If there was ever a hold your breath moment it is here. Within a few seconds the scene is over, but it lingers in the memory for days. When Isidoro Gómez (Javier Godino) enters the lift you are simply bemused at his presence. Barely making eye contact with our heroes, he enters, turns, and stands in front of them. Our bewilderment increases as he confidently pulls out a hand-gun and cocks it assuredly. Fearing for the lives of characters you have come to love so easily you are desperate for the short claustrophobic journey to end, hoping their nemesis does not do what he so easily could. After what feels like eternity, the doors open, Gómez strolls out and you are frozen in pure disbelief at what is portrayed as, and feels like your worst nightmare. Simply harrowing.
4. The Departed
For anyone who has already seen the film The Departed was based on, the moment when Leo gets his brains blown out may not have been quite as shocking, as this scene and the whole film is almost a carbon copy of Infernal Affairs. I personally had not seen the original prior to Scorsese’s Oscar winner and was so shocked by the instant dismissal of Billy Costigan’s head, to this day I still duck when I’m in an elevator and the doors open.
3. True Romance
For Tony Scott’s über violent love story, the elevator scene is the prelude to the grand finale. As the tension builds, you become quite sure something is going to explode, but don’t expect it from Christian Slater’s Clarence Worley as he serenely turns to the wired up Elliot Blitzer (Bronson Pinchot) and politely requests that he gets down on his knees. Our every emotion is precisely mirrored by detectives Nicky Dimes (Chris Penn) and Cody Nicholson (Tom Sizemore) as they listen in through another room via Elliot’s crotch and scream “You’re an actor Motherfucker, act”!
Clarence swiftly takes on the persona of one of the gangsters who are tracking him down, urging Elliot to spill the beans on what trap he is being led into. Elliot whimpers and cries, while Worley’s wife Alabama Whitman (Patricia Arquette) and his actor friend Dick Ritchie (Michael Rapaport) try to subdue him. Unbelievably Elliot doesn’t fold and convinced he must be telling the truth, Clarence apologises and everyone joins in for a group hug. A scene with tension which simply doesn’t stop ascending, it is a most memorable for its unpredictable happy ending (albeit a short lived one).
Join us next week for the final entries and the ones which didn’t quite make it to the top floor.
Image courtesy of The Secret In Their Eyes, The Departed and True Romance