's two supercomputers decide how to run the world, and all nuclear weapons.

justl
justl

The day the earth stood still "Gort, Klaatu mirada nicto"

Snak
Snak

Two Scenes, both involving River. The first is of course the fight where she takes on and beats a horde of Ravers. My favourite though, of all time, has to be.... "I swallowed a bug!"

marianne.popp
marianne.popp

The day the earth stood still Klaatu barada nikto Klaatu (Michael Rennie) commanded Helen Benson (Patricia Neal) that, were anything to happen to him, she must utter the phrase to the robot Gort. In response, Gort relented from destroying the Earth and resurrected Klaatu from death.[1]

mike.motes
mike.motes

When Scotty does a flyby in the shuttlepod while Enterprise is still in spacedock. Also, when Enterprise slowly launches from spacedock...still gives me chills when I see that. Unfortunately, those scenes were the best of an otherwise dissapointing movie.

quintasTiberius
quintasTiberius

The Martian war machines rising out of the crater in the original "War of the Worlds". They just exude "invincible and merciless", as well as total lack of concern about the pitiful human defenders. And they were so magnificent. Okay, in a nod to the Cruise version, the scene of the 1st machine rising from the street and the ensuing massacre. And the background music that oozed impending doom. Something about watching people simply disintegrate was just damned spooky and unsettling. Gave me nightmares.

Ric_Shanahan
Ric_Shanahan

Cheesy, yup. But that was the first shot made in the movie by that actor. Imagine how THAT must have felt!

neilb
neilb

I can't think of ANY remake or sequel (or prequel) that matched the original. Mad Max II, maybe... :)

Realvdude
Realvdude

I could swear it was Frank Oz, he was doing a few cameo roles back then. Blues Brothers, Spies Like Us, but he doesn't seem to be credited for this, so I don't know.

broche
broche

Nice scene, I love that the door has a sign on it saying I brake for women, and then explodes to show her.

Realvdude
Realvdude

and the popcorn house destruction, though I think the Mythbusters popped that one quite a while ago. I also like how Lazlo gets the girl in the end. A great 80's geek humor movie.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Keep moving, don't back up traffic, nothing to see here...

Elvis.GodZilla.777
Elvis.GodZilla.777

Wow, I loved that movie. Sometimes I feel like I'm living it it right now... must... get... a.w.a.y...

bwiedor
bwiedor

I didn't care much for the 2005 remake, my loyalty is firmly with the 1953 film. I agree with the scene of the first machine rising, but also shortly after when the priest, the girl's uncle, walks slowly to try and communicate with them, speaking the 23rd Psalm. You know it won't end well, but it's so ominous as the tension builds up. And sure enough, that's the moment that triggers the change from tense anticipation, to all-out war. My choice for Serenity is what Joss Whedon himself admitted was the shot he built the movie around. Mal has just returned to the group, asks where River is. At that moment, the music gears up, the door opens, and you see her backlighted, axes in hand, looking ready to kill. Awesome.

the other GeorgeW
the other GeorgeW

Great movie! One of the best scenes occurs when, in order to crush resistance, the computer launches ICBMs against a military base. When they realize they have been targeted, everyone is trying futily to escape, exept for the commander. Realizing there is no escape, he sits quietly in resignation amidst the panic and chaos around him, until the missle hits.

Realvdude
Realvdude

MIB K to the giant cockroach, "Eat me!"

Arcturus909
Arcturus909

I know it is coming, I crank up the volume, I make sure anyone in the room shuts up, and then I laugh my fool head off. Every time. Yes, I am a geek. :) I saw Serenity before I even knew there was such a thing as Firefly the series and enjoyed it a lot. It stands very well on its own. There were very few parts where I felt like I was missing some background. Some of the "events" (I don't want to spoil anything here) weren't as dramatic because I didn't have the attachment to the characters that series viewers would have had.

justl
justl

How did such a great movie get massacred in remake with horrible script, poor acting and a paltry attempt at special effects? Even the message wast lost in the Keanu Reeves snoozer.

PromptJock
PromptJock

What about the VGer flyover by the Enterprise? talk about a "gnat" (Enterprise) flying over a "whale" (VGer)....

Realvdude
Realvdude

Also The Blob with Steve McQueen, for invoking a little fear. Classic invasion movies - how many scenes from Independence Day come to mind. The first ones to mind for me are Bill Pullman's 4th of July speech, Randy Quaid's "up yours" and of course the helicopter communicating ala "Close Encounters".

techrepubliclist
techrepubliclist

The disintegration scene at the initial impact crater was scary enough - yeah, I'm an old fart, too - but what scared me most was the black-and-white image from the tri-color lens.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

But cheesy as it is, that speech drew cheers and standing ovations in theaters...

Arcturus909
Arcturus909

Number Two was much better than number one. Same with "Desperado", but that is off topic. I agree about remakes - nothing is ever better than the original. There is one scene from the remake of War of the Worlds that I was really impressed with. SPOILER ALERT (like any of you reading this doesn't know the story) At the end when the main character is looking up at a lone Mars Mech in the light of the morning sun - this is EXACTLY the way I pictured the scene when I read the book.

webmaster
webmaster

I think my favorite scene (and I really liked this movie) was when the soldiers pull the wall out after the fight with the Reavers. Everyone just pauses there after one soldier says "Drop your weapons" and I got the impression that if anyone at all would have said the wrong thing River would have killed every soldier there.

chuck...
chuck...

I like the blackmail aspect of this scene better. cheers, chuck...

CaptMorgan
CaptMorgan

The remake was Hollywood trying to get yet another message across instead of making a good movie. They failed at both with the most boring and uninteresting sci-fi movie I've ever seen. From "A Clockwork Orange" - "The Korova milkbar sold milk-plus, milk plus vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom, which is what we were drinking. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old ultraviolence."

merrid
merrid

For visual impact, the bit in Independence Day when the loonies are dancing on the top of the skyscraper and the weapon first opens, shining green light down on to them. "It's so pretty!" Kapow! Great scene, even if the film itself is a derivative piece of schlock. Bill Pullman's 4th of July speech is just a rip-off from Shakespeare's St Crispin's Day speech from Henry V. Still like it, though.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I must have missed it in the title... ;)

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

When you've got a public domain source for great dialog, you use it! :-)

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