Say what you will about Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, you can’t escape the fact that it’s given us some downright iconic images and scenes, arguably far more than any other set of superhero films. While characters may take the cake in other films (The Joker in The Dark Knight, the Hulk in The Avengers), we remember those scenes in Raimi’s trilogy like that of the upside-down kiss from the first film or Peter stopping the train in Spider-Man 2. Even scenes stand out that disappoint us, namely Peter’s shift into emo and strutting down New York streets with horrible swag. The point being that this is a trilogy full of memorable frames.
And even the smaller scenes stand out. The Green Goblin making Spider-Man choose Mary Jane or the children in the homage to Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man. Aunt May’s fantastic monologue in Spider-Man 2where she informs a downtrodden Peter that there is, indeed, a hero in all of us. Even Spider-Man sharing an elevator with Hal Sparks or being served by Bruce Campbell in a fancy restaurant. Raimi made Spider-Man memorable.
But what about the great scenes that go overlooked? I’ve compiled a small list with the top 10 best moments in the series that you may not remember outright, but still have an incredible relevance to the rest of the picture. Check them out and, at the end, list some of your favorites! You’ve got your work cut out for you, Marc Webb. Good luck!
10. Willem Dafoe, a Mirror, and Two Minutes of Downright Creepy (Spider-Man)
As much as I love Alfred Molina’s portrayal of Doc Ock, I still can’t get over Dafoe’s downright maliciously fun take on Norman Osborn. And this is the scene that convinces the audience that there’s really two people battling it out in that head of his, and my, oh, my is that scene scary.
From the slight change in mannerism to the dropped, low growl, Dafoe astonishes as a man in conversation with himself, playing to a mirror and cut so effectively we’d swear up and down it’s the work of two seasoned actors. It’s that perfect blend of high theatrics with subtle response that makes this such a wonderful scene to revisit.
And that laugh at the end? I still think it puts the late, great Heath Ledger’s to shame.
This article was first posted on November 19, 2012