Top 10 Martin Scorsese Movie Scenes
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Top 10 Martin Scorsese Movie Scenes

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Q.V. Hough

Mean streets, raging bulls and a few goodfellas. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the top 10 Martin Scorsese movie scenes. For this list, we're focusing on the most classic scenes from Martin Scorsese features.

Special thanks to our user PersonWhoIsntYourMot for submitting the idea using our suggestion tool at http://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest
Transcript
Script written by QV Hough

Top 10 Martin Scorsese Movie Scenes


Mean streets, raging bulls and a few goodfellas. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Martin Scorsese movie scenes.

For this list, we’re focusing on the most classic scenes from Martin Scorsese features. With all due respect to the filmmaker’s documentaries and short films, they did not make the cut based on our criteria. And you should know, a SPOILER ALERT is in effect.

#10: What’s a Mook?
“Mean Streets” (1973)

You’re calling me a WHA? We all know that wise-ass from the neighborhood spot, and in this early Scorsese classic, a few of the guys debate the meaning of a bartender’s insult. With The Marvelette’s “Please, Mr. Postman” as the musical backdrop, the mooks bust each other’s balls shortly before busting up the joint with more bravado than anything else. In the end, with his first true masterwork, Scorsese established the tight bond among the roughnecks and his keen ear for dialogue – not to mention the fighting skills of DeNiro’s loose cannon of a character.

#9: The Seduction
“Cape Fear” (1991)

For the remake of a 1962 classic, Robert De Niro sported a thick, S’uth’n accent for a film that world earn both him and Juliette Lewis Academy Award nominations. In this scene, Danielle Bowden admires the charm of Max Cady, as the convicted rapist attempts to seduce his enemy’s teenaged daughter with some sweet talk. As Scorsese’s camera highlights a power shift, the girl becomes taken by Cady’s sinister soliloquy, and her symbolic physical act caps off an unforgettable Scorsese scene that both creeped out viewers and pulled them in even more.

#8: Orgy of Blood
“Gangs of New York” (2002)

Nothing demands attention like a bushy 19th century mustache, and when Martin Scorsese released his take on this infamous gang fight in the Five Points neighborhood of New York City, he gave us not only a top of the range soup strainer, but also a gang fight in which Bill the Butcher slices and dices with no regard for human life. Aesthetically, the scene has the typical Scorsese flair, and the bloody sequence informed viewers that “Gangs of New York” would be far more than your regular Hollywood effort. This film was no joke, and the director managed to convey a heightened sense of violence in this opening scene without overreaching.

#7: Beverly Hills Breakdown
“The Aviator” (2004)

Howard Hughes was an American innovator, risk-taker and undoubtedly one of the most important aviators of the 20th century. In Scorsese’s Academy Award-winning biopic about the man, Leonardo DiCaprio starred as the young tycoon, who in 1946 flew an Air Force recon plane in its first flight over LA. When an oil leak caused to the propeller to malfunction, Hughes violently crashed into a Beverly Hills neighborhood, which literally shifted his heart, collapsed his left lung, and left him with burns and broken bones. Dramatic and destructive, this Scorsese scene captured the terror of a life that was about to change forever.

#6: They’re Duds
“The Wolf of Wall Street” (2013)

With all the drugs available to kids these days, this unforgettable Scorsese scene initially had younger viewers saying, “What the what is a Quaalude?” The answer, Mojoholics, is that Quaaludes were a potent sleep aide, sedative and muscle relaxant that some folks in the ‘60s and ‘70s liked to use recreationally. One of those folks, evidently was Jordan Belfort, and after DiCaprio as Belfort popped a couple down, he didn’t initially feel the effect. But when it finally hit, it didn’t mess around. Yep. Lights out. Drool. Baby talk. By the end, Scorsese had offered a public PSA on the dangers of drug consumption – well, at least for this poor bastard.

#5: I Amuse You?
“GoodFellas” (1990)

Hey. You thought that last entry was funny? Funny how? How that (bleep) was funny? Alright, settle. Widely regarded as one of the best films of the decade, if not THE best, “GoodFellas” told the story of real-life gangster Henry Hill and his somewhat irritable friend Tommy DeVito. And by irritable, we mean you don’t screw around with this guy. Just ask Henry, who suffers through one of the best gangster pranks of any Scorsese flick. Even at his own mother’s dinner table, Tommy’s a challenging guy to be around. Capisce?

#4: Going Down?
“The Departed” (2006)

Marty, you’re killin’ us. You know what you did. In the film that earned Scorsese his first Oscar win for Best Director, Leonardo DiCaprio plays an undercover cop named Billy Costigan assigned to infiltrate a Boston crime organization, and Matt Damon is the criminal sent to infiltrate the police department. You can imagine all the twists and turns and identity issues that entails, and for two and half hours, audiences came to identify with Leo’s suffering and paranoia. What happens? Well, he gets taken out in a filthy elevator like a bum. What the hell, Scorsese? This scene made everybody panic upon first viewing, and it still makes us emotional.

#3: One Tough Paisan
“Raging Bull” (1980)

Do you ever feel like the world is beating you down? Well, in arguably one of the finest-made films of all time, Robert De Niro’s Raging Bull took a beating that would make boxers of today re-think their career. Yes, back in the ‘40s, fighters were a different breed, and in Jake LaMotta’s real-life bout against Sugar Ray Robinson, he got his ass handed to him and lost the Middleweight title, but he didn’t go out like a punk. And so, De Niro uttered one of the most iconic phrases in movie history in perhaps one of the most aesthetically brilliant scenes of all time. Of course, the mirror scene packs a punch as well.

#2: The Copa
“GoodFellas” (1990)

You wanna know how a ‘70s-era gangster lived? Well, with this iconic tracking shot, Scorsese let moviegoers know exactly how Henry Hill rolled in The Big Apple. From the bellboys to the parking attendants to pretty much everyone he encountered, Scorsese’s protagonist exuded pure class – well, for a gangster – all the while clutching his new girl and showing her how a real O.G. gets down. In reality, he was simply a criminal, of course…but he knew that, audiences knew that, and we loved every minute of it. This shot was necessitated by a practical filming issue, and MartinScorsese and his directorial acumen turned it into a work of art, offering up some insight into the lifestyle of a classic character in the process.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Cavalleria Rusticana
“Raging Bull” (1980)
- Rupert’s Routine
“The King of Comedy” (1983)
- This Is the End
“Casino” (1995)
- The Dissolve
“Shutter Island” (2010)
- Get Low
“Casino” (1995)

#1: Self-Reflection
“Taxi Driver” (1976)

Much like film noir of the late-‘40s, the American crime movies of the 1970s reflected the disenchanted nature of veterans returning home to their “natural” environment. In one of the most shocking mainstream films of the decade, Robert De Niro’s depressed taxi driver cruised all corners of his mind until there was nobody left to chat with him but himself. In one of the greatest improvised scenes in cinema history, Robert De Niro captured the essence of his character with just a few words. Of course, it’s hard to forget Scorsese’s disturbing cameo in “Taxi Driver,” and certainly its finale, but it was this mirror scene that was the defining moment of Scorsese’s brilliant character study.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite Martin Scorsese movie scene? For more mind-blowing Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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