Over on the rather fine Cracked podcast this week, they were talking again about the final scene of The Graduate, where, after all Dustin Hoffman’s bloke-in-a-movie rush to reckless action succeeds in producing a result conventionally regarded as desirable within movie logic, if not in real life, the camera lingers on the couple past the “sorted!” freeze frame long enough to see the realisation break across their faces of what they’ve done. Wordlessly, we see how the weight of what’s going to happen next subverts the “Hollywood ending” we were prepared for.
More often than not, the great spaces between dialogue in film are filled with stunts and explosions, but, from time to time, there are unforgettable moments of drama conveyed without a word being uttered – I’m thinking of Bob Hoskins’ bottom row of teeth retracting defeated at the end of The Long Good Friday. Moments before, the future object of Jessica Rabbit’s affection absolutely nailed one of those grandstanding speeches actors dream of, but he still shifts up another gear in the back of that car..
So, how about celebrating some of the great scenes that required no words? I’m hoping for replies, although I suppose complete silence on your part might be appropriate..