The scenes every film fan should see

Slide show: From "The Graduate" to "Psycho," the expertly crafted sequences that represent cinema at its finest

Published December 18, 2010 2:01AM (EST)

Great movies are a great pleasure, but great scenes and sequences are a joy as well -- dependent works of art that take on lives of their own in our minds, often standing in for the film itself.

You know what I'm talking about. The crop-duster scene in "North by Northwest. The haunting final sequence of "I Vitelloni," with the camera gliding through rooms like a ghost train. The flashback to Rick and Ilsa's romance in "Casablanca" ("The Germans wore gray. You wore blue"). The training montage in the original "Rocky." The buffalo hunt in "Dances With Wolves." The Alec Baldwin cameo in "Glengarry Glen Ross." ("Put ... the coffee ... down.")

Next week I'll be counting down my favorite movie scenes of 2010 (with videos of each scene), but to whet your appetite, I've put together a few of my favorite scenes of all time in this slide show, along with some analysis of why I think they make such a powerful impression. Please share your own picks in the comments.

By Matt Zoller Seitz

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