10 Movies Everyone Remembers For ONE Awesome Scene

Taken was made by a single one-liner.

Taken Liam Neeson

Howard Hawks once said "a good movie is three good scenes and no bad scenes," but what about movies which have endured in pop-culture thanks to a single unforgettable scene?

While none of these 10 films would qualify as unconscionably awful or even actually bad, the majority of them are simply watchable yet entirely forgettable outside of their single grandstanding scene.

This scene, so brilliantly written, directed, or acted as it was, took on a far greater life than the rest of the movie and has staked out a comfy place in pop-culture fandom ever since.

Without these single scenes, these movies likely would've come and gone relatively quickly, lost among a mass of similar genre films without that one iconic scene to hold them aloft.

Sadly, these spectacular scenes prove just how much promise each of these films had, but which was largely squandered as a result of an otherwise down-the-line, formulaic screenplay.

And so, these scenes confirm that all it takes for a whatever movie to embed itself in the cultural consciousness forever more is that one banger scene that captures the public's imagination...

10. The Interrogation - Basic Instinct

Taken Liam Neeson
TriStar Pictures

Paul Verhoeven's erotic thriller Basic Instinct is unquestionably best known for establishing Sharon Stone as an in-demand Hollywood femme fatale, but be honest - how much do you remember outside of that interrogation scene?

Basic Instinct's defining set-piece isn't one of serial killer Catherine Tramell's (Stone) grisly murders, but rather a deliciously trashy scene where she uses her sexuality to taunt the police as they question her about a recent killing.

Stone, oozing intimidating sexiness throughout the scene, wraps the cops around her fingers as she smokes seductively and passes them longing, confident glances.

This is before she commits the pièce de résistance: crossing her legs and fleetingly flashing her nether-regions to the sweaty, slack-jawed cops.

The scene immediately entered the pop-culture pantheon and has been widely parodied - and paused - in the near-three decades since. But beyond this, what of Basic Instinct does anyone ever actually talk about, let alone remember?

Despite its hefty 128-minute runtime, you'll be hard-pressed to find many who can recount much of the plot or even individual scenes outside of this single five-minute sequence.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.