Since we’re in the midst of awards season, I decided to reminisce about 3 of my favorite movie scenes ever.
The first is the Juke Joint scene in The Color Purple. The older man on the cane, along the musicians, knowing what’s up before it even happens cracks me up. It’s also a strange kind of funny to watch someone call Oprah out her name, even within the context of her playing a character in a movie, knowing the mogul she would later become. In addition, Celie (Whoopi Goldberg’s character) sitting peacefully while chaos reigns around her works so well in the scene.
The second is the pre-dinner monologue in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner by Matt Drayton (played by Spencer Tracy). It’s a pitch-perfect and spectacularly-executed testament to the strength of love in the face of society’s ills. An interesting note about this scene came from George Clooney during an episode of Inside the Actors Studio. He demonstrated how Spencer Tracy was looking down at his marks while he gave the legendary speech.
The third is the percentages lesson in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. In keeping in line with the rest of the movie, it plays things so straight that you may have missed the consequence of what’s said because of how matter-of-factly it’s said. Once you realize the details, you have to laugh at its absurdity. It’s quite possibly the worst math lesson ever. The teacher explains nothing. Also note before the lesson, out of nowhere, the teacher announces his intention to test the students on material they haven’t even learned yet each week. The subtitles in the clip below help with making what he said clear.