If a person was to remember every little thing he or she saw in a lifetime, that person's brain would be overloaded. Most of the time, we only remember little bits of what we see. Every movie and every television program presents huge numbers of images and only a few are really remembered for years afterward.
One of my all-time favorite television scenes is from the series about Gomer Pyle in the Marines. Sgt. Carter comes in, opens his locker, gets his uniform cap, and turns to leave. At the door, he stops and wonders if he really saw what he thought he saw.
That would be impossible, so he shakes his head and walks out. Seconds later he storms back in, opens his locker door, and sure enough, there is a girl in his locker. What does he do next? He begins to scream for Pyle. He just knows that Gomer must have something to do with the situation. He ends up begging Gomer to get her out of there before he, Carter, ends up in jail.
Another long-remembered scene is from the Jack Benny comedy series. In real life Benny was an excellent violinist. The character he played on TV was just the opposite, lousy, but believed he wasn't.
In this episode, Benny had Giselle McKenzie as a guest. She was a talented violinist, but Benny's character treated her like a beginner. They were to play a duet, and Benny said he would play slowly so she could keep up. When they began to play, McKenzie did some fancy notes and Benny showed surprise.
When it became obvious she was better than he was, every one of the millions of viewers knew Benny wasn't going to stand for her outperforming him and they all waited for him to blow his cool. Finally, he said, "Now, cut that out!" and she showed some shy regret for what she had done and from then on, they played some of the best violin music I have ever heard.
Another classic Jack Benny scene came when a robber pointed a gun at Benny and said, "Your money or your life!" After a long pause, the robber told Benny to hurry up and make a choice. Benny's answer was, "I'm thinking it over."
In another scene, Benny had a conversation with a man wearing a sombrero. The answers to all questions were Si, Sy, Sew, and Sue.
I remember two different movies in which identical words were used in critical situations. In one, after Gary Cooper saves the day with his six shooter, he is informed that there were no bullets in the gun. In the other, the captain of a ship is taking pictures of pirates attacking a ship making them change their minds. He is told by the cabin boy that the camera has no film in it. In both cases the hero says, "I know that, and you know that, but they don't know that."
The movie, The Sound of Music, has many great scenes, but the one I remember most fondly is when the bad guys are chasing the Von Trapp family. They hide in a convent, protected by the nuns. At just the right moment, they get in their car and race away.
The soldiers get in their two cars to follow, but their cars won't start. That's when two of the nuns confess to Mother Superior that they have sinned. When asked what they did, they produce stolen parts from the soldiers' cars.
In an older movie, Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert are at the side of a road, looking to hitch a ride. Gable gives his friend a lesson on just how he uses his thumb to stop a car. Then he demonstrates, but fails. After several tries, Colbert suggest that she try. He is sure she will not do any better, but she insists she will and says, "And I won't use my thumb."
As a car approaches, she reaches down to lift her skirt. That is followed by four quick scenes, one after the other. The first is a closeup of her exposed leg, then a view of a driver's foot stomping on a brake pedal, another quick look of a car's wheel locked up and skidding, and the last picture shows Gable and Colbert in a car driven by a farmer-type character.
When I was a kid, movies about the Foreign Legion, desert Bedouins, and camel caravans were very popular. In one of those, two roaming desert tribes meet, set up their tents, and send negotiators to a meeting to decide if they would fight each other. They agree to a display of strength before making a decision.
The first tribe has a huge man use a heavy sword to cut through a metal bar. The other tribe's leader says the demonstration only showed the strength of the man's arm, not the sharpness of his sword.
He then orders a pretty girl to dance with a filmy silk scarf that floats in the air like a feather. She tosses it up and he grabs the long curved sword from one of his men and catches the scarf on it. With just a gentle jiggle, the scarf falls to the sand in two pieces. All of his men then draw their swords and the thought of being sliced to pieces makes the enemy pack up their tents and go away.
Arthur Godfrey made history with a closeup of a hula dancer's hips, after being criticized for his program not having enough movement. That provided another scene to remember.